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ERIC Number: ED495804
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jan
Pages: 153
Abstractor: ERIC
Status of Technology and Digitization in the Nation's Museums and Libraries
Institute of Museum and Library Services
This report investigates current trends in libraries and museums regarding the use of digitization and other technologies. In 2001, the Institute of Museum and Library Services conducted the first-ever study of the status of new technology adoption and digitization in the nation's museums and libraries. The baseline study identified pockets of digitization activity and planning that were making library and museum collections widely available. While gaps existed between large and small institutions, basic technologies had found their way into a majority of libraries and museums. This second study seeks to dig deeper and find out more about how and why our cultural institutions use technology and digitize their collections. It explores barriers as well as capacity and planning issues. The 2004 survey was conducted among five groups: museums, public libraries, academic libraries, archives, and state library administrative agencies. This survey report tells us statistically about the kinds of technology in use, the extent of digitization activities, and the adoption, maintenance, funding of, and staffing for technology and digitization activities at museums and libraries. Among the key findings: (1) Small museums and public libraries have made dramatic progress, although they still lag behind their larger counterparts; (2) Libraries and museums are putting services and activities online to manage their institutions and provide enhanced public service; (3) Insufficient funding and staff time are barriers to implementing technology; (4) Assessment of user and visitor needs is strongest among academic libraries and state library administrative agencies and weak among other groups; (5) Digitization activities have increased for all groups, with state library administrative agencies and archives leading the way; (6) While more institutions have digitization policies in place than was the case in 2001, many institutions that are digitizing do not have digitization policies; (7) With a substantial number of materials left to digitize, institutions are held back by lack of funding, lack of staff time, and other pressing priorities; (8) While collaborative digitization efforts are underway, they are not yet widespread; and (9) Only a small portion of museums and libraries assess user and visitor needs for digitized collections and services. Survey instruments are appended. (Contains 160 figures.)
Institute of Museum and Library Services. 1800 M Street NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802. Tel: 202-653-IMLS; Fax: 202-653-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A