Monday, July 07, 2008

Finding and registering for digitization-related workshops

I receive comments on blog posts as well as occasional emails from people who want to register for a digitization-related workshop (example, example). Some of the courses that have been offered in the past by various organizations may have been held only once. You'll have to contact the organization directly and ask them if they will hold ever the event again. That also includes the workshops that I do. For example, I did a workshop last month in Seattle, WA, but I don't expect to do one there again.

So how to do find appropriate workshops or courses? None of these methods are perfect, but they may help:
  • Contact the library consortia in your area and ask if they plan on holding a digitization workshop (or perhaps a series of workshops). If they aren't planning any, it could be that your inquiry will prompt them to consider the idea and maybe something will be scheduled.
  • Contact a library and information science graduate program that is near you and ask if they have anything planned. They may offer a semester-long credit course or an non-credit continuing education course. (Some universities offer their courses online, so it could be that you could take a course from a distant university on digitization, e.g., Syracuse, rather than from a university that is close by.)
  • Look for conferences that will be held in your area (e.g., library, content or information related conferences) and see if any of them will be offering pertinent workshops. Conferences generally bring in top workshop presenters and offer those workshops to anyone who wants to attend. I've had people in my workshops who were only attending the workshop and not the conference itself.
  • Talk to an organization in your region that is involved in digitization and ask them if they plan on holding any training sessions for their staff. Perhaps they would be willing to allow other people to attend the sessions, especially if it allowed them to recuperate some of the cost.
  • Approach a group (perhaps a local library group) and offer to help them arrange a workshop as an event. Find a workshop presenter, find a location, and market the event so that the room is full (and your costs are covered). Okay, that sounds too simple, but arranging a workshop is not as difficult as you may think. Market the workshop to the cultural heritage institutions in a 50 - 100 mile radius and any library/iSchools. You might easily attract 30 - 60 people to the workshop.
I think the bottom-line is that even if nothing seems to be scheduled in your area, that doesn't mean that something couldn't be. By contacting groups that offer workshops, you might prompt them to offer one on digitization. Even better -- you might prompt them to offer a series of workshops that include sessions on copyright, conversion, metadata and digitization preservation, for example.

Looking for a workshop? What are you waiting for...start making some calls and see if you can get something started!

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