Libraryman

CONTENTdm Webcasts

I?ve talked with lots of my librarian friends about this and almost all of them would like to know more about digital collection development, organization and sharing. If you are working in a library that has unique collections of items that you would like to share digitally, this post might interest you.

Today was the first in a series of webcasts about an OCLC product called CONTENTdm. I was going to start off by summarizing just what this product does, but the official CONTENTdm web site has a great blurb that sums it up very well:
?If your library is thinking about digital collections, you should think about CONTENTdm as the means to make those collections a virtual reality. An industry standard for digital collection management, CONTENTdm provides tools to organize, manage, publish and search digital collections on the Web.
Whatever materials you want to share, this flexible, multifunction software package handles it all?documents, PDFs, images, video and audio files. Whether your collection consists of 500 or a million assets, CONTENTdm offers a scalable solution that grows with your needs.?

You might guess that was written by somebody in marketing, but it actually really does describe what this tool does. It?s very nifty if you?re into this kind of thing!

So, on to the Webcast! It?s actually a series of webcasts. What?s cool here is that many of the presenters in the series are real-life librarians who really use the product. Sure, it?s marketing, but you are getting it straight from the horses? mouth. It seems like you?d have to seriously know and approve of a product to voluntarily agree to espouse its benefits in a forum like a sanctioned Webcast.

Jill Fluvog, from CONTENTdm, started the Webcast by providing an overview of the product. She showed several cool examples of institutions that are actively using CONTENTdm. Then, today?s voluntary espouser, Carol Hixson, from the University of Oregon Libraries presented. Carol is the Head of Metadata and Digital Library Services at U of O. She talked about ?why the Libraries decided to begin digitizing their materials and why they chose CONTENTdm. She also covered highlights of their digital collection implementation process, including how the materials in their digital collections were carefully selected and digitized according to prevailing standards and then described to facilitate their discovery and use?. Whew, that was a mouthful!

One thing that really jumped out in the discussions was the fact that CONTENTdm can be used for collaborations between departments and/or institutions. I’m big proponent of partnership, community development and resource sharing so it was nice to see this facet of the product. The Western Waters Digital Library Project is a specific example of this that the U of O (and many other institutions) contributes to.

You can get more information about CONTENTdm by following the links above. Also, there are more Webcasts coming up in the next few of weeks that address some issues related to the product and its implementation. These will also be presented by librarians like us. Here is a link to the page to sign up for those webcasts.

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