The recent LIBER-EBLIDA workshop on digitisation of library material in Europe explored some important challenges facing national and university libraries across the continent as they attempt to join together to deliver a “European Digital Library”.
In this podcast interview Paul Ayris, librarian at University College London and a senior figure in these European developments, depicts a fragmented European digitisation landscape and calls for more strategic pan-European vision and leadership. He asks a number of challenging questions of the library community, including how the role of libraries has to be re-thought not just as custodians of collections but also as learning and social spaces.
Ayris points out how Google has changed the way people think of, access and use resources, and libraries can learn from more direct and innovative models of introducing change.
In the UK, JISC is providing an infrastructure and leadership in funding digitisation projects and encouraging collaborations.
A look through the currently funded JISC digitisation projects will reveal how these collections differ from the type of digitisation Google is doing, by focusing on special collections with a variety of different formats and types of material, spanning centuries, and with a high degree of curatorial input.