Friday, August 29, 2008

Press Release: Some Results from the International Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects

This press release contains a few interesting statistics as well as information on a report that is for sale. Press releases for reports can be useful, since they do give tidbits -- teasers -- that are useful. Sometimes all you need to do is find the press releases about specific reports to learn what you need to know.

The press release arrived in email a bit mangled, so I have reformatted it. I hope that the formatting is appropriate. Emphasis was added in order to point out interesting facts.

Primary Research Group has published: The International Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects, ISBN 1-57440-105-X. The study presents data from more than 100 library & museum digitization programs from academic, public and special libraries and museums in the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, the UK and other countries. The mean annual budget for the digitization projects that contributed to the sample was $122,408, with a range from $0 to $1.963 million. The reports presents data on sources of funding, the outlook for raising money for additional projects, collaboration within and outside of institutions, staffing of
digitization projects, spending on hardware and software, practices on rights, permissions and copyright clearance, outsourcing, staff training, impact of digitization on preservation mediums, cataloging issues, marketing of digitization projects and other aspects of library and museum digitization project management. Data is broken out by size and type of digitization project and by size and type of institution. Data is presented separately for text, photograph, audio, and film/video intensive projects.

Just of few of the report's many findings are that:
  • More than 60% of the funding for the projects in the sample is derived from the library budget itself. For U.S. libraries, close to 64% of funds for digitization projects comes from the library budget.
  • A shade more than 20% of the organizations in the sample believe that the outlook for raising money for digitization projects from outside sources is not favorable, while more than 43% characterize it as "not too bad," more than 32% call it "pretty good" and more than 4% characterize it excellent.
  • More than 53% of the organizations in the sample have teamed up with another department or faculty of the organization to work jointly on a digitization project.
  • The institutions in the sample had a mean of 4.43 individuals who spent at least part of their working day on digitization projects, with a maximum of 20.
  • The organizations in the sample spent a mean of $21,839 on equipment to copy, duplicate, record, photograph, scan or transform content of any kind into digital formats. Median spending was only $3,000 and the range was $0-$330,000.
  • The mean number of hours spent obtaining rights permissions or copyright clearance of the organizations in the sample was 221.04.
  • Nearly 49% of the organizations in the sample outsource some form of digitization, in whole or in part, to an outside party. Museums were more likely than other organizations to do this kind of outsourcing; more than 61% of the museums in the sample outsource some form of digitization to an outside party. Projects that were photographic-intensive were also more likely to describe themselves as being deficient in mastering digitization skills; more than 31% of the organizations in this category said they had a great deal to learn, while another 25% said that they had gotten better but still had a long way to go.
  • More than 61% of the organizations in the sample had some form of digital asset management software. 52% had their own in-house system, while another 9.2% share a system with other departments or divisions of their organization.
  • 44.68% of the organizations in the sample said that digitization had had no impact on their use of microfilming or other preservation mediums.
  • The mean percentage of labor time required for digitization projects that is accounted for by cataloging and metadata tasks is about 37%, with a range of zero to 85%.
  • Only 8.16% of the organizations in the sample had completely outsourced a digitization project to another organization such as a major museum or university that specializes in such projects.
  • 17.7% of the organizations in the sample license or rent use of any aspect of their digital collection to outside parties.
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