Taking Advantage of Open-Access Digitized Books

Posted: January 23, 2009 in ala midwinter 2009, conferences, e-book, ebook, ils, opac
Tags: , , ,

I’m sitting in the Innovative Users Group meeting at ALA Midwinter.

The first speaker, Jeffrey Beall (Auraria Library, University of Colorado, Denver) did an interesting presentation on making freely-available open access e-books available through the OPAC. This project builds on the work done by the University of Michigan and Google by providing OPAC records linking to thousands of digitized books. This also draws on work done by the HathiTrust Digital Repository.

This project ultimately resulted in approximately 100,000 new records in the system. This represents potential online access to 100,000 additional full-text items.

Jeffrey pointed out some advantages and disadvantages of this project.

Advantages
Access to great content through the OPAC
Reap the benefits of years of UMich collection development
Collocated with other library resources
Fills gaps in the collection
Gives easier access to material in obsolete and unpopular formats (like microform)
Free

Disadvantages
Content controlled by others, may disappear
Poor metadata quality may make using catalog more difficult

A Big Question
What’s more important: access to great content with bad metadata, or access to fewer resources with good metadata?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s