One of the projects I have been working on over the pas several months is the move of the Migel Library from the AFB to the American Printing House for the Blind.  What an incredible challenge this has been.

The amazing thing is that this collection is well-known throughout the world of Blindness Education.  I began the project with an inventory and we have progressively moved forward towards digitization planning and access methods.

I don’t think it would have been easier to start completely from scratch but reassessing an old collection in a new environment presents it own unique set of opportunities.  Not everything is inventoried and thus some cataloging needs to occur.  The cuttering on the call numbers in certain sections in minimal to say the least so we have the opportunity to cutter 15 books that have the call number 1596 S.  And those are just a few examples of the molding that is taking place.

The great thing about this project is the passion and respect the organization and the wider community has for it as a whole.  The wealth of information contained in the Migel is nearly unfathomable.  It contains cultural, social, and educational information.  Fiction and non-fiction.

Developing the processes that will allow this library to be used by the greater public, minimize the staff time necessary to maintain it and grow the collection allows me to think broadly from a variety of perspectives.

One thing has been very clear in this work, fitting the processes and policies to the APH and the Migel Library missions is critical step number one.  Without that basic guidance making the collection accessible would be more difficult.  Understanding the mission and goals for this collection and the future plans for it, guides the work we do and the policies we set.  If you are working on a project that has limited future resources it is appropriate and necessary to plan that project according to those future constraints.

by Constance Ard April 1, 2010