Indiana Daily Student

More than books online: Digital library expands under new leadership

New permanent director to work with committee to expand services

One day, walking to the library will be obsolete. Yet that day is far off, as the trend of digitizing information from libraries and other sources is still relatively new to many universities and organizations. But the process of putting library information on the Web is not new to IU ' the digital library has been established for four years.\n"We are nationally recognized and we are getting more and more high profile," said Dean of University Libraries Suzanne Thorin. Thorin has been working with the digital library since she came to IU from the Library of Congress in 1996. \nThe program is a joint effort of the IU libraries, the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology, the School of Library and Information Sciences and University Information Technical Services. But until recently the program did not have a director.\nOn Aug. 1, after a national search, Kristine Brancolini was chosen as the new permanent director. She had already been functioning as acting director for several years.\n "Having a national search is always helpful to get the right person for the job," Thorin said. "We realized we had one of the best people right here among us for the job … and that is something to be proud of. She (Brancolini) now moves more into an administrative strategic role as director, and will be hiring a project director in the near future."\nBrancolini is not new to the campus ' in 1983, she began working at the Main Library in charge of media resources. Now, as director, she credits her experience with faculty and students for her success.\n"As a librarian, nothing you learn is ever lost," she said.\nNot only has Brancolini been in the field for 17 years ' she is also a mother of three and a spare-time video producer.\nBrancolini will report about the library to a steering committee: Thorin; Vice President for Information Technology Michael McRobbie; Dean of Library and Information Sciences Blaise Cronin and Copyright Management Center Director Kenneth Crews.\n"Her (Brancolini's) successful track record in building partnerships across campuses and among different departments will be a big plus," McRobbie said.\nThe steering committee hopes to use Brancolini's skills to meet the goal of integrating IU Bloomington's resources with the other campuses. The digital library is also aiming to incorporate and share information with other digital libraries on both the state and national level in the future.\nIU's digital library is a member of the Digital Library Federation, based in Washington, that unites 26 universities in their attempts to digitize information.\n"We also work with the Big 10 consortium of universities on projects," said Perry Willett, head of the Library Electronic Text Resource Service. Willett has worked on digitizing collections since he joined IU in 1992.\nThe digital library is composed of many different collections, which are groups of resources that deal with one topic of information. Current collections on the Web site include a documentation of the Russian Periodical Index, music of Hoagy Carmichael, the work-in-progress Victorian Women Writer's project and others.\n"We have been working on a collection of photos from the IU-Gary campus that document the growth of the U.S. Steel facility there as well as the town," Willett said. "We have also worked on acquiring collections from commercial publishers." There is currently a preview of the U.S. Steel project available on the Web site.\nEventually, students should be able to go to one Web site and search all of the digital libraries around the world for the information they need, Brancolini said.\n"There is a lot of work being done on how to search across the different digital libraries," Thorin said. "In terms of searching for resources, the tools on the Web are inadequate."\n Brancolini said she encourages students to visit the digital library Web site and make use its resources. \n"The digital library is more than just books online … it includes music, photos and many unique resources that can't be found in other places," Brancolini said. "We want students to give us feedback and make sure the library presents information in ways that communicate to them."\nHowever, the walk to the library is still necessary for now, as both Brancolini and Willett assured that conventional libraries will not be disappearing any time soon. \n"Given just the massive amounts of information we have in print, as well as other sources, regular libraries won't disappear any time in the foreseeable future," Willett said.

Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student