Monday, November 16

Collections Digitization

(Photo : Cam Hart workshop leader) 
A number of years ago when I was still teaching in the Film and Video Department at the University of Regina, I asked a student who had been in my 200 level production class and was, after 4 years of study, about to graduate, what he had learned. He simply said “I learned to focus.”
Through the years the word “focus” has stayed with me.

 If you asked me what I learned from the Introduction to Collections Digitization Workshop held recently in Saskatoon, it would  be the need to “focus.” Too often when I attend workshops I think I have to do everything, implement everything I have heard at that particular workshop.   I become overwhelmed, then I remember  the word “focus.”   I am not alone. Each of our little museums has a board of directors and we need to “focus.” 

The workshop gives us directions, but we need to decide where to go, how much we can achieve, and lay out a plan before we begin. The word POLICY has always put me into a panic, but suddenly I realized that a policy assists in giving “focus.”

What does our museum feel is critical to digitize? Why is it critical? For what purpose are we doing it? How will we do it? How will we use it in the future? How will future generations access the information as technology changes? Will our digitized information be corrupted and be unaccessible?
I began to realize that by asking questions it would help us “focus” on our needs. The workshop gave us basic technical information, online resources, software available, hardware and equipment needs etc, but it is up to each of us to “focus.”

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