April 2013, Volume 5, Issue 4
Check Your Calendars!!
School Library Month
National Library Week
Money Smart Week
World Book Night
Featured e-Resources of the Month
World Book Student now available for iPad and Online Resources for English Language Learners
The winding road to digital: making state government publications available online
Everything can be found online! Well, not quite, but the South Dakota State Library is working to make it easier for every SD citizen and beyond to find SD state government publications online.
During the 2012 legislative session, SDCL 14-1A-3 relating to the state publications distribution program operated by the South Dakota State Library, was updated to include digital documents. Previously, state agencies were required to provide a certain number of copies of state-produced publications to the State Library. The law was changed to include digital publications as well. The publications are submitted to the State Library to make them available to the public statewide. Publications are now linked via the statewide library catalog, and they are also Google searchable.
Prior to 2012, the SD State Library received 13 paper copies of state publications from SD state agencies. The types of things we have in our collections include annual reports from state agencies back to the early 1900’s; reports about lakes, road construction, wildlife studies, and lottery revenue; SD state law from territorial days to the present; plus many more topic areas. Now, with the process of digitization, SD citizens will be able to access more and more of these via computer from the comfort of their own homes. In addition, the State Library will be able to preserve historical publications that are deteriorating with age.
So what, exactly, is digitization? To put it simply, digitization transforms the physical to the electronic. This is done through a scanner. The scanner reads the physical document and creates a digital image. Once we have the image, we can use optical character recognition (OCR) software to convert the digital image into text. It’s only after the OCR process that tools like copy/paste or keyword searching can be done with the document.
The South Dakota State Library also ensures that our digital files are accessible by a wide range of adaptive devices by creating a machine readable text document. Once the item has been digitized, has gone through the OCR process and a text document has been created, the digital services staff will create a PDF. The PDF is what will be available in our digital collection. The item will be cataloged, just as physical documents are, and will be uploaded to CONTENTdm, our digital content management system. Metadata is created, the item is uploaded and a link to the work is added to the catalog record. The item can now be accessed by searching the statewide library catalog, the South Dakota State Library digital collection or through Google.
Over the next ten years, the Digital Services staff will work to digitize the South Dakota State Library’s state and historical document collection. High use items will be our first priority, followed by items judged to be in fragile condition.
Current state documents are born digital, meaning that they were created using digital technologies like word processing or publishing software. When an item is born digital, the processing sequence is much shorter. Born digital items are generally given to us as a PDF. The cataloging librarian will create a catalog record for the item, the PDF will be uploaded to our content management system and metadata will be created. Once the item is uploaded to our digital collection, a link is created and placed in the catalog record. Again, the item is able to be accessed by searching the statewide library catalog, the South Dakota State Library digital collection or through Google.
By placing our state documents online, we are increasing access – not only for South Dakota’s citizens, but for the world at large. They are available to everyone with internet access, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. More than one person can use a document concurrently; the item can be downloaded to a portable device or printed at the discretion of the user.
CONTENTdm, our digital content management system, also allows for users to personalize their experience. Users can create their own tags for documents, comment on them, share items through e-mail or social media sites and more.
2013 School Library Survey opens April 1
The School Library Survey will be open from April 1 – May 15 this year. There’s no need to wait until the last day of school to complete the survey. Start early and check it off your “things to do before summer vacation” list right away.
Each district is asked to submit just one survey for all of its libraries. Survey information was sent to superintendents the last week of March. Those with questions or needing login and password information may contact the State Library at 1-800-423-6665; Mary G. Johnson (email or 605-295-3173); or Joan Upell (email or 605-295-3152).