Digital Collections Users' Group Meeting: April 18, 2012

Members present: Ellen Corrigan (Eastern Illinois University), Chris Day (School of the Art Institute of Chicago), Eben English (Loyola University Chicago), Ginger Frere (Newberry Library), Peter Hepburn (University of Illinois at Chicago), David Levinson (Lake Forest College), Laurie Sauer (Chair, Knox College), Julia Thompson (Western Illinois University)

Members absent: Meg Miner (Illinois Wesleyan University)

CARLI Staff Liaisons present: Jessican Gibson

  1. Confirmed Laurie as minutes taker.
  2. Minutes from the March meeting were approved.

Subcommittee reports

  1. Communication & Outeach (Eben) - Met on March 21. Keeping up with the image of the week and Twitter. Working on a glossary of marketing and promotion techniques; strategies and approaches for this are listed on the DCUG wiki. A first draft should be done by the end of this fiscal year.
  2. Documentation & Standards (Eben) - Met April 13. Discussed their draft of "collection home page customization opportunities." The current version of this document was sent to DCUG for review for this meeting, and some suggestions were made. The group will work on incorporating the suggestions and anticipates finishing this guide by the end of the fiscal year. A draft of a "guide for digitizing 3-D objects" should be available for review at the next DCUG meeting.

  3. Usability (Chris) – Met April 5. Google Analytics (GA) data for the first two quarters is finished and the group is working on making these reports public. The GA reports and data will be announced and promoted on the CARLI blog and on appropriate email lists. Previously it was reported that the GA data would reside on the CARLI wiki, but the reports and data will now reside on the CARLI web site and be linked from the CARLI Digital Collections statistics page. The CARLI wiki will also have links to the data and reports along with some explanatory text about the data. The group is also developing documentation on how data is collected and analyzed for use by future DCUG members; these documents will reside on the DCUG wiki. The third quarter data is currently being analyzed.

    This group is also studying the CARLI CONTENTdm topic list. Topics on this list are assigned to CARLI CONTENTdm collections as they go live. There are six recommendations at present about reworking some of the current topics in an effort to make them more useful to researchers:

    Chris asked for comments. Ellen suggested that the "Sports and Athletics" category is redundant and suggested calling it "Sports," and the suggestion was accepted as a change. The DCUG Committee approved all the other the changes as well. CARLI staff will work on implementation of the topics changes in CARLI Digital Collections.

    Eben asked how the Usability group decided to take up the issue of reworking the topics. Laurie explained that the Google Analytics data showed that the "Topics" portion of the CARLI Collections web site indicated a significant portion of users clicked in this area to view collections. Eben asked if we could use metadata from individual objects in an automated fashion to determine commonalities in topics/subjects. Jessica recalled something like this was done when the initial topics list was devised, and Ellen forwarded a report from the DCUG’s past Interface subcommittee to the group. Jessica explained that the original list of topics was determined from existing collection descriptions and that collection managers can also suggest additional topics at any time. Chris offered that there may be other changes to be made to the topics list by a future incarnation of the Usability group.

    1. Break History into two new topics: "U.S. History" and "Non-U.S. History"
    2. Rename Local and Regional History to "Illinois and Regional History"
    3. Rename University History to "University and Institutional History"
    4. Rename Athletics to "Sports and Athletics"
    5. Rename Geography to "Maps and Geography"
    6. Rename Health Sciences to "Health and Medicine"
  4. Digital Preservation (Laurie) - There were about 70 attendees at the April 10th Digital Preservation forum. Evaluations to date on this event are mixed. The joint subcommittee will be having an ongoing conversation about other ways to educate CARLI members about digital preservation.

"Anatomy of a Digital Project" series

  1. Promoting collections: Evaluations on this program were overwhelmingly positive. Ginger thanked Chris for his participation.
  2. Connecting Your Digital Collections to the Curricula at Your Institution: On schedule for May 15, 2:00 pm. Presenters: Jane Darcovich (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Stephanie Davis-Kahl (Illinois Wesleyan University)

New Business

The DCUG chair needs to be selected at the May meeting from the group of continuing members: Peter, Ellen, David, Julia, and Chris. Jessica encouraged these members to consider becoming chair.