Between 2009-2011, 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 (now Ontario Library Service)from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2008.
The CDP was a large-scale digitization project designed to strategically develop digital collections about and from Ontario and to build up digitization programs within the public library sector in Ontario and to make the resulting cultural heritage collections available and discoverable online using the VITA toolkit. The CDP objectives were to:
1) increase the amount of digitized content and online access to Ontario’s historical, cultural and community content, and
2) build capacity for digitization programs within public libraries to augment and extend existing digitization services and funding opportunities in Ontario.
Each CDP hub consisted of one or more public libraries, historical societies, museums, archives, and other community organizations. Each hub received digitization hardware and software, in-house expertise and training from an assigned Digitization Facilitator, and one or more Digitization Assistants. Partner organizations used the Our Ontario VITA Digital Collections Toolkit which includes web-based software and web site to create, manage, host and display their digital collections online. CDP partners’ library staff leveraged these resources and in-house expertise to enable and educate their partner organizations to digitize and manage online collections, many of which are still online today.