DIGITIZATION INITIATIVES: A RECONNAISSANCE OF THE GLOBAL LANDSCAPE
The International Association of Technological University Libraries (IATUL)
Digitization has become quite a buzzword around libraries and library organizations. Conferences, symposia and workshops on digitization are becoming more popular and many general conferences feature a technology or digitization track. A factor contributing to the popularity of digitization is that the technology required for basic digitization is very affordable. It is therefore not uncommon to find an under funded enthusiast doing excellent work, making content available through a free hosting service on the Internet and using only a simple digital camera and/or scanner, bought for a couple of hundred dollars. The proliferation of local digitization initiatives great and small is noticeable, however, sometimes they are brought together to be presented to the internet user as a part of bigger initiatives. There are also the mega projects such as Google Book Search and the Open Content Alliance. When these examples (small localized projects and mega-projects) are viewed as the extremes on a continuum, there are a wide variety of initiatives, varying in scope, which can be found in-between. Questions this paper attempts to answer are: What does the global digitization landscape look like? How well represented are the countries with developing economies? What is being done in non-Roman alphabet languages? The initiatives are generally dealt with in a superficial way; the paper is meant to provide an overview in breadth rather than depth.
A presentation at the 29th IATUL Conference, 21 - 24 April 2008. Conference theme: Digital Discovery: Strategies and Solutions. AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.
digitization digital library global