Maintaining digital collections with declining resources, fewer staff

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe methods for restructuring workflows and efficiently using staff members and volunteers to continue work on multiple, simultaneous digital collections as budgets and resources decline. Design/methodology/approach: This paper describes one library’s varied approaches to several digital collections supported by literature or volunteers in libraries. Findings: In the face of continually declining resources and new, time-sensitive priorities and compliance responsibilities, librarians can continue to maintain digital collections by modifying workflows, using the services of volunteers and communicating strategically. Practical implications: This paper is relevant to librarians, archivists and others who are looking for ways to justify and capitalize on the use of unconventional personnel in digital collections programs. Originality/value: This paper presents a case of the successful use of volunteers to accomplish digital collections-related tasks in an academic library and provides a communication-based strategy for addressing some of the challenges related to volunteers in academic libraries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalDigital Library Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 23 2018


  • Accessibility
  • Communication
  • Digital collections
  • Digitization workflows
  • Staffing
  • Volunteers


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