Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Introduction ...

I'm Ed Chamberlain, the first fellow for Michaelmas 2010. Whilst I've posted on this blog quite frequently, this is my time doing so as an actual fellow! I've spent the first two weeks of my fellowship investigating digitisation-on-demand services at the University Library, with a view to scoping a potential future service.

The aim would be to offer readers digital delivery of print only material, on demand through the library catalogue.

The project may sound a bit woolly at first, after all libraries have been doing digitisation en-mass for mainstream material and rare stuff for some time, but a reader-driven approach covers a number of areas that have an impact on the future of libraries.

By no means the smallest is that of copyright. In looking for automated solutions to copyright assessment I'm currently taking a look at the wonderful copyright calculator API developed by the Open Knowledge foundation. I'll also be looking to highlight some of the problems that copyright legislation raises for libraries wanting to innovate with new digital services.

Later on I'll be looking and quick wins in non-destructive digitisation of bound material and print-on-demand, hoping to learn from the experiences of those already deploying these services.

Whats interesting for myself, as a Systems Librarian, is that there are no major technical challenges here, its arguably as much about changes in work flow and culture as anything. At the heart of it all is the concept of placing choice over the material digitised firmly in the hands of the reader, rather than a Librarian.

More info about my project can be found on the Arcadia project site, as well as a bit of bio blurb.

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