Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 2006 Digitization Survey Final Report

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1 Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 2006 Digitization Survey Final Report October 2006

2 Introduction The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) conducted its third digitization survey in the summer of Following its previous member surveys, this leading library consortium expanded its educational, consulting, and funding role to assist members in developing digital projects and programs. The 2006 survey focused on measuring the growth of digital activity at METRO member institutions, and gathering the information needed to develop plans for further expansion of METRO s digital services. Among the key objectives of the survey: Determine members digitization activities during the past two years and their plans for the next two years Review member policies on offering access to digital materials Learn members educational and assistance needs on digitization topics Determine the level of digital preservation activities among the membership This survey was developed and conducted by PALINET Consulting Services of Philadelphia in conjunction with METRO s Digitization Advisory Council and staff. Funding for this survey was provided in part by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Respondents The sample for this study was the METRO membership of 251 academic, public, special, and school library members located predominately in the five boroughs of New York City and Westchester County. Respondents were invited via to answer the web-based survey. The original invitation and several reminders garnered 69 responses between June 20 and August 1, 2006, for a response rate of 27%, a large increase over the 2004 METRO Digitization Survey which only had a 20% response rate. Surveys were completed by 36 Academic (52%), 8 Museum/Historical Society (12%), 8 Hospital/Medical (12%), 5 Public (7%), 5 Special (7%), 2 Government (3%), and 1 School library (1%). It is worthwhile to note that the Public figure represented 100% of METRO s public library system members and that the Academic figure represented over 35% of METRO s academic member libraries. Slightly over half of respondents (51%) reported annual operating budgets exceeding $1 million while 30% reported a budget below $1 million and 20% reported that they didn t know their budget range. Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 2

3 Staff size at the institutions (determined by Full-Time Equivalents or FTEs) varied widely, with 17% reporting 10 or fewer FTEs, 32% reporting 11 to 75 FTEs and 26% reporting in excess of 500 FTEs. Key Findings Funding Sources Respondents were asked what sources provided funding for their institution s digitization activities in the past two years. In the 2004 survey, the majority of the respondents (51%) indicated that at least a portion of their digitization funding came from their institution s own budget. This was one of the first surveys documenting a group of libraries that was not dependent on grants to fund their digital projects. This trend of supporting digitization through institutional operating budgets was shown to continue in the 2006 survey, with 46% of responding institutions indicating that all or part of their funding was from internal sources. 17 institutions or 25% received funding from the METRO Digitization Grant Program, a source that was not available two years ago. METRO has provided $140,000 in grants to member libraries for digitization activities since Foundation grants continued to be an additional source of funds, with just over 10% of respondents reporting this type of support, followed by federal (7%) and state (4%) grants, which were also mentioned as funding sources. More than one-third of respondents did not participate in any digitization in the past two years (36%), and another 4% did some digitization but did not receive any funding. Federal, 7% Foundation, 10% State, 4% Institutional budget, 46% METRO, 25% Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 3

4 Method of Performing Digitization Once they secured the funding, how did institutions perform their digitization projects? In 2006, a majority (54%) performed at least some digitization work using in-house staff and equipment, as was the trend two years earlier. The practice of outsourcing digitization work also remained about the same, as 14 institutions, or 20%, noted they had used outsourced vendor services (versus 18% in 2004). Material Types Photographs were the most common type of item digitized in the past two years (32%), followed by books (28%), personal records (letters, diaries) (28%), and manuscripts (26%) and respondents believe that these will continue to be the most popular types of materials digitized over the next two years. The next two years will see significant increases in plans to digitize theses and dissertations, newspapers, music and other recorded sound, and institutional material (annual reports and yearbooks). Material Types Theses and dissertations Journals and serials Government publications Education and training material Newspapers Films and videotapes Music and other recorded sound Maps Institutional information Course materials 2d and 3d objects Manuscripts Books Letters and diaries Photographs 3% 14% 12% 16% 4% 7% 7% 12% 10% 20% 12% 16% 12% 20% 14% 17% 13% 19% 17% 18% 20% 29% 26% 35% 28% 33% 28% 38% 32% 49% Past Future 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 4

5 Number of Digital Objects Created Members were asked how many digital objects their libraries had created in the past two years and how many they plan to create over the next two years. Around a quarter of respondents (23%) reported creating zero digital objects and another 23% reported creating between digital objects. 19% created between 501-5,000 digital objects, 16% reported creating over 5,000 digital objects, and 6% reported they didn t know. Projections for future digital activities show similar trends. Number of Objects Respondents Past Two Years Next Two Years None 23% 12% % 19% 501-1,000 9% 7% 1,001-5,000 10% 13% 5,001-10,000 4% 6% 10,001-25,000 1% 6% More than 25,000 9% 9% Don t know 20% 29% Policies As digitization activity grows in libraries and other cultural institutions, there is a great deal of interest in the community about the creation of policies and documentation to provide an infrastructure and set of best practices for digital projects and programs. In the survey, institutions were asked whether they have included digitization in a number of standard library policies or were developing such policies. The topics explored included: Mission and goals Collection development Emergency preparedness Exhibitions Preservation Strategic planning Public services Rights and licensing In the case of each of these policy areas, a majority of institutions answered No/Don t Know to the question of whether their institution considers digitization in its policies. Preservation (48%), Strategic Planning (40%), and Collection Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 5

6 Development (38%) were the most notable areas where institutions have or are planning to include digital activities in their policies. Access A majority of responding institutions (60%) made some (43%) or all (17%) of their digital collections available to the public. However, 29% provided no public access to their digital collections. More than half of respondents (55%) provided access through their organization s website, and 22% offered access through an integrated library system/online public access catalog (ILS/OPAC). The groups having access to the digital collections at these institutions included staff (61%), general public (51%), faculty and students (41% each), and alumni (29%). Digital Collections Directory Members were asked whether they contributed their digital collections to a digital collections directory or registry like the IMLS Digital Collections Registry or the University of Michigan s OAIster. The primary purpose of these types of services is to increase access by bringing together the metadata of thousands of collections and millions of digital objects into one searchable interface. Only 4 respondents (6%) reported that their digital collections or objects are listed in a digital registry or directory like the IMLS Digital Collections Registry or the University of Michigan s OAIster service. 94% of respondents reported that they do not participate or don t know if their institution is participating in such a service. When asked about their interest in participating in a digital collections registry or directory developed by METRO, 35% of respondents expressed interest in participating, 26% said it was of no interest, and 35% said they don t know. Institutional Readiness A set of questions on institutional ability to perform specific digitization related tasks showed a relatively good degree of digital readiness in a few areas but it s clear that competency still needs to be developed across the board for all of these tasks. Areas where members rated themselves most prepared include standards for quality (33%), staff skills and expertise (29%), and equipment and software (26%). Areas where members rated themselves least prepared include funding (61%), business planning and sustainability (47%), digitization policies (46%), and digital preservation (44%). Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 6

7 Skill Rating of 1 or 2 Prepared Rating of 6 or 7 Unprepared Funding 7% 61% Business planning and program sustainability 9% 47% Digitization policies 15% 46% Digital preservation 10% 44% Procedures for preparation of digital content 21% 41% Procedures for management of digital 16% 40% content Standards for quality 33% 37% Digitization plan 7% 37% Equipment and software 26% 34% Staff skills and expertise 29% 30% Digital Asset Management A question focused on what digital asset management systems were in use at METRO member institutions. 13 members reported using a locally developed system followed by 9 members who use CONTENTdm, and 5 who use Luna Insight. It should be noted that METRO provided CONTENTdm to 7 of the respondents as part of the METRO Digitization Grant Program. Digital Asset Management System Respondents Locally developed system 13 CONTENTdm 9 Luna Insight 5 D-Space 3 Digitool 2 Greenstone 2 Fedora; Gallery Systems; Canto Cumulus; Clear Story; Docutek; 1 each KeEmu; Tower Software TRIM; MDID None 23 Assistance and Training When asked to rank the most important areas in which METRO could support member institutions digitization activities, providing funding was ranked first by 33 respondents (55%) followed by providing training workshops and symposia (37%), and providing information on standards and best practices (26%). METRO has built a strong digitization education program with a variety of workshops and symposia available on a spectrum of digital topics. Thirty-two specific class topics were named under a variety of topical themes such as project planning and management, metadata, image digitization, text digitization and encoding, Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 7

8 digitization of other formats (especially audiovisual formats), and hardware and software topics. Following are the top ten training topics as reported by respondents: Digital preservation (64%) Digital Asset Management systems (64%) Funding sources (61%) Intellectual property (55%) Quality control (54%) Scanning (54%) Project evaluation (54%) Project management (52%) OAI metadata harvesting (52%) XML (51%) METRO has and will continue to address many of these topics by offering workshops and symposia. As a direct response to this survey, METRO is currently planning a copyright symposium scheduled for February 2007, which will take a look at a wide variety of intellectual property issues in the digital realm. Digital Preservation A large section of the 2006 METRO Digitization Survey was dedicated to questions dealing with the digital preservation practices and needs of METRO member libraries. As the survey indicates, this is an area of high interest to the METRO membership. When asked how long they expect to retain digital collections, a large majority of respondents (67%) said they planned to keep their collections long-term, or more than 10 years. The most likely budget sources for digital preservation were divided equally between the institution s IT budget (30%) and grants (30%). A majority of respondents (51%) felt that insufficient resources were allocated to preservation of digital collections. Additionally, 23% answered this question as don t know, while a mere 9% of respondents felt that they had sufficient resources allocated to this task. The leading digital preservation strategies which respondents had implemented were data backup (48%) and migration (25%), although 23% answered this question don t know. Backed up files were most often stored in-house, in systems managed by the responding institution (51%). Only 12% of respondents outsourced to a storage site like Iron Mountain. The frequency of these backups was quite regular for many respondents, as 19% backed up daily, 12% several times a week, and 13% at least once a week. 14% of respondents did not know their schedule for backups. Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 8

9 Nearly half of the respondents (49%) said they preserved digital collections locally with very few using outsourced vendors (3%) or a combination of in-house and outsourcing (6%). For the local storage of digital collections, the most commonly used storage media were online magnetic media such as networked hard drives (38%) and optical media such as CDs and DVDs (30%), followed by tape (15%). The data in this section of the survey will be used as a baseline for future comparisons, as digital preservation is an area where METRO will focus in education, consulting, and information provision. Summary Many interesting trends came to light in the 2006 METRO Digitization Survey. Libraries are funding both digital production and digital preservation largely from operating budgets, although the number of external funding sources has grown in variety and use since the 2004 survey. Funding is a key area where institutions felt least prepared, and also an area where many felt the need for further education and assistance. While many institutions are currently involved in relatively small-scale digitization projects involving photographs, books, manuscripts, and personal records, the next two years will see a growing interest in digitization of other materials such as theses and dissertations, newspapers, music and recorded sound, annual reports and yearbooks. There is a great deal of interest in a variety of educational topics related to digitization, and key areas for raising awareness and developing training programs include copyright, digital preservation, and digital asset management systems. In addition, assistance is needed to help institutions incorporate digitization into a variety of existing library policies, or for the development of new policies centered on digitization. If you have any questions or comments about this report, please contact: Richard Kim Digital Projects Manager METRO 57 East 11 th Street New York, NY Phone: Web: Tom Clareson Program Director for New Initiatives PALINET 3000 Market Street, Suite 200 Philadelphia, PA Phone: Web: Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) 9

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