The State of Preparedness for Digital Curation and Preservation: A Case Study of a Developing Country Academic Library
Digital technologies have allowed libraries to create, manipulate, store and make accessible vast amounts of digital content. However, they endanger the longevity of the very objects they produce and require very different management than the traditional paper-based world. Despite the fact that the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) Library in Zimbabwe has amassed a huge body of digital collections, there are no formal mechanisms to ensure accessibility and long-term preservation of digital content. The study assessed the state of preparedness of NUST Library for digital curation and preservation of its digital collections. The conceptual framework was based on Sinclair et al. (2011) and Boyle, Eveleigh, and Needham’s (2008) formulations. NUST Library preparedness for digital curation and preservation was assessed by examining awareness, competencies, technology infrastructure, digital disaster preparedness and challenges to digital curation and preservation. A mixed methods research design employing a case study research strategy was adopted for the study. The findings revealed a low level of awareness of digital curation and preservation. Challenges to digital curation are mainly lack of policies, lack of expertise by library staff and lack of funding. It is recommended that the Library should consider digital curation and preservation as one of the primary responsibilities and take staff members’ training in this area seriously in order to ensure current and future access to digital collections.
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