Recent figures have shown an explosion in digital material. So what could we librarians do about its management which will benefit the institutions in which we work? Derek Law (once a medical librarian) suggests that we should develop an e-collections policy and organize the management of digital rights for the output of our own institution e.g. their research papers, conference presentations, theses, blogs, wikis, websites, podcasts, reusable learning objects, research data, e-laboratory books, streamed lectures, images, audiofiles, digitised collections, e-archives, e-mail, human resources records, student staff records, corporate publications, national heritage artefacts. Librarians have developed international standards to make books available and we now need to do this for digital material (the Dublin Core Metadata is a start)
As Derek Law says, “it is we who collect and curate the information, not Google – although it may largely have taken over the role of discovery”. I put in the full list above though frankly I wouldn’t know how to start on many of them, what did strike me was that the first two (research papers and conference presentations) would mean getting out of the library and interacting with researchers and faculty.
But first – we need to be the activists in the development of an institution-wide e-collections policy.
From: CILIP Update Jan.2011, p.32-33.