I think it would be fair to say that those responsible for visual resources within a library setting do a wide variety of related tasks as well. Whether this is copyright advice or digitising analogue material, the role has changed significantly in recent years. With this in mind I have written a ‘Day in the Life of …’ account to share what my typical day consists of. Enjoy!
A Day in the Life of … A Digital Imaging Officer
8:50am – Arrive at work after whizzing down the A31 trying not to be distracted by the spectacular mist across the rolling countryside on the Hampshire and Surrey border.
9:00am – Sit down at my desk situated in the Digitisation Unit (DU) based in the Elaine Thomas Library, UCA Farnham. Check emails. Check the online booking system to see if a student or member of staff has booked the scanners or photography equipment in the DU. One request flags up, a 2nd year student on the Interior Architecture & Design degree course has booked the A2 scanner for 2:30 this afternoon. Answer a handful of emails, ranging from a copyright query from the SU wanting to know the legal implications of setting up a Film Club, to one from our Archivist asking if DU staff can scan some animation cels for her.
10:00 am – Digitise a VHS tape on the encoder. An academic has requested a TV programme from the early 1990s, a television adaptation of The Duchess of Malfi, needed for a teaching session on the Creative Writing course. VHS has already been retrieved from the library collection and once digitised will be accessible via our streaming service. (We still have a collection of over 7000 VHS!!!!).
11:00 am – Coffee from the new library coffee cart!
11:10 am – With digital camera in tow, head down to the university gallery to photograph the current exhibition. Once photographed return to the DU and upload the images to the University’s image database. Add metadata.
12:00 pm – Meeting with library staff responsible for providing accessible copies to students with disabilities. Discussed proposed changes to Disability Support Allowance (DSA) and also discussed related changes in UK copyright law that now permit more formats to be adapted for accessibility reasons.
1:00 pm – Lunch.
2.00 pm – Having received a query from an academic, investigate ways of digitising microfilm on the Internet.
2:30 pm – Student arrives to use the A2 scanner. Give brief induction. Student wants to scan some large-scale inspiration boards she has been working on with her fellow students.
3.00 pm – Digitise microcassettes for the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). As well as supporting UCA students and staff, the DU manages a commercial enterprise called Access Digital http://www.access-digital.co/. Recently we took on a large-scale job for MERL, digitising microcassettes that hold interviews with Samuel Beckett’s family and closest friends. The interviews discuss the poet and playwright’s life in great detail. These microcassettes had previously been unavailable to researchers as there are no facilities at MERL to play these tapes. Furthermore, from a preservation perspective, these analogue tapes will eventually deteriorate and MERL were keen to safe guard the collection. The revenue generated from this project is invested back into the DU and consequently contributes to supporting students and staff at UCA.
4:30 pm – Having received a list of forthcoming TV broadcasts that the Collection Development Librarian would like recorded, I program our in-house streaming service to record over the weekend.
5:00 pm – Save all digital files to the DU network drive as well as the local drives. Switch off all the equipment.
5:15 pm – Head for home.
Lisa Moore has worked at UCA University Library for over five years specialising in visual resources. Prior to working at UCA she was employed by the Surrey History Centre digitising archives for preservation and archive reasons. While working at SHC Lisa also received comprehensive training in the correct handling of archive material. Lisa comes from an arts background having attained a 1st class degree in Three Dimensional Design and a masters in Contemporary Craft at The Surrey Institute of Art and Design. Lisa is currently studying by distance learning for a PgDip in Library and Information Studies from Aberystwyth University. Follow on Twitter @UCAdigitisation.
Nice article on UCL’s blog from Margaux Bricteux, UCL student intern at the Grant Museum. She has been delving into dusty wooden boxes to clean, sort and audit thousands of lantern slides. Margaux also includes a link to a rather wonderful 1947 film on how to make handmade lantern slides, courtesy Indiana University.
Great news from the Met who are sharing hi-res images of their public domain works, including for use in academic publications. Read all about the Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) initiative here: http://metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/press-room/news/2014/oasc-access
“The Art of Seeing: teaching visual literacy in the library and classroom”: ARLIS VRC event, 5th JuneMay 14, 2014
In recent years museum educators, librarians, visual resources curators and University tutors have been developing workshops and talks aimed at helping their users develop the set of abilities often referred to as Visual Literacy. Visual literacy skills are immediately relevant to art and design students but there will be a chance at this event to hear also about sessions that were developed for wildly different groups such as student doctors and members of the New York police. Speakers from UK Universities will describe some of the interesting Visual literacy sessions they deliver to their students and we will learn about the variety of aims and objectives that led to these new kinds of teaching sessions. At lunchtime there will be an expert from JISC Digital Media to take questions about Image Copyright and at the end there will be an open forum giving everyone ample opportunity to question and discuss with speakers issues and ideas that have come up during the course of the day.
For full programme details and booking form go to the ARLIS Workshop & Events page
British Pathé have recently announced that they have released all of their footage for free in YouTube: