Inge Angevaare has been with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek/National Library of the Netherlands for nine years. Lately, she combined a position as Policy Advisor to the Cataloguing and Processing Division with the responsibility for the Secretariat of UKB, the Dutch Consortium of University Libraries and the National Library. At present she is the coordinator of the newly established Netherlands Digital Preservation Coalition, PO Box 90407, 2509 LK The Hague, The Netherlands, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The joint LIBER/EBLIDA Workshop on Digitisation which was held in Copenhagen in October 2007, covered quite a few strategic issues, and therefore Liber Quarterly is pleased to be able to offer its readers not only some of the papers, but also the conclusions which were drawn after the Workshop and the Recommendations which were offered to the European Commission. Paul Ayris summarises the Workshop and its conclusions in his article, which calls for more co-ordination on a European and, indeed, a world-wide scale – while at the same time asking why libraries are allowing the Googles of this world to take the lead in digitisation. Erland Kolding Nielsen of the Royal Library in Copenhagen covers some of the same ground when he concludes: ‘It is either the state (the public sector) or Google!’
Or is it? Obviously, commercial companies have vastly more financial resources to spend, but the question remains whether the libraries might not use the leverage of their indispensable content for the benefit of their users just a little better, or, as Astrid Verheusen explores in her paper on digitisation projects at the National Library of the Netherlands, organise their own workflow more efficiently to accommodate large-scale digitisation themselves. William Carney of OCLC offers the aid of registries, specifically the DLF/OCLC Registry of Digital Masters, to eliminate redundancy and to focus scarce resources where they are most needed. Despite slow adoption of this aid, Carney predits a bright future for the Registry once registration can be automated. Werner Schwartz emphasizes that visibility by means of registries such as these is likely to increase usage of the digital resources and improve organisations’ chances at securing funding for long-term preservation.
Additional information on the Workshop, including some of the powerpoint presentations which did not result in an article, such as Pat Manson’s interesting ‘Overview of EU Strategies’ can be found at the LIBER website.
Meanwhile, it is becoming evident that LIBER is determined to play a role in constructing a digital Europe for all European citizens, and this determination does not end with one workshop: several follow-up initiatives have been developed: the Pre-conference of LIBER’s Annual Conference 2008 will be devoted to strategic digitisation issues and an informal workshop in May will explore the possibilities of a join-up between the European Digital Library, a project developed by national libraries, and the research libraries of Europe.
In disseminating knowledge and viewpoints, LIBER Quarterly has a role to play in furthering this mission, and as your new Editor I am convinced that LIBER’s cause will be greatly served by free online availability of LIBER Quarterly from the first day of publication as opposed to the current members-only restriction of six months. And such will be my plea before the Board in July.
As of January 1, 2008 LIBER Quarterly is being published online only, and to mark the occasion our publishers, Igitur, Utrecht Publishing and Archiving Services, have redesigned LIBER Quarterly’s layout. Thank you, Marjolijn Tinnemans, for this fresh new look. Igitur is also developing a printing-on-demand facility for annual volumes, which should be implemented by the end of 2008. Further details will be provided by the website.
This first issue of 2008 would of course not be complete without a sincere word of thanks to Trix Bakker, who edited LIBER Quarterly for four years. Thank you, Trix, for all those many hours you put into LIBER Quarterly and for guiding LIBER Quarterly itself so expertly into the digital age.
EBLIDA/LIBER Workshop on Digitalisation, powerpoint presentations, http://www.libereurope.eu/node/261
Igitur, Utrecht Publishing and Archiving Services, http://www.igitur.nl/en/default.htm
LIBER Quarterly, general information, http://www.libereurope.eu/node/108