Why choose Shared Shelf?
Perspectives from Institutional Partners
Our Shared Shelf Partner Institutions — who are investing considerable time, expertise and investment funds in helping ARTstor develop Shared Shelf — provide some of the best testimony about the need for, and value of, Shared Shelf. Here is what those partners have to say:
- Colby College
- Harvard University
- New York University
- University of Illinois Library
- University of Miami
- Yale University
- Clem Guthro, Director of the Libraries at Colby College noted, "As a small college, we need to support users across the curriculum as simply as possible and without a lot of specialized staff to assist them. We believe that this platform will manage the complexity behind the scenes and let our small staff do what we do best — catalog content and serve users."
- "Since Cornell has been working on digital image management for a long time," University Librarian Anne Kenney noted, "we have tried a lot of approaches. The key for Cornell was the ability to marry our local need to support the curriculum with a single system that provides access to vetted resources, supports individual contributions, and allows us to broadly share images with our partner institutions and the world."
- For decision-makers at Harvard, where an infrastructure for image management and use for 21 different departments was implemented in the 1990s, the partnership was attractive because of the joint investment that will update the cataloging systems and leverage protocols enabling interoperation with authority files, repository and discovery environments. "Images are becoming ever more important in both teaching and research. As a community we have lacked good tools for their management and discovery," Dale Flecker, Associate Director for Planning and Systems, Harvard University Library Office for Information Systems noted. "Images present significant challenges. Having worked with ARTstor for years in this domain, we believe that combining forces and know-how offers the most promising approach to these challenges."
- Mike Roy, Dean of Library and Information Services, Chief Information Officer and Librarian at Middlebury, added, "Even on our relatively small campus, we have many different systems for managing digital collections and none of these systems talk very well to each other or to the rest of the world. In tough budgetary times, that neither makes good fiscal sense nor allows our users to get the most out of the diverse image collections that we're building."
- At NYU, library staff anticipate that participation in the program will not only integrate collections (from the Institute of Fine Arts, the art history department downtown, the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, and the libraries) but also will reduce infrastructure support costs. "Managing separate servers and different applications for each unit in order to provide image resources to our community is not practical, efficient or desirable. We can no longer expend time and resources in this manner. We need an enterprise solution," stated Roddy Austin, Director of Information Technology and Media Services for the Division of Libraries. "By creating Shared Shelf on a 'Software as a Service' model, ARTstor and the partnership will take on the infrastructure headaches that we require to be well managed, but don't want to manage ourselves."
- The University of Illinois Library and its College of Fine and Applied Arts are spearheading an effort focused on supporting the needs of scholars across campus whose work depends upon their ability to find and utilize high quality visual information in the context of research and learning. "The ARTstor Shared Shelf initiative provides Illinois scholars with access to unique local treasures and globally-renowned collections of visual resources in one flexible and powerful environment," commented Beth Sandore, Associate University Librarian for Information Technology Planning and Policy and Associate Dean of Libraries. "By working with ARTstor in partnership with colleagues at other institutions, we see the potential to emerge with a service that unites locally distributed image management functions in a scalable and standards-driven system, with the added benefit of the accumulated knowledge from our colleagues at other institutions and at ARTstor. We believe all the ingredients are present for a much stronger product to emerge from this collaboration."
- Bill Walker, Dean of the Library at the University of Miami, noted "For the past four years, University of Miami faculty have depended on ARTstor's hosting program, which allows them to integrate their images with the rich ARTstor collection in the classroom. The availability of images through one central service gives students and faculty a "one-stop shopping" resource for research, teaching and learning across the curriculum. Additionally, hosting services, combined with ARTstor, have allowed Miami to make unique holdings, such as the digital assets from UM's Cuban Heritage Collection, available to an international audience, and we are investing in Shared Shelf to make the University's resources even more visible."
- Meg Bellinger, Director of Yale University's Office of Digital Assets and Infrastructure, noted that "A 2004 Mellon Foundation grant encouraged the libraries, archives, and museums on campus to further develop collaborative projects — across their traditional domains of practice — to better support teaching, research, and the preservation of collections. Bringing these groups together to support Shared Shelf is a natural next step. The initiative will allow us to build upon that collaborative spirit to encourage the crossing of disciplinary or operational boundaries."