Friday, July 02, 2010

Knowing what I don't know...

A week or so ago, while preparing for the second digitization task force meeting we had this morning, I became acutely aware of the fact that I really don't know what I'm doing in this process. I understand this process from a very conceptual standpoint. I know what we're aiming to accomplish with our pilot project, I know what CONTENTdm is and what it is capable of, I understand the basics of Dublin Core, and I know how everyone in the task force will work together. I can put a photo on a scanner and make a TIFF at X dpi. I can probably upload that and make some notes on it. Very simple, very basic, very straightforward. But the longer I think about I realize I still have a lot of questions. I can scan something, but I've no real knowledge of image editing/correction. I have barely scratched the surface of Dublin Core and never actually worked with it or really done anything with XML outside of a classroom. I get the general notion of what it means to digitize a collection but I'm not sure what that means for us, for our collection and for its future.

Happily, I work in a library, which means two very important things. First, someone else has probably done this before and generated a ton of documentation, articles, books etc. about it. Second, we have consortia borrowing and ILL. So I did what I normally do in this situation - which is order all of the books I can find with relevant subject headings, put them in a pile, and start to feel slightly more secure. I've shared them with BP and in the next week or so we'll start tearing through them. We're also going to start a road map/timeline. Launching this project is going to be very complicated and while we will not be able to anticipate every contingency, we'll at least have a secure base from which to start. We'll also have a better sense of what it is we're trying to accomplish here on a more particular level, which is what I find I'm needing at the moment. While I'm good with concepts, I find myself itching to do, to move forward, to construct and create, even if it's just a 12 point plan for good happy success.

But now it's the start of my three day weekend and I do believe the sun has just come out...

1 comment:

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