IX. Digital Libraries and the Scholarly Record


Recommendation 9: The University should build upon and expand its digital library program and develop the digital library infrastructure needed to support research, teaching and learning.


Digital Libraries

Action 59. The University should develop a program of digital library research, and engage in national initiatives, to address the issues of user services, creation and management of digital collections, the federation of distributed digital libraries, and the design of digital library systems.

In October 2000, Indiana University began work on a groundbreaking digital library project to support research and education in the field of music. The Digital Music Library project (dml.indiana.edu/) will develop a digital music library testbed system containing music in a variety of formats, and will involve research and development in the areas of system architecture, metadata standards, component-based application architecture, and network services. This system will be used as a foundation for digital library research in the fields of music instruction, usability, human-computer interaction, and intellectual property rights. Participating in this project are faculty and staff from a broad range of disciplines and departments, including Music, Library and Information Science, Law, Computer Science, the University Libraries, and UITS. Funding for this project is provided in part by a $3-million grant from the Digital Libraries Initiative – Phase 2 (DLI2), a multi-agency federal program with support from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Also during the past year, faculty and students in the Computer and Information Science Department at IUPUI and the School of Library & Information Science at Indiana University have conducted digital library research aimed at designing and developing a distributed intelligent information distribution and filtering system (SIFTER) that provides personalized information services to the user while minimizing direct user involvement. The SIFTER project (sifter.indiana.edu/) has used IU's high performance computing facilities to carry out experimentation on text retrieval data. Funding for the SIFTER project is provided in part by a grant from the DLI2 program.

Action 60. The University should develop a digital library infrastructure that will provide a common technical and organizational base for new and ongoing digital library programs.

Action 61. The University Libraries, with UITS, should provide students, faculty, and staff at all campuses with convenient and reliable access to a comprehensive and coordinated collection of electronic information resources, on the campuses and off.

Action 62. The University should develop within its digital library program an "electronic reserve" service so that faculty can assemble and make available content in all media and formats: text, image, audio, or video; published or unpublished; digitized representation or original digital artifact; etc.

Action 63. The University should establish sound funding for existing digital library initiatives (including VARIATIONS, LETRS, IMDS, others), and should provide support for other digital library projects of merit that are advanced in the years ahead.

The IU Digital Library Program is a collaborative effort of the Indiana University Libraries, the OVPIT, and the University research faculty with leadership from the School of Library and Information Science. As part of establishing the organizational base for digital library initiatives, Kristine Brancolini was appointed as Director of the IU Digital Library Program and Jon Dunn was named to the position of Assistant Director for Technology. The IU Digital Library Program has undertaken or completed a number of digital collection projects over the past year, including:

A number of digital library projects have been undertaken by the IUPUI University Library, including:

Several projects in the past year have involved the integration and coordinated delivery of electronic information resources, requiring staff expertise in the design of information resources and computer interfaces. To help meet this need, the Digital Library Program added a new staff person in the position of Interface Design and Usability Specialist.

System upgrades and improvements have been made to the ongoing digital library programs, including the VARIATIONS digital music library application, DIDO (a fine arts digital image database), and the services provided by LETRS (Library Electronic Text Resource Service). Computing equipment and data servers for VARIATIONS and other Digital Library Program services were relocated to the UITS machine room at Wrubel Computing Center, providing a controlled environment and 24/7 supervision. Starting in Summer 2000, sound recording files from the VARIATIONS system, totaling 1.5 terabytes of data, have been copied to the IU massive data storage system for archival storage.

VARIATIONS delivered 197,255 sound file accesses between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2000, averaging 611 accesses per open day. The Music Library staff digitized 700 sound recordings and scanned 112 musical scores (18,326 pages). The Fine Arts Slide Library staff added 5,678 images to DIDO, bringing the total to 17,231. LETRS Web-based collections received increasing use during 2000, peaking at 41,000 accesses per month, and averaging about 30,000 per month. Web-based collections continued to expand: notable additions were The Bible in English, Bertolt Brecht's Werke, and Editions and Adaptations of Shakespeare.

Action 64. UITS, in partnership with the University Archives, Internal Audit, the Committee of Data Stewards, and others should develop a program to assure preservation of electronic institutional records.

Action 65. UITS, in partnership with the University Libraries, University Archives, and others should evaluate technologies and propose methods and standards to protect digital materials against media deterioration and technological obsolescence.

UITS and the University Archives have an ongoing collaboration to develop methods, standards, and practices that will assure long-term access to and preservation of IU's electronic records. In the past year, University Archivist Philip Bantin began working with the Information Technology Policy Office and Data Administration area on projects involving the management and preservation of electronic records. More specifically, IT and Archives staff developed a Request for Proposal for document management software, and reviewed and analyzed several products. A member of the IU Archives staff has been working half-time as a member of the MyIU portal project. Recently, Data Administration and Archives personnel agreed to work on a project to gather and organize profile data on databases and systems used throughout the IU system. These data are designed to provide basic information on the state of data management at IU, and will be used in developing a plan for improving data management practices. Finally, beginning in March 2001, Archives staff will begin working with data managers and others to create business process models for the business areas of student admissions and academic advising.

UITS is also working with the University Archives, the School of Library and Information Science, and the School of Informatics to develop courses and course modules for teaching undergraduates and graduate students about electronic records management. This curriculum development is activity supported in part by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


VII. Telecommunications  |  Table of Contents  |  X. Security, Privacy, Intellectual Property

March 2001
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