Your Name and Title: Frederick Zarndt

Library, School, or Organization Name: Global Connexions, Californai Digital Newspaper Collection, Vassar College, Cambridge Public Library

Co-Presenter Name(s): Brian Geiger, Joanna DiPasquale, Alyssa Pacy

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: San Diego, California USA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Owners and builders of digital library collections

Short Session Description (one line):

Library digital collections dwell in Internet obscurity because libraries are like a museum that spends all its money buying art and then sticks the paintings in supermarket bags and lean them against the wall (paraphrased from Nat Torkington).  We show you how to hang your digital collections on the wall under a bright light.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):  

How do your cultural heritage organization’s digital collections fare in search rankings?  Assuming your collections have newspapers from 1915, will a Google search for information about the “Battle of Gallipoli” return results?  At the April 2012 Bibliothèque nationale de France International Newspapers Conference, one of the authors examined web traffic rankings and search results for digital newspaper collections at libraries around the world.  Both traffic rankings and search results showed that content in cultural heritage organizations’ digital collections dwell in Internet obscurity (http://bit.ly/parisinternationalnewspapers).

In this session we re-visit these rankings and results, examining what it means for a digital collection to be successful.  Is success only about page views, unique visitors, and bounce rates?  

Paraphrasing Trevor Owens blog[1], if the mission of a cultural heritage organization is more than random users flipping through the pages of its digital collections, how does one encourage and measure community engagement?  Is crowdsourcing “the single greatest advancement in getting people using and interacting with library collections”?

We describe simple methods some organizations are using to market their collections and engage their users by combining a balanced mix of digital, social and print media and leveraging their primary marketing tool, the collection itself.


[1] Paraphrased from Trevor Owen’s blog http://www.trevorowens.org/2012/03/crowdsourcing-cultural-heritage-... (accessed June 2013).

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: 

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