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Maximising efficiency and standardisation in digitisation at University of Houston Libraries: A programme-based vs project-based approach
In September 2013, University of Houston Libraries (UH Libraries) released its 2013–16 Strategic Directions document. This resulted in a close examination of current digitisation practices; it became clear that in order to fulfil aspects of the new strategic directions, it was essential to improve the quality and efficiency of digitisation operations. To achieve this goal, Metadata and Digitization Services (MDS) department engaged in a series of activities to revisit its digitisation practice. An overview of current digitisation practice was conducted. MDS utilised a data-driven approach such as focus group interviews, survey research methods and institutional site visits to collect data, input and feedback. Analysis and reflection on collected data allowed several themes to emerge regarding workflow, equipment and staffing. Research and data analysis from this process led to recommendations in three areas: workflow, digitisation resources and infrastructure. These recommendations help shift MDS practice from a project-based workflow to programme-based workflow, which addresses a more comprehensive set of digitisation needs through multiple workflows. Proposals were also made to increase resources, diversify digitisation equipment and implement a more robust digital asset management system that can support a higher-volume workflow. This paper describes the process.
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