Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Collaboration Key to Success of the University Libraries’ Grant Projects

Building rich digital collections requires both internal and external collaboration. The evidence is in the successful grant projects that the University Libraries have conducted over the past few years. These projects, which have resulted in a broad range of new digital resources for students, faculty, and researchers, would not have been possible without the coordinated efforts of librarians, archivists, and other personnel throughout various units of the University Libraries, and the valuable input of external collaborators as well.

The successful and timely completions of the latest two projects funded by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants are great examples of the professional interactions within the University Libraries and with outside partners in the creation of new digital research assets and use of emerging media.

The development of the Middletown Women’s History Digital Collection, described in this issue in an article by Amanda A. Hurford and Maren L. Read, was a Librarieswide effort. Its completion by the end of the grant period on June 30, 2009, was a result of the collaborative work of personnel in Archives and Special Collections, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Library Information Technology Services, Metadata and Digital Initiatives, and Public Services. In addition, the Center for Middletown Studies and the Women’s Studies Program were external partners on the grant.

Creation of a virtual Bracken Library in the 3-D world of Second Life, described in this issue by Carolyn F. Runyon, received funding by an LSTA Innovative Library Program grant this year. This project could not have been accomplished without our excellent partnership with the Center for Media Design’s Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts and Animation (IDIAA). The Institute’s director, John A. Fillwalk and Jake Baxter, IDIAA Virtual Worlds Modeler and Animator, provided the critical expertise for building and scripting in Second Life that made the construction of the virtual library possible.

Professor James J. Connolly, Director of the Center for Middletown Studies, and Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections in the University Libraries, worked together to create and curate the virtual exhibits and resources in the Middletown Studies Archives and Library constructed within the virtual Bracken Library.

The LSTA digitization grant project underway for this year is another example of collaboration between the Libraries’ personnel in different units and an external partner. Development of the Delaware County Aerial Plat Maps Digital Collection in the Ball State Digital Media Repository (DMR) is possible through a successful partnership with the Delaware County Auditor’s Office. They supplied the aerial plat maps that are being digitized.

These collaborative grant projects have and will reap digital rewards in the form of new educational, research, and instructional assets and emerging media venues for the students and faculty of Ball State, researchers worldwide, and other users of the University Libraries. Thanks are due to many cooperative individuals within the University Libraries and external partners who make these efforts so successful.

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