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Resource Sharing Council – Statewide Digitization Committee

Wyoming Digitization Planning Committee Meeting
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Emerson Building, Room 223
2001 Capitol Avenue (2 blocks South of the State Library) Cheyenne


Committee Members: Ara Anderson, Kevin Anderson, Steve Boss, Lesley Boughton, Frances Clymer, Tami Hert, Erin Kinney, Tina Lyles, Lee Miller, Lori Phillips, Dan Schiedel, Mark Shelstad, Rich Wilson. Venice Beske
Guest: Terry Dugas, Sharon Kahin, Dave Marcum


Newspapers The Wyoming State Library in partnership with UW Libraries, the State Archives and the Wyoming Press Association plans to digitize the Wyoming newspapers from 1849-1922. Lesley Boughton discussed this project including the reasons why we did not apply for the NEH Newspaper Grant. Handouts were given to the committee. A work group has been created and will be making the final plans for the project between now and March 31. Committee members may be asked to submit letters of support with the proposal that is presented to Senator Enzi's office.

NebraskaStudies (Wyoming Chronology)
We began this discussion by talking about the IMLS grant that is going to be available for development of a project similar to what Nebraska has done. Dan Schiedel introduced Terry Dugas from Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET) He discussed the creation of the web site. Highlights included:

  1. The site includes 4000 images from the Nebraska State Historical Society and 1500 pages of text.
  2. Items were scanned at 72 dpi for the thumbnail displays and 150 dpi for the large image display. Nebraska State Historical Society did the scanning and they have the archival TIFF images.
  3. Multiple formats are used including videos from the archives of NET
  4. The project took 4500 hours to create including 1400 hours, project manager, 650 hours for the web design; 550 hours for graphics. In all, 21 people for 2 years.
  5. They paid a writer $10,000.00; paid teachers to develop lesson plans. They also have focus groups of teachers who they meet with 3 times/year.
  6. The site was rolled out in modules.
  7. Limited metadata was used. They used keywords that would be found via Google searches.
  8. The database was built in Access. It can hold 10,000 images. They are going to make a transition to MYSQL
  9. The web page was built using frames. Terry advised us not to do this.
  10. Between May 2003 and May 2004 there was a 300% increase in usage. Their measure for success is "unique visitors." During that time, there were 173,000 unique visitors to the site and they accessed an average of 9 pages. 30% were referred by search engines.
  11. The initial project was funded by the Nebraska Department of Education.
  12. The ongoing project includes basic upkeep and developing a business plan for additional revenue.
  13. Terry suggested that the first thing we need to address is who the end user is going to be. Who is the target audience? Education?
  14. Terry also talked about the need for promotion. He recommended that dollars be built into a grant for promotion.

Following Terry's presentation, the committee had a discussion about what to do next. A work group was formed to study the possibility of creating a Wyoming equivalent to the "Nebraska Studies" project. The work group will also explore whether to apply for the IMLS grant.

Wyoming Portal

Dave Marcum proposed that we develop a "portal" to Wyoming digital resources. Everyone agreed that this was an excellent idea. Discussion followed as to whether the "Wyoming Chronology" project should be the center of the portal but the consensus was that the since so many resources already exist, the portal should simply list all of them and act as a statewide clearinghouse. A work group was created to design a portal. The University of Wyoming Libraries will host the site.

The committee also discussed what to call the portal (and the whole project) Some of the names suggested were:

Discover Wyoming Gateway Wyoming
Sense Wyoming Wyoming Paths
Wyoming EqualityYour Wyoming
Explore Wyoming My Wyoming
Wander Wyoming MyWY
Gone to Wyoming Virtual Wyoming
Digital Wyoming Wyoming Portal
Wyoming Virtual Gateway On Wyoming
WyomingscapesWyoming Pathways
Wyoming Stories Wyoming Heritage
Wyomingwebstories Wyoming Wonderful
Big Wonderful Wyoming Wyoming Living History
Scouting Wyoming Why WY?
Wyoming Scout
Wyoming Gateway

The committee could not reach a consensus on what to call the project so naming will become part of the Portal Work Group's task. The group did agree that the name should be short, sharp, imply "virtual," and stand for a "representation of some cool stuff."

Wyoming State Digitization Plan
The committee also reviewed the proposed plan. Suggested changes have been made and an updated plan will be mailed to the committee. Members are encouraged to make additional comments on the plan.

Next Steps

Three other work groups were also created with the goal of having their assigned tasks completed by March 31, 2005. The work groups include 1) Metadata standards (review and determination of metadata standards that will be used by all content providers) 2) Scanning Standards (review and determination of scanning standards that will be used by all content providers) 3) Wyoming Thesaurus (Wyoming specific names that will be used by all content providers in creating metadata)

In conclusion, the goals of the committee from November 2004 through March 2005 are:

  1. Develop a Wyoming Portal to all digital projects and the work of the statewide committee
  2. Develop standards that all participants will use
  3. Develop Wyoming thesaurus that all participants will use
  4. ID funding sources and do further planning of the Wyoming Chronology and Wyoming Newspaper Projects
  5. Study the possibility of creating an endowment for the ongoing funding of digital projects in Wyoming

The next meeting of the full committee will be in April 2005.

Thank you to all of you who attended and contributed to this meeting. A special thanks to Terry Dugas for attending and sharing his insights.

Separate documents:

  1. Wyoming Statewide Digitization Committee Members
  2. Wyoming State Digitization Plan Work Groups
  3. Wyoming State Digitization Plan (Updated 11/16/2004)
  4. Wyoming Newspaper Project Proposal

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