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Liz Bishoff - Learning Resources

Liz Bishoff
Director, Digital and Preservation Service, BCR, Inc.
Interviewed 12/3/2009

Liz Bishoff discusses her role as Executive Director of the Colorado Digitization Project; the importance of building sustainability into a program; and incorporating digitization into the overall library or cultural heritage institution program, not just as a project, but as an integral part of the program.

“While we need to continue to create digital collections, we’re going to have to look at how to incorporate digitization into the overall library program or cultural heritage institution program. It cannot be just a project, it has to be a part of the program.”

Collaborations with other cultural heritage institutions
Collaborations with other cultural heritage institutions are necessary in order to create a fuller picture of Colorado’s heritage. The library, by itself, cannot create the whole picture. You need multiple perspectives.

A common vocabulary
When collaborating with other agencies and institutions, it is critical to develop a common vocabulary that helps the partners share common goals. Developing this vocabulary at the outset will prevent problems later during project implementation.

Digitization as part of the overall program
Digitization must be incorporated into the overall library program or cultural heritage institution program. It cannot be just a project. It must be an integral part of the program and sustainability must be built into the program.

It is critical to obtain sustainability in these two specific areas:
- Organizational sustainability: people, money and institutional support
- Sustainability of the digital objects: long-term access and digital preservation

Programs with institutional affiliation and more importantly, a solid institutional home and foundation, have long-term success since they are sustainable.

Applying best practices in other geographical locations
Consider how the best practices that you are developing will be applied to areas around the country and the world that are different geographically, geopolitically, economically and demographically.

Adoption of your project by institutions in other geographical locations
When naming or branding projects and programs, consider if adding a geographical boundary to the name (i.e. Colorado, Denver, Western) would make it less applicable to other areas later. Ask yourself if the name would need to be changed if other areas want to adopt the program or project.

Digital content is the future of our cultural heritage institutions
There are endless opportunities with digital content. It is the way we will be able to reach everyone today and in the future including the geographically disadvantaged.

The Colorado State Library
The Colorado State Library has a history of doing and supporting innovative work and collaborations, including the Colorado Digitization Project and the Colorado Virtual Library.