You Down With O.D.D.?: Collaborative Development of an On-Demand Digitization Program
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In August of 2015, the responsibility for digitizing on-demand patron requests transferred from Special Collections to the Digitization Services Unit of University of Houston Libraries. The previous on-demand workflow (and the physical location of the departments) indicated to both parties that a revision of patron scanning services was essential in order to ensure successful communication between the departments and to establish mutual access to required patron/request data and files. Through a new partnership between the units, Special Collections staff now handle patron interactions, reference questions, and prepping requested materials for scanning, while Digitization staff scan the materials, monitor request completion, and upload the images to be delivered to patrons. This presentation details how the initial challenge resulted in the creation of new workflows, the development of an online request management system, and an online user interface for patrons to submit their requests. We will discuss our decision-making process regarding the delivery and tracking of materials, the drafting of an on-demand digitization policy, and the identification of requirements and features of the on-demand tracking app to facilitate the new cross-departmental workflow. We will also discuss the technical framework and specifications of the web application and how we envision expanding this service to publish images requested on-demand in the UH Digital Library, allowing user demand to inform and expand online access points to our unique materials and collections.