Libraries and museums, large or small, have opened digital versions of their precious and historic collection to the public with the help of document scanning. Today, new content also comes to library in digital format, but old resources that are solely paper-based have to be digitized and stored safely. Digitization is a great support for many libraries that are under pressure to reduce floor space. The cost of backed-up storage has forced many libraries to go digital and the limited archive of digitized material is another reason. With the assistance of document scanning services libraries can convert their valuable books, manuscripts, and documents into their digital format.

Last year when the pandemic broke out, organizations were forced to shut down but libraries continued to deliver a creative solution with digitization. Libraries were able to provide the digital format of their collections to readers, scholars, students, and researchers during the difficult times. Digital libraries and publishers have risen to the occasion, offering more and more free content and curating personalized collections so that people can continue to read and learn without disruption.

Latest Trends in Libraries for 2021

  • Inclusivity: To overcome the prevailing racial difference and to create awareness about social justice, there is a large interest in books about diversity, equity, anti- racism and libraries are providing these books to promote inclusivity. In 2021, many librarians from Michigan State University are promoting diversification of academic library collections. They are encouraging the practice of social justice and clearing academic fields from racism, sexism and homophobia. Librarians at the University of Kent have called for “decolonization of curricula” to ensure that more students can identify themselves within collections. So, a digital library helps to educate as well as empower marginalized voices and equalize academia.
  • Open Access: Open access content is very much in demand now and promoted to ensure that information is easily found and accessible to anyone who needs it. However, authors are wary about publishing open access books. Even so, the move towards open access content is expected to accelerate in 2021.
  • Changing Nature of Education: With the sudden move to online learning, digitization of resources became more important in 2020. Librarians can now integrate their reading list into the library’s collection and thus have a seamless digital transition. It also allows you to develop an educational seminar and share it to people. Librarians at the University of Central Florida are creating an educational seminar on eBook and video streaming licensing, geared towards librarians and teaching faculty. It helps librarians and educators to adjust to virtual and hybrid classrooms.
  • Media Literacy: With the pandemic and virtual classes, library book purchasing has now shifted to eBooks which are easily accessible and affordable too. Zoe Wake Hyde, the Assistant Director of the Rebus Foundation, says that digital library and access to its resources have improved library engagement.

OHIO University’s Institutional Repository

OHIO Open Library is an open access institutional repository for collecting and preserving the work of faculty, students, and staffs at Ohio University. It includes Southeast Ohio magazine to full geometry textbooks and research and information on a myriad of subjects that are available to everyone across the world for free. They are also conducting Ohio Virtual Expo that showcases Ohio University student research and creative activity.

Although the OHIO Open Library is a relatively new initiative, the online archive has already become popular worldwide with readers from Ohio and Colorado to Finland and the Philippines. That means this year’s Virtual Expo materials will be viewable by people around the globe. The OHIO Open Library is also an inexpensive and relatively easy way to share materials outside of the Virtual Expo. For example, much of the Open Library is made up of textbooks, MFA theses and editorial materials created by students, faculty and staff at OHIO.

Digitization of library resources has provided a new platform for the preservation of these delicate documents and also enabled online access to these rich resources. If you wish to digitize your library resources, make sure that you approach a reliable document scanning company that can handle huge volumes of fragile documents without causing any damage to the originals.

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