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  • Subject Name : Digital Curation (Information Management)

Digital Curation of Library


Digital curation gives a very significant concern in libraries. The sheer volume of information that the libraries hold in unsurmountable. Libraries are into the service industry and the information is provided to the end users. In the era of technology, libraries are on crossroads. Traditional needs for the library are being taken over by the modernity (Oliver & Harvey, 2016). Libraries are also engaging in producing the content that is digital in various formats and over time the concept of physical documents and interactions is being replaced by the internet dependent services by adding value services.

Libraries require to do so as presently digital data is supposed to cross 40 trillion gigabytes by the end of 2020 (Rasmuseen, 2018). If digital curation does not take place of libraries than library has to store this amount of data with them and then manage it accordingly.

Digital curation refers to an activity that has digital content and the usability of that contain is retained. There are various change that happens like temporal, social, and financial or any other irrespective of that the content is secured. It is a process that helps in maintaining digital information in such a manner that it is reusable and accessible over the period of time (Moran, Feltham & Love, 2019). Digital preservation is one of the component of digital curation process. Online dictionary for information has helped in defining the digital curation as an active enhancement and management for trustworthy research data. According to a repost by University of Edinburgh, U.K., Digital curation maintains and preserves the digital data of research throughout the lifecycle.

Digital Curation Initiative

Library curation requires various initiatives that are to be taken. The first will be to do a curative collecting. Google books, HathiTrust and Amazon are certain sites that already publish online books. Nobody would like to curate a book that is already curated. So, it will be a better initiative to get contributions from the large scale digitizers. Also, research should be done to see which books are emerging with the protection of copyright and then a list should be created for the digitized work.

Once this is done the method for providing the access to the books will be decided. This is an initiative that libraries can take by selecting the lending or buying option (Shivarama et al, 2018). They can create an Internet archive digital e-book that is mirrored with the practices of digital library. The technical method can allow only one reader at a time for a particular book. With that a catalogue for e-books should be created so that users can find it easy to get the books.

Another initiative for curation that should be taken includes distributed preservation. Creating digital copies and keeping them at other places will make sure that data is always available. This will help in ensuring the longevity of the data.

Strategic Need for Digital Curation of Libraries

Time is changing and people are moving towards online sources for references or reading. Traditional libraries in the process are losing their essence. People do not like to visit libraries and also at times libraries are not in reach. Thus, digital curation will bring all the people closer to library. Every person nowadays is active online and digitalized library will bring more people into the library. So, digitizing a library is the strategic need of the hour.

Target Groups

The main focus will be on students as they are the ones who surf for books, journals the most. Digitalized library will get them easy access. The other people will be the reader who like to invest their time on reading will be targeted.

Tools and Mechanism that Will Be Used

The tools and mechanism the can be used for digital curation of library includes:

Scoop.it: It is a content platform and also provide content curation service. This provides a platform to the users for finding the data on the topic of their interest. On the site people can publish their web pages and publish their blogs. This site can be used as a tool in collecting the data. Various people who are publishing content can get it stores in the library and let it get used by the public.

Pinterest: This is also a site that allows users to publish their data in images or video. Libraries can include these data too. Most of the people refer to images and videos for researching or reading. This will enhance the data in the library that is free and also will bring in more people to the library site.

BagTheWeb: BagTheWeb helps curation of content on the web. Any topic can be selected and a bag can be created for storing the data related to that topic. Among all other curation tools BagTheweb enables the user for building various networks of bags. Bags across can be linked and a complete and rich information can be provided with respect to the topic. This will help libraries in having extensive knowledge related to various topics.

Technology and Funding for Internet Archives

There are super scanning centers for digitalizing the books that are in millions of number and with this around cost will be reduced for about 50-60%. This is important for a library and they have to use this tool in digitizing the books that are old and it will help in in keeping the books that are centuries old (Chen & Tsay, 2017). They are required to get a partner tool and digitize all the books that are available in the library.

Appropriateness of Digital curation tools and features

Preservation of content for long term: Digital curation tools will help the data in being preserved for the long term and the data will be available in a digitalized manner. The books that are centuries old can also be preserved through these tools

Key for re-use and reproducibility: Digital curation tools will help in reproducing the data again and again. The person looking for the data can find it easily online and also it can be checked as and when required. There will be no timings as traditional libraries.

Connect with the people of similar interest: These tools will help get connected with people of the same interest. A topic can be defined and on that various people will be providing their views (Drowning, 2019). All the views can be collected and people can get connected with each other through that topic. It will lead to healthy and good discussion helping in procuring better data.

Bookmarklet feature: The tools provide a feature where the person searching will get to content and also they can curate the content dynamically while they are browsing for the things.

Allows to publish information in a continuous manner: The information can be updated and presented continuously. A person writing on the tools can update the blog with the latest information or research done by him. Also, various information can be covered by the users and they can publish on various topics. They can update on regular basis or the time they want to. Tools provide them the ease of publishing the data according to their feasibility.

Thought leaders: these tools for curation of library can help the users become thought leaders. There are variety of information that will be accessible to user and with that they can procure their own thoughts. Their thought will be read by various people and if the idea is liked they can become the thought leaders. They can present their view separately and publish it accordingly for varied uses.

These are certain tools and their features with respect to digital curation on libraries that can be implemented and better results can be brought it in the process of curation.

Introduction of Initiatives

Starting a curation process is not an easy task. Before introducing the curation there are certain things that are to be checked:

  • Tools to be designed and examined carefully: Tools are required to be examined thoroughly. During the time of introduction of curation, it should be checked whether the tools are appropriate or not. Will they be able to do the task or not. In the process will the tools be apt or not. This will help in defining the appropriate method of launching the process of curation.

  • Digital data remain accessible and also reusable: At the time of introduction initiative it should be checked that data is being digitalized in a manner that it remains usable and accessible (Higgins, 2018). Also, it should be seen that it does not get exhausted once it is used or seen.

  • Education of user: For introducing the initiative of digital curation, it becomes necessary that user and the person who is curating the data are educated enough to do so. User should know how to utilize the data while the curator should be aware about the information they are creating.

Risks in Implementing the Digital Curation

Skills of the staff of library: This is a vital risk that is faced at the time of curation. If the staff of library are not skilled enough, the process of curation will hamper. The staff has to manage the data and the credentials and also the views for a particular book. With that they also has to make sure that books are digitalized and the content is being developed online (Poole, 2016). These are the basic skills that are required in the staff of the library so as to manage the curation process. But, if the skills of the staff are not appropriate or the people are not aware much about digitalization than it will pose a threat for development of data.

User’s education: Users education also contributes to the risk in the curation process. Users need to be fully aware with respect to the process and steps of entering a library. Also, they are required to provide accurate thoughts or ideas if they are publishing their content. So, if the user is not educated enough than it will pose a threat as wrong information will be curated. There are chances that user won’t be able to fully utilize the information that is available in the library.

Format evolution of storage and obsolescence: Proactive approach is required for digital procuration, Social trends that are depending on technologies keeps changing. The changes with respect to the rapid progression in technology will require mitigating the holdings of assets from one format to another so that obsolescence does not make the assets or software unusable.

Opportunities in Future for Digital Curation

There are wide range of opportunities or activities that are suitable and can be deployed within the environment of cloud. A model for Infrastructure as a service can be created and provided for better services of software and in a specialized manner. Also, there is a scope with regards to development and skills set that can be developed for the researcher and also the professional of information. These are certain opportunities that lies ahead and in this manner a more developed digital curation process can be developed accordingly.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Digital curation us a method that helps in preservation of contents for a longer duration. It helps in creating a digital version of the specific project. Library is one such institution that requires digitalization as there is vast amount of knowledge that is present there. To keep this information and generate new information digital curation provides a way. There are various tools like scoop.in, Pinterest, BagTheWay that can be used for creating information. By these tools a better platform can be created for sharing information.

Thus, it is recommended that libraries should be digitalized as this will improve the reach of libraries to people and also it will help in storing the information for ages.


Chen, C. M., & Tsay, M. Y. (2017). Applications of collaborative annotation system in digital curation, crowdsourcing, and digital humanities. The Electronic Library. Retrieved from: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/EL-08-2016-0172/full/html

Downing, M. E. (2019). Book Review: Digital Curation for Libraries and Archives. Technical Services Quarterly, 36(4), 420.

Higgins, S. (2018). Digital curation: the development of a discipline within information science. Journal of Documentation. Retrieved from: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JD-02-2018-0024/full/html

Moran, J., Feltham, F., & Love, V. (2019). Building an Aotearoa New Zealand-wide Digital Curation Community of Practice. Retrieved from: http://www.ijdc.net/article/view/638

Oliver, G., & Harvey, R. (2016). Digital curation. American Library Association. 

Poole, A. H. (2016). The conceptual landscape of digital curation. Journal of Documentation. Retrieved from: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JD-10-2015-0123/full/html

Rasmussen, K. B. (2018). Digital curation after digital extraction for data sharing. IASSIST Quarterly, 42(3), 1-2.

Shivarama, J., Kumar, A., Choukimath, P. A., & Deepak, A. B. (2018). Data Repository and Digital Curation for Futuristic Libraries: A Boon for Pragmatic Digital World. Library Herald, 56(1), 92-104.

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