National Library of Australia Staff Papers, 2005

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New Frameworks for Resource Discovery and Delivery

Judith Pearce, Janifer Gatenby


Short report

Internet search engines have been seen by libraries both as a threat and an opportunity: a threat in that users may not realise that they are missing important material accessible only through library services; an opportunity as a means of exposing library collections to new audiences through guides, exhibitions and, in recent times, the seeding of search engines with digitised content. Ironically, as more material in library collections becomes discoverable through search engines, their effectiveness as discovery tools is increased and thus also their threat to traditional library services such as the online public access catalogue.

Recently there has been a major shift in the amount of content available or becoming available in digital form. New content is now mostly born digital. Print publications are likely to have a digital master and an increasing amount of information is only being published in digital form. Existing content is also being digitised at an increasingly fast rate. National libraries are engaging in the bulk digitisation of newspapers and full text aggregators are seeking partnerships to do the same for serials. Technologies to capture print materials in digital form, to generate text versions and to analyse their content have enabled digitisation to move from cottage industry status to a high level of production capability.

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