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Happy ½-year anniversary to us

July at the UI Libraries is Annual Report-writing time, with each department submitting a list of statistics, projects, awards, and other accomplishments for possible inclusion in the official end-of-fiscal-year publication. Although DLS has only existed half the year, with much of that time spent on department start-up, we still managed to accumulate a fair amount of bullet points in our list; see below for a full and uncut sneak-preview edition.

One major accomplishment not appearing on the list: surviving June’s professional development tour, with DLS staff attending no less than three library conferences in Knoxville, Chapel Hill and New Orleans. Luckily, as native Midwesterners, we’ve built up considerable tolerance to humidity; this allowed us to brave the climate in order to attend sessions on emerging tools, standards and best practices in digital librarianship. This newly acquired knowledge will help us to improve efficiency and design higher quality, more user-friendly digital projects as we work towards our next milestonetemp.

–Jen Wolfe
Metadata Librarian

Digital Library Services 2005/06  


  • Digital Library Services became fully-staffed and operational on Jan. 1, 2006. In addition to developing departmental infrastructure, plans and procedures, DLS launched the Iowa Digital Library, featuring 16 new and legacy digital initiatives comprising nearly 68,000 digital objects, created in collaboration with UI faculty, staff and community partners. Highlights include:
    The Mujeres Latinas Digital Collection: Working with the Iowa Women’s Archives on their Year of Public Engagement grant-funded project, DLS coordinated the digitization of photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings and audio interviews documenting the family and community history of Iowa’s Latino immigrant population.
    The Irving Weber Digital Collection: With the support of the Iowa City Host Noon Lions Club, DLS digitized the well-known eight-volume local history Irving Weber’s Iowa City, capturing 482 stories from the city’s founding through the 1990s, for inclusion in the Iowa Heritage Digital Collections project.
    The John P. Vander Maas Railroadiana Collection: Seeking to do less with more under tight budgetary constraints, DLS helped coordinate a cross-departmental library initiative, working with Special Collections, Preservation, and Circulation staff members to digitize over 2600 historic photographs documenting the American railroad industry’s progress in Iowa.
  • DLS partnered with Preservation to provide assistance and expertise for participants in the Iowa Heritage Digital Collections, featuring 13,640 digital objects from Iowa museums, historical societies and academic and public libraries. In addition to traveling throughout the state to provide onsite training and support at individual institutions, DLS staff also taught an introductory workshop on digitization at a statewide library conference.
  • Working towards the Libraries’ strategic goal to provide support for changes in scholarly communication, DLS has made progress toward developing electronic publishing initiatives, including:
    –coordinating with the University of Iowa Press to develop a digital collection of out-of-print monographs;
    –working with academic departments to develop an open-access repository for journal articles written by UI faculty and graduate students;
    –providing expertise and technical support to the Writing University Task Force on the development of the Virtual Writing University.