By Nathan Tallman
The digital libraries class (LIS 563) is unlike most other courses in DLIS. Everyone is involved within a particular team responsible for a portion of the digital library. This semester’s teams were user liaison, copyright and content, metadata, infrastructure, interface, and digitization.
After three or four classes with lectures on each topic, teams presented their findings and discussed how they affected the digital library. After that comes building the library from the ground up. There are no tests or quizzes: grades are determined by participation and teamwork.
This spring, the class worked with the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society (BECHS) to create the E. B. Green Digital Collection. The E. B. Green Digital Collection was created using archival materials of the Green and Wicks architectural firm, books which record information and plans regarding the construction of structures designed by the firm. Although the class worked with only the earliest book, the digital collection maybe further expanded upon by BECHS to include other cost and contract books.
The class is definitely a good experience. Many libraries are building digital collections and the knowledge gained is very beneficial. These skills can be listed on your CV and mentioned in a job interview. While it’s a lot of work, especially towards the end, I highly recommend this class.
Note: The URL for the E. B. Green Digital Collection is not available yet as the digital library has not moved off the GSE servers to its final destination. Stay tuned to UBdlisISBN to find out what it is!