Volume 24 Issue 4 Introduction: From the Guest Editor
Today it’s hard to imagine life without a smartphone, but broadcast television, travel to the moon, MARC records, personal computers, email, the Internet, online library catalogs, cell phones, video on demand, virtual reality, and digital archive collections all came about in one human generation.
Throughout that generation of disruptive and innovative technologies, librarians have served the public good by providing the conceptual skills to organize and describe information and provide or facilitate access to it. Moreover, libraries, through cooperatives and information sharing agreements, have made possible the construction of massive data systems that serve our nation’s needs with respect to heritage content, contemporary awareness and future planning.
And that’s the foundation of this special issue of the OLA Quarterly on digital repositories and data harvests. In this issue, experts from Oregon’s libraries, Larry Landis (OSU), Mark Dahl and Zachariah Selley (Lewis & Clark), Sarah Seymore (UO), Becca Evans (SOU), Julia Simic (UO) and Ryan Wick (OSU), Beth Dehn (Oregon Heritage Commission), and Ross Fuqua and Arlene Weible (Oregon State Library) describe their work to develop important collections that have been or will be harvested and shared broadly with users throughout the world. These aren’t siloed collections that live solely in a local database or on one institution’s server. These are world-class collections, shared globally to enrich human existence.