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WAAL09: Digitization on Demand: ILL Operations Participating in Institutional Digitization

Posted by on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive

"Digitization on Demand: ILL Operations Participating in Institutional Digitization"
Angela Milock, Laura Rizzo, Eric Robinson - WiLS (Wisconsin Library Services)

  • How it all began... WiLS was already scanning masters theses, special collections, etc. for document delivery - thought they could start saving their scanned documents to make them available to everyone

  • Models? Found existing Digitization-on-Demand (DOD) and Print-on-Demand (POD) programs at other institutions - Cornell, Penn State, U Michigan

  • Where deposit? UW Digital Collections -, Google Books & CIC Hathi Trust > OPAC

  • Which items to digitize? Started with: Special collections, Music Library

  • Turnaround time? Walked through detailed workflow; appears to be faster for ILL to do it than Digital Content Group (therefore, less expensive)

  • Partnerships? Special collections, some institutions with Kirtas/Booksurge/Amazon

  • Paying for service? WiLS mainly emulated Michigan: cost passed on to requester, posted per page cost, $30-160; Cornell: Amazon ($20-40, 1-4 days); Penn: $26 paperback; WiLS just tries to cover costs; Surprised to find that people at our own institution willing to pay for digitization of materials they already have physical access to

  • Requests? Web form, OCLC

  • Usage? Huge differences from institution to institution, based on how easy it is to find out about materials/service; people *are* willing to pay; WiLS filled 6 in first 3 weeks (not even announced yet!) vs Michigan ~20/year (multiple communication steps) vs Penn = 1 total in 2 months vs Cornell = heavy POD usage of selected 6,000 titles (Amazon helps!)

  • Copyright? Tricky U.S. vs non-U.S. laws; needed clear guidelines > "Cornell matrix"; wanted to be safe from litigation > very conservative (use Google's policy: pre-1923, author death year + 70 years - "are they dead enough?"); other institutions follow different policies

  • Technology? WiLS: b/w 300 dpi, grayscale/color 600 dpi; existing ILL/Special Collections scanners; some institutions send to Kirtas scanners (turn pages automatically; Google's probably look like this too); is the scanner up to the challenge? WiLS had nice new scanner but it would

  • New tasks? Barcoding and item records on the fly if needed, whole document and each page separately so works with page-turning model

  • Total planning time? WiLS took 7 months from idea to reality

  • Why? Access more convenient, seamless, removed digitization selection decisions, cost-effective

  • Hey, you! Any UW System school can deposit their materials in


  • Did WiLS not scan materials in Special Collections or the Music Library before you intiated this program? Answer: Went from part (article or chapter) to whole (500+ pages, rare, fragile materials).

  • Are Cornell & Penn shipping rare books or doing in-house? Answer: Apparently, they *are* shipping at least some rare materials.

  • Some requests denied? Answer: Yes, holding library has that power.

  • How delivered? Answer: Preferred delivery method of institution; mounted, hosted PDF version if that's the normal manner.

  • Payment details? Answer: If university doesn't cover costs, then patron can use Google Shopping Cart (all communication goes through their local institution)

  • Don't need institutional affiliation to request materials? Answer: Correct.

  • Is your copyright policy posted? Answer: Not yet.

  • What about duplication from one library to another? Answer: We may get fewer requests for duplicate items as things become findable online.
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