Digitisation Service Launch

Library Services are pleased to announce the launch of the new Digitisation Service based within the Allport Office in the New Main Library.

The Service utilises hi-tech equipment to support our staff and students in their teaching, learning and research.  The Service will encapsulate best practice from the sector enabling the Library to continue to provide a fantastic student experience.

The Digitisation Service works in three areas of activity: supporting teaching academics via the ResourceLists@Bham platform; supporting our students with disabilities through the provision of accessible texts; and supporting research by digitising theses.

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Digitisation requests for teaching will be fulfilled via the ResourceLists@Bham platform providing an easy to use solution to many of the challenges that limited the use of digitised materials in the past.  Requests are made through ResourceLists@Bham and the Service team will fetch, scan and upload the item directly into ResourceLists@Bham itself.  This element of the service will be offered with a 5 working day turnaround in most instances with a quality standard ensuring that all scans are produced to the highest standards utilising the University’s licences to maximise the range of resources available.  The system highlights existing e-availability and offering scanning where e resources are not available.  Teaching colleagues no longer need to submit details of their scans to the Library as the ResourceLists system does this automatically.

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Secondly, the Digitisation Service works to provide alternative format texts for our students with disabilities. 

By working with the RNIB’s Bookshare platform the Digitisation Service will source copies of books and journals from publishers on behalf of our students.  If publishers are unable to supply these files the Service will create an accessible version from our stock and supply it to the student ensuring that we meet their needs. The Service will carry out a detailed Optical Character Recognition on each document to ensure that it is accessible by assistive technologies, while also adding some navigational aids, ALT texts tags and other features to help the users access the content.

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The third element, launching in the next few weeks, is the Service’s support to the research community by digitising theses from University students in association with the British Library’s EThOS service.  Where requests for Birmingham theses have been made to EThOS the Service will undertake all of the necessary checks, obtain permissions and then create high quality digitisations of the theses for use by EThOS.  This Service goes some way to increase the reach of our landmark research, sharing knowledge and information that was previously only available in print to visitors to the University campus.

The formation of the new Digitisation Service is another significant demonstration of Library Service’s commitment to supporting the University vision of ‘making important things happen’.

For more information see the Digitisation Service webpages at http://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/digitisation or contact the Service at digitisation@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

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