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The revolution will be digitized

As in all other areas of scholarship, the internet has had a transformative effect on libraries and librarianship. While print collections are still the mainstay of the UI Libraries, information is increasingly moving online, resulting in the near ubiquity of the word “digital” – a term that, as researcher Karen Coyle recently observed in The Journal of Academic Librarianship, has succeeded a previous generation’s touchstone of modernity:

“I want to say one word to you. Just one word.”
“Yes, sir.”
“Are you listening?”
“Yes, I am.”
The Graduate, 1967

Unlike Dustin Hoffman’s character, current graduates require no such one-word career advice; they know the future is digital. Today’s students, sometimes referred to as “digital natives,” are well aware of the immediacy and convenience of seeking electronic information on the Web.

Here in Digital Library Services, the Libraries’ newest department, we’re working towards enhancing electronic information with two additional characteristics: permanence and accessibility. By transferring expertise developed over decades of modern library practice to maintain print scholarship, DLS seeks to support the University’s commitment to electronic scholarship by creating digital collections that are searchable, trustworthy and long-term.

To this end, we’re providing scholars on campus and around the world with access to the University’s rich collections of research materials, such as the internationally known Dada archive, the locally renowned Irving Weber materials, and the previously undocumented Mujeres Latinas collection.

Stay tuned for more information, and please visit the Iowa Digital Library frequently to watch us grow.

–Jen Wolfe
Metadata Librarian