March 20, 2018

UK Report: Digitization Coordination Needed

By LJ Staff

Despite the expenditure of some £130 million ($225 million) in public money on creating digital content since the mid-1990s, the projects have been unstructured, piecemeal, and fragmented – and about to be upstaged by Google effort to digitize library books, according to a recent UK report. The report, commissioned by JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and CURL (Consortium of Research Libraries in the British Isles) and based on research undertaken at Loughborough University, recommends a new task force to coordinate national efforts, avoiding duplication and gaps. The report also recommends that user needs be better understood, especially in areas like science and the social sciences

"This is the first attempt from a national perspective to stand back and look at what we have achieved over the last ten years in the digitization field," commented Stuart Dempster, JISC’s digitization program manager. "While the report points to the work that needs to be done, it also highlights the importance of digitized resources to a range of sectors, including education and research." Added Jean Sykes, librarian and director of IT services at the London School of Economics and chair of the JISC digitization working group, "Some excellent digital materials have been created in the last ten years and many information seekers are already benefiting from them. But now it is time to pull things together."