We asked eighty questions over the summer of 2018, and our obliging survey respondents gave us some great answers about how they’re tackling community history, heritage collections, and the demands of the digital age. Thank you to every public library in Ontario that responded!
Now you can read all the results before you join us at our OLA SuperConference presentation next week.
If you’ll be at the Ontario Library Association SuperConference next week, we’re looking forward to discussing our findings and suggestions with you and talking about the next steps we want to take as a community based on what we discovered. Our session is at 9am on Friday February 1st!
- Three-quarters of Ontario public libraries have special collections
- Almost 60% are currently collecting unique materials – 80% through unsolicited donations
- 89% of collecting libraries take in locally relevant materials
36.4% of collecting libraries were digitizing when we asked; 26% have never digitized
- 39% of respondents have digitized under 1,000
items; another third have digitized under 10,000
- 80% of budgets allocate under $5,000/year for digitization
- 85% said their library allocates less than 0.5FTE for digitization work
- Libraries are interested in training on almost everything: digital preservation, imaging, copyright, multimedia conversion, metadata, grant-writing and fundraising, digital storage and access, and “where to start”
You can download our report as a PDF here.
This report is being made available under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 license.
Images used in the report all come from our VITA partners’ digital collections:
- Bibliotheque Publique de Clarence-Rockland – Horse-drawn Carriage, 50th Anniversary
- Clarington Public Library – the Canadian Statesman
- Kanhiote Tyendinaga Territory Public Library – Uncle Albert & Aunt Florence, Children Feeding Chickens, Four Men With a Log Cabin
- London Public Library
- Newmarket Public Library – the Newmarket Era
- Orillia Public Library
- Oshawa Public Libraries
- Thessalon Union Public Library – Brag Lumber Load, Bell Telephone Ladies, Hockey, Haying, Homemaking Club
You can find a copy of the questions we asked in a PDF here. We would like to thank Kendra Morgan and Merrilee Proffitt from OCLC for openly licensing their research; we used some of the questions they asked in Advancing the National Digital Platform: The State of Digitization in US Public and State Libraries in our survey.
Our thanks go to the many people that offered us support and feedback, and especially to SOLS and OLS-N, who generously funded this work. We also want to thank our University of Toronto iSchool student Christine Patullo, who helped us with data cleanup and normalization, and contributed to our conclusions.