The establishment of the Digital Library Services Centre is in keeping with the Campus Libraries’ strategic objectives to:
- Create, select, acquire, organize and preserve information resources to meet current and emerging teaching, learning and research needs
- Continue to upgrade and enhance the current infrastructure for ICT within the Campus Libraries with particular emphasis on the provision of access to information resources and research
- Develop mechanisms to improve research support from the Campus Libraries
- To digitize and offer network access to unique collections of West Indiana materials from the University Libraries
- To promote and support the scholarly use of digital content by scholars and students of the University
- To preserve rare books and fragile collections while also increasing access to them
- To identify needs within the university campuses for digital asset management services, and a deployment strategy to satisfy these needs using the principles associated with an institutional repository.
- To offer digital library services and supporting technologies that are sustainable, scaleable, and interoperable with national and international digital library initiatives
- To establish a regional and international reputation for developing premier digital libraries at The University of the West Indies.
Selection of material for digitization
Analog materials in all formats will be digitized including pictures, maps, ephemera, newspapers, journals, theses and dissertations, audio recordings, manuscripts; and videos. The selection of items for digitization will be performed on the basis of the following criteria:
- Material that is of historical and or cultural significance
- Items that are in high demand by researchers and students
- Items selected for publication or exhibition by the library
- Material that is outside the copyright domain or which permission to digitize has been obtained
- Material that may otherwise have restricted access due to its conditions, value, vulnerability or location
Materials or collections may be selected for digitization for preservation purposes
Material or collections may be submitted for digitization in order to reduce risks associated with the physical handling of fragile and/or valuable material, and/or where there is a high risk the original will not survive and must be supported or replaced by a preservation copy.
Digitization does not replace preservation of the actual items. So every effort must be made to preserve the original item before digitization takes place.
Management of digitization activities
Management of the digitization initiatives is the responsibility of the Head of the Digital Library Services Centre and the designated Librarian whose responsibility will be to coordinate specific projects. Policies and procedures have been developed as part of the quality management system that will be employed to ensure compliance to internationally acceptable standards in all digitization projects.
Digitization of materials is undertaken by the staff assigned to the Digitization Lab.
Technology support for the Digitization Lab is drawn from the Systems Unit of the Main Library for development and maintenance of the digital storage, management and delivery systems.
Access to digitized Collections
The digital collections will be accessible via the the UWISpace institutional repository that the libraries have also deployed as the platform for organizing and preserving digital content. Links to the collections will also be provided on the libraries' web site and online public access catalogue (OPAC).
Discovery and access is also facilitated through the use of the standards for open access and the protocols for metadata harvesting by public search engines such as Google TM and others.
The infrastructure is in place to require user authentication to those collections which the libraries would deem to have restricted access.
Standards for technical, administrative and structural metadata will be adhered to in the indexing of items in all digital collections. The digitization workflow will also be conducted according to internationally acceptable standards for conversion and formatting. Benchmarks and best practice models for preservation and migration of formats will also be incorporated into the technical and administrative infrastruture of the DLSC.
Security measures will be put in place to protect the items in the digital library collections from cybertheft.
Coordination and Reporting
An annual report of the Digitization activities will be included in the Campus Librarian’s Report. The report will be prepared by the Special Collections Librarian and the Digitization Librarian.
The digitization policies will be reviewed every academic year.