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Exposing the Hidden: How New Tools are Opening Up the Special Collections

  • Author(s): Blue, Yolanda
  • Boyd, Angela
  • Colmenar, Gerardo "Gary"
  • McCracken, Elaine
  • et al.
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Abstract

At the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), librarians teach Interdisciplinary 1 (INT 1): Fundamentals of Library Research. This credit-bearing class addresses concepts such as: catalog and database searching techniques, understanding citations and information structures, as well as locating credible print and online news sources. Instruction librarians emphasize the importance of thinking critically about information, introducing them to diverse range of information and perspectives. A significant component of INT1 entails collaboration with Special Collections to promote the unique and diverse resources. Technology is changing the nature of libraries and modifying the ways librarians teach information literacy. As stated in communication by IFLA President Sinikka Sipilä , “…libraries and other intermediaries support good governance by providing the access to information and media and skills, needed to help make informed decisions.” How can academic librarians address the challenges and opportunities that continue to emerge with new technologies?

Materials in Special Collections have traditionally been documented in online catalogs and finding aids. In this regard, the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA) has a rich collection of materials related to the different ethnic groups of California. The UCSB Library has been working to make these materials more discoverable by utilizing new technology such as Archivists’ Toolkit, ArchivesSpace, and Aeon, as well as the California Digital Library’s (CDL) Online Archive of California (OAC) and Calisphere.

Both Archivists’ Toolkit and ArchivesSpace are open source data management systems that support archival processing and access to the materials. With the advent of increased digitization of finding aids to collections, the OAC provides free public access to detailed descriptions of primary resources. Calisphere, on the other hand, provides freely accessible digital surrogates of primary source materials, such as posters, photographs, letters, etc. curated across the University of California Special Collections libraries.  Angela Boyd, Gary Colmenar, and Elaine McCracken presented the poster on August 14 & 15, 2014 at the IFLA Information Literacy Section Satellite Meeting in Limerick, Ireland.

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IFLA_Limerick_Poster-1.pdf

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