Head, Carolina Digital Library and Archives
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Academic libraries with digital collections programs are faced with a difficult task in simultaneously growing capacity, promoting sustainability, allowing room for innovation, ensuring success within an environment that has limited and, in many cases, shrinking resources, and giving staff the tools they need to be effective contributors to technology initiatives. The University Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is embarking upon a number of efforts designed to support the transition of digital library work from project to program, a transition that will allow the Library to better address these competing needs.
This presentation will introduce two major aspects of the work in this area. First, in early 2012, a new process was implemented for the allocation of library technology resources and the selection of projects requiring technology support. Through careful design and ongoing assessment, this process should significantly improve the Library’s efforts to promote a culture of solid planning and accountability, reduce uncertainty that has historically caused inaction and missed opportunities, clearly determine and communicate ongoing support models, and reinforce the Library’s confidence in its ability to live up to the commitments it makes. A key part of this new proposal, review, and approval process is staff from the Library’s Carolina Digital Library and Archives (CDLA) department acting as project facilitators, and offering planning and coordination services where necessary to help technology proposals have their best chance of success.
The second area of work to be presented in this session involves the early planning stages of a new technical infrastructure that will provide coordinated and shared support for digital collections, digital humanities, and institutional repository work. The plan is to prioritize digital library initiatives that help build out and implement this technical infrastructure, reduce ‘siloization’ and promote reuse of content in multiple environments, increase efficiency and sustainability of curated digital collections, and provide tiered access and preservation services. This shift has the potential to re-frame the development work on the Carolina Digital Repository to occupy a more centralized role in the University’s digital library efforts.