Friday, July 01, 2005

July 1...July 4...July 14...digitization?

Today -- July 1 -- is Canada Day when Canadians celebrate their heritage. July 4 is Independence Day in the U.S. July 14 is France's national holiday (often called Bastille Day among English speakers). The celebrations on July 4 and 14 are tied to revolutions and civil war. It is easier to start a war in the summer, than in the winter, yet it is in the winter when many hard battles are fought. (And perhaps in the winter when the civil wars are planned.)

So what does this have to do with digitization? Easy -- timing.

If you are considering a digitization project, look at the calendar. What else is lurking in the future that could interfere with the project? What will you need to schedule around or at least be mindful of? When are all of the holidays and vacations? And finally...

When can you set aside time to plan? And...when can you set aside time to actually do the project? Perhaps the best time to do the digitization is not in the summer when everyone is on vacation (and when the humidity may be high and cause problems), but in the winter when everyone is in the office. And maybe the time to plan is in the summer when you can vet those ideas with colleagues at conferences?

And let's not forget those cycles that are created by funding agencies. Some seem to be on an opposite schedule that us (giving out grants in the spring when we're looking forward to summer vacations). Factor in the impact that those funding agencies will have on your calendar and on the project's timing.

As someone as said, timing is everything. There is also the saying that everything has a season. Both are indeed true with digitization projects.

If you are in the U.S. or Canada, have a wonderful holiday weekend!

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