Monday, April 24, 2006

Article: Six Lessons Learned: An (Early) ARTstor Retrospective

Max Marmor, from ARTstor, writes about their experience and the lessons they have learned. He feels that the six key lessons are:
  1. the feasibility and importance of building a campus-wide resource that engages users across a range of disciplines without being balkanized into narrow, discipline-specific collections;
  2. the importance, when it comes to digital images, of providing tools for teaching and research;
  3. the ramifications of such a resource for "buy vs. build"” decisions on the part of libraries and other campus entities;
  4. the trade-offs entailed by building valued, "“user-driven"” collections while also striving to accommodate a strong interest in interoperability with other collections and services;
  5. the (perhaps unique) complexities surrounding contemporary art;
  6. the challenge represented by the lack of appropriate assessment metrics for online resources that support both research and classroom teaching.
This stood out to me:
Users want to do things with digital images. "“Read only"” is not enough. They want to assemble images, often in huge numbers, to shuffle and re-shuffle them into unpredictable and unanticipated permutations, to sift and filter them in sometimes indiscernible ways, and then to actively use them in teaching, learning, and research.
As the Pew Internet and American Life project has found, people are creating things online. "Online" is an active medium. So we can't just assume that people will just want to look at our stuff; we must realize that they want to use them. It's in our best interests to give them the tools to do that. We also need to give them guidance on what uses are not acceptable.

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