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Global Digital Migration: The Survey of Library and Museum Digitization Projects 2011 Edition

Ithaca, NY Collection digitization is a key aspect of preserving the traditionally analog, paper-based scholarly record as societies move towards learning how to preserve and make accessible an increasingly all-digital, all-the-time cultural heritage. The Google Books Project and other partnership efforts are part of a strategy that many academic libraries have adopted to ensure that analog materials are accessible far into the future.

As citizen consumers of digital information we should all wonder how this culturally significant effort is progressing.  The nearly 200 page Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects 2011 Edition published by Research and Markets, a leading source for international market research and market data, provides background and insights into this ongoing worldwide digital migration. The report:

"Looks closely at how academic, public and special libraries and museums are digitizing special and other collections. The study is based on detailed data on costs, equipment use, staffing, cataloging, marketing, licensing revenue and other facets of digitization projects from nearly 100 libraries and museums in the United States, the UK, continental Europe, Canada, and Australia."

For more information:

Table of Contents:

A few highlights:

-Digitization budgets come largely through non-budgetary allocations. The library or museum annual budget accounted for only a little over 35% of the overall digitization budget.

-Prospects for digitization funding in the United States were much better than prospects outside of the USA; about 28.6% of US survey participants considered the outlook pretty good or excellent while only 5.88% of those from other countries shared this optimism.

-The mean annual number of staff hours expended per institution on digitization projects was 2,272 with a range of 0 to 24,000 (or about 12-13 full time employees spending all of their time on digitization projects).

-Only 3.45% of institutions sampled have outsourced rights, permissions or copyright management to any third party.

-Overall survey participants say that over the past three years they have outsourced close to 27% of their overall digitization work.

-Close to 54% of the organizations sampled have some form of digital asset management software and an additional 8.3% share a system with another department or division of their institution.

-14.61% used the servers of some kind of third party service; this was most popular in the USA, where one sixth of respondents used a third party server service for digital content storage

-16.05% of organizations surveyed license or rent any aspect of their digital collection to any party

-Digitizers whose primary medium was music and audio spent 56.25% of their total digitization staff time on cataloging and metadata related issues