In 2009, Our Ontario partnered with more than 30 public libraries and 20 other community organizations from across Ontario to implement the Community Digitization Project (CDP). This unique initiative was provided to Ontarians with funds made available from the $15-million grant to Southern Ontario Library Services and Ontario Library Services North from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2008.

The CDP was a large-scale digitization project designed to build a base of knowledge in public libraries of digitization techniques and best practices to make cultural heritage collections available and discoverable online using the VITA toolkit and Our Ontario support team. The project ran from August 2009 to December 2011.

The purpose of the CDP was to strategically develop digital collections about and from Ontario and to build up digitization programs within the public library sector in Ontario, with the objectives of:

1) increasing the amount of digitized content and online access to Ontario’s historical, cultural and community content, and

2) building capacity for digitization programs within public libraries to augment and extend existing digitization services and funding opportunities in Ontario.

Each CDP partnership consisted of one or more public libraries, as well as other organizations including historical societies, museums, archives, and other community organizations. As part of the CDP, each partnership received in-house expertise and training from an assigned Digitization Facilitator as well as digitization and record creation services from one or more Digitization Assistants. Each partnership was provided with digitization hardware and software. Partnership organizations had access to the Our Ontario VITA Toolkit which includes web-based software and web site for the creation, management, hosting and display of digital collections online. CDP partners’ library staff were instructed to leverage these resources and in-house expertise to enable and educate their partner organizations to digitize and manage online collections.