ETD Guide/Introduction/Helping universities develop digital library services & infrastructure

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Many universities have little or no involvement in digital library efforts. Yet, it is clear that most universities will have digital library efforts as part of, or in addition to, conventional library efforts. Digital libraries are of particular value when distance education is involved or when a university has a number of far flung sites. They also can promote more flexible access to information (e.g., 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, from home or office, with no blocking because another person has borrowed a work).

Establishing an ETD program automatically moves a university into the digital library era. Free software available through NDLTD, or from NDLTD members, is available that allows a university to develop its own digital library. Setting up that digital library helps the university bring together the personnel and infrastructure required for other digital library projects, too. Though the demands are small, the digital library that emerges will force consideration of almost all of the key concerns of those who work with digital libraries. Also, since various sponsors interested in digital library technology are helping in many ETD projects, there will be a continual enhancement of the digital library services that relate to improving local infrastructure.

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