Pulling Content out the Back Door: Creating an Interactive Digital Collections Experience

Pulling Content out the Back Door: Creating an Interactive Digital Collections Experience

Amy J. Hunsaker (University of Nevada – Reno, USA), Natasha Majewski (University of Nevada – Reno, USA) and Laura E. Rocke (University of Nevada – Reno, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2676-6.ch010
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Abstract

The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries is building a project and assessment-based organization that utilizes applications to increase the discovery of digital collections, enhances the online user experience, supports a growing Digital Humanities measure on campus, and encourages faculty and students to create projects using digital curation and various existing tools. A GeoHumanities Digital Project Specialist and Digital Humanities Historian were added to the library organization to create interactive exhibits. ESRI software was employed to create place-based storytelling using digital content held by CONTENTdm, CatDV, and other library platforms. By reimagining how we use such tools at our disposal, we can create new ways of interacting with information to create innovative ways for our patrons to re-engage with our materials.
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Background

The UNR Libraries organization has gone through substantial shifts in the last few years. Although the Library does not have a large staff, personnel have been hired for new and existing positions, work groups have been created to tackle various tasks, and clusters handle projects that require various systems and skillsets. Part of the reorganization of the Libraries include the addition of an Assessment Librarian, Metadata Librarian, GIS Librarian, and Digital Initiatives Librarian. The Assessment Librarian has been instrumental in assisting with web and application development by designing and implementing methods to better understand how users experience digital content. Armed with a variety of assessment strategies, staff have used evidence to inform the design of web tools that are more intuitive, attractive, and consistent with users’ work practices and preferences. Usability studies, which will be discussed later in this chapter, informed the most recent iteration of the Library website and Digital Collections interface. The Metadata Librarian provides support across departments by guiding the creation of non-MARC metadata in various systems so that content is easier to access in the web framework. Formatting and metadata standards within and across collections have been an important aspect of content interacting with the new website. In addition, the Metadata Librarian has been instrumental in organizing and making discoverable content held by the Digital Media Technology unit in the Libraries that supports campus photographers and videographers. UNR is deeply rooted in the physical sciences and hosts the prestigious Mackay School of Mines. A GIS Librarian was hired to meet the increasing demand for GIS support and instruction in the physical science departments and to also support the Delamare Science and Engineering Library Makerspace. The GIS Librarian has been instrumental in making geospatial tools and software available for students and faculty use while also offering technical support and training.

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