Thursday, October 30, 2008

Press release: PALINET Launches Mass Digitization Collaborative

If you are unfamiliar with PALINET, it is:
One of the largest U.S. member-owned and governed regional Library Networks, PALINET represents 600+ libraries, information centers, museums, archives, and other similar organizations throughout Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and beyond.
For those of us not in their region, you may have seen PALINET exhibiting at a conference like Computers in Libraries or heard one of its staff members give a presentation (e.g., Tom Clareson).

The fact that they are starting a mass digitization collaborative is great news.

Press release:
PALINET Launches Mass Digitization Collaborative

Philadelphia, PA, October 21, 2008 — PALINET announces the launch of the PALINET Mass Digitization Collaborative, a project funded by the PALINET membership and supported in part through a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Mass Digitization Collaborative offers PALINET members the capability to contribute important historical and archival materials for digitization as part of a regional digital collection. Through PALINET’s partnership with the Internet Archive, the new digital resources will be shared on the Web, ensuring unprecedented open access to the rare and special library collections of the Mid-Atlantic region.

Catherine C. Wilt, PALINET’s Executive Director, says, “The Mass Digitization Collaborative is an outstanding example of how cultural heritage institutions of all types can work together to build local and regional digital collections for free and open access to all. This effort will result in the availability of 20 million pages of digitized text from PALINET members.” Robert Miller, Internet Archive’s Director of Books, adds, "PALINET is a perfect partner. The extensive academic and research collections of the members combined with our mass digitization infrastructure makes for a great low-cost, high value partnership that will serve as a model for others."

Collaborative participants select unique items from their collections for digitization at regional scanning centers, and add the new digital assets to their online collections. PALINET staff support members throughout the process, as project participants work together to create best practices, standards, and policies. Through participation in the Collaborative, PALINET members create a community of practice dedicated to development of the regional digital collection. For more information on the PALINET Mass Digitization Collaborative, please contact Laurie Gemmill, PALINET’s Digital Services Manager, at or visit

Founded in 1936, PALINET is a member-owned and governed regional library network, representing 600+ libraries and cultural heritage institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Now offering hundreds of products and services from over 80 business partners, PALINET enables members to maximize budgets through group discounts and consortial savings programs. PALINET serves as a premier technology advisor to members, providing access to cutting-edge education and leadership on current innovations and emerging trends. Members access critical new skills, current technology tools, and traditional library skills through the PALINET Education Program, and expert consulting advice in a wide variety of library and management areas. In other initiatives, PALINET facilitates collaborative member projects in digitization, preservation, and resource sharing on national, regional, and statewide levels. For the latest information on PALINET, visit

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