Congratulations to the Digital Commonwealth Movers & Shakers of 2014 just announced by Library Journal ( Featured in the new selection of stellar talent are two local librarians who have had a long and significant involvement with Digital Commonwealth: current board member Tom Blake as well as retired board member and past president Kristi Chadwick.

Tom is recognized for his leadership in pursuing a partnership between the BPL and Digital Commonwealth that was part of an organizing effort to attain a LSTA digitization grant in 2011. The successful grant  was funded for $200,000 for a two-year project to digitize historical materials for members of the Digital Commonwealth. As the entry about Tom explains, “So far, Blake and his team have digitized more than 75,000 objects from 100 institutions, and the DC has grown to 200 members, from large academic libraries to small independent museums. The collections, now in beta, will soon be available via the DC portal and repository system.”

Tom is also credited for helping establish the strong relationship that has transpired between the BPL, the Digital Commonwealth, and the Digital Public Library of America who chose Digital Commonwealth as one of its initial service hubs.  For more about that experience, check out Tom’s recent blog post: Life as a Service Hub for the Digital Public Library of America.

And if that were not honor enough, Kristi Chadwick is also included in this year’s selection. Kristi is awarded for her work as the Director of the Emily Williston Memorial Library & Museum in Easthampton where she achieved tremendous strides in increased staff appreciation and public support for the library in the short amount of time she has worked there.

Certainly many remember Kristi for her long association with Digital Commonwealth  that included several years serving on the board of directors and a year as president in 2011 and 2012.

Our appreciation goes out to these two for all they have done for librarianship in Massachusetts and particularly for the efforts they have committed to the success of Digital Commonwealth. A well-deserved thank you and congratulations!

During 2012, Digital Commonwealth of Massachusetts offered 8 digitization training sessions for staff from libraries, archives, and cultural institutions who were interested in issues relating to the creation and enhancement of digital collections.   Thanks to grant funding, no registration fees were charged to attendees!

A recent LSTA grant awarded to the Boston Public Library (BPL) by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) allowed the Digital Commonwealth to work with staff of the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) on the training sessions.   The topics covered in the sessions included digital project planning, selecting and preparing materials for digitization, and file format and metadata issues.   The same basic program was given 8 different times, at 7 locations all over the state as well as one online webinar.

Each training session included an afternoon discussion period in which representatives from Digital Commonwealth spoke about the statewide collaborative effort to promote the creation and discoverability of digital collections of Massachusetts cultural institutions and representatives from the BPL spoke about the current grant-funded opportunity for Digital Commonwealth members to have some collections digitized by the BPL Digital Services team.  (The same LSTA grant from the MBLC covers the digitization services and the training sessions.)

Donia Conn, Education and Outreach Coordinator, NEDCC, led the training sessions.  Although a large number of attendees were from public libraries in Massachusetts, staff from special libraries, historical organizations, museums, academic libraries, local municipalities, state or federal agencies, and various archives were also in attendance at the training sessions.

The Digital Commonwealth is grateful to the following seven organizations for hosting a training session:  Massachusetts Library System office, Marlborough; SAILS, Middleborough;  Massachusetts Library Systems office, Whately;  UMass Boston’s electronic classroom in the State Archives Building in Boston;  NEDCC (Northeast Document Conservation Center) in Andover; Snow Library, Orleans;  Bushnell Sage Library, Sheffield.  (One other training session was an online webinar, coordinated by the staff of the NEDCC.)

The main goal of 2012 training sessions was to provide an overview to digitization issues.  Responses from participants indicate there is interest in additional trainings sessions, especially future training or work parties focused on metadata. Participants also suggested some other possible topics for future training sessions:  digitization best practices; funding models for digitization; or nuts and bolts of imaging and image processing.

What topics would you like to see covered by future training sessions? Please leave comments below.