Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It shouldn't be about the money

Thinking about "the holidays" is about to dominate everyone's waking hours. Part of the thinking will be about gift giving and the cost of those gifts. For many people, the amount of money spent on a gift equates to love. If I love you, I'll spend a lot of money on you.

However, in gift giving, it shouldn't be about the money. It should be about what you and the gift recipient value. Some people value simplicity, frugality, gifts from the heart, or hand-made gifts, for example, rather than spending lots of money.

In digitization, it also shouldn't be about the money -- or more correctly -- how cheaply you can have work done. Rather it should be about those things that will be meaningful (valued) long-term. Do you value the work being done correctly and to your specifications? Do you value creating an end-product that is easy for your users/patrons to use? Do you value knowing that what you have built is of high quality and that it will last?

In digitization and digital preservation, do spend your money wisely, but keep in mind that being cheap may be harmful to your program in the long run. Rather than focusing on the money first, focus on the quality that you want to produce. If you find that you don't have enough money for what you have in mind, either find additional funding or re-work your program idea so that it fits into the budget that you have. But do not skimp on quality.

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