For the past sixteen years the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners has offered Digitizing Historical Resources L.S.T.A. grants to public libraries. However, with the creation of the Boston Public Library’s Library for the Commonwealth free digitization program for Massachusetts’ organizations, this grant program became redundant. At the same time, a significant number of smaller institutions across the Commonwealth need some assistance in identifying and preparing appropriate collections for digitization. In 2015, the MBLC began offering L.S.T.A. funding to conduct a town-wide preservation assessment of collections, irrespective of the type of institution, as a first step towards eventually digitizing appropriate collections. The aim is to educate collections’ custodians as to the preservation needs of their collections while identifying potential candidates for digitization. Greater access will then be provided by having those collections arranged and described, digitized, and uploaded to the Digital Commonwealth, which serves as a service hub and gateway to the Digital Public Library of America (D.P.L.A.). Speakers will address the origins of the program and the outcomes from the first year of the project, as well as an introduction to the D.P.L.A. as:
• A stable source of digitized content from multiple hubs like Digital Commonwealth
• A source of great curated content sets
• A source of free e-books through Hathi Trust and FirstBook (for qualifying municipalities)
• A clearinghouse for rights statements for images etc.
Hall: Ipswich T65