Texas Digital Library Conference System, 2015 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries

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Hitting the Road towards a Greater Digital Destination: Evaluating and Testing DAMS at the University of Houston Libraries
Santi Thompson, Valerie Prilop, Rachel Vacek, Sean Watkins, Andrew Weidner, Annie Wu

Last modified: 2015-03-17


Since 2009, the University of Houston (UH) Libraries has digitized tens of thousands of rare and unique items and made them available for research through its UH Digital Library (UHDL) based on CONTENTdm.  Six years later, the need for a digital asset management system (DAMS) that can facilitate large scale digitization, provide innovative features for users, and offer more efficient workflows  for librarians and staff has emerged. To address these needs, UH Libraries formed the DAMS Task Force in the summer of 2014. The group’s goal was to identify a system that can support the growing expectations of the UHDL.

This presentation will focus on the two core activities, needs assessment and DAMS evaluation, that the task force completed. The key portions of the needs assessment include: the process of literature review on DAMS evaluation and migration; research on tools utilized by peer institutions; and library stakeholder interviews. The presentation will then cover how task force members compiled the results of the assessment to establish DAMS evaluation criteria. The evaluation process consisted of an environmental scan of possible DAMS to test, the creation of criteria to narrow the list of DAMS down for in-depth testing, and the comprehensive testing of the DSpace and Fedora systems.

The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the task force’s results as well as the lessons learned from the research and evaluation process. It will also reflect on the important role that collaboration, project management, and strategic planning played in this team-based approach to DAMS selection.


digital asset management systems, digital libraries, evaluation, assessment

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