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Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) and other Minitex staff welcomed 75 attendees to the MDL's 16th Annual Meeting, held June 4, 2019, at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. Keynote speaker John Bracken, Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), provided an overview of developments at DPLA since its founding in 2013 and a vision for the future direction of the organization over the next number of years.

Following Bracken's presentation, MDL Metadata Librarian Greta Bahnemann and Molly Huber, MDL's Outreach Coordinator, gave an update on MDL's activities over the past year. Rounding out the morning, OCLC's Kevin Taggart talked about new challenges and opportunities along the digital frontier. The afternoon consisted of six breakout sessions on a variety of topics, detailed below.

Welcome & Keynote Address


Valerie Horton of Minitex spoke about the legacy of Minnesota and the value of capturing and preserving history for the future.

DPLA Update

DPLA Executive Director John Bracken talked about his vision for the future of DPLA, where the organization is headed, and how it hopes to help libraries take on the challenges of tomorrow.


We Can Help—Minnesota Digital Library Update

Greta Bahnemann, MDL Metadata Librarian, and Molly Huber, MDL Outreach Coordinator shared information about what has been happening in the Minnesota Digital Library (MDL) over the past year.

OCLC: Advancing Our Shared Mission through Research & Innovation

Kevin Taggart, OCLC Digital Library Services Specialist, discussed what OCLC is doing to help librarians and archivists in a rapidly changing information technology environment.

Collection Management Software Conundrum: Answer – Collaboration

Museums would not exist without their collections. History consortiums in Connecticut, Minnesota, and Nova Scotia, Canada have developed open-sourced, customized collection management software that allows their members to catalog and share their collections. For Minnesota, this effort has been led by the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums with the help of five pilot sites. Project participants Ann Grandy, Dustin Heckman, and Joe Hoover discussed the benefits and challenges of collaborating on open-sourced, collectively managed software in this presentation.

Processing Digital Collections: Baby Steps to Digital Preservation

How do you address long-term management of digital collections and what are the most important things to consider? In this session, Carol Kussmann presented steps to preserve and provide access to digital content and workflows for processing born digital materials, illustrated by examples from the Special Archives and Collections at the University of Minnesota.

Digitizing Sound and Moving Images from the Walker Art Center Archives

The Walker Art Center Archives received a CLIR Recordings at Risk grant in 2018 to digitize fragile magnetic media including 1/2" open reel, 3/4" umatic, and DAT tapes, as well as, transcription disks. The materials range from the 1950s to the 1990s and include: artist interviews, gallery installation footage, performances, and lectures sponsored by the Walker Art Center. The goal of the CLIR project is to make the metadata for the video available to a wide audience as well as providing access to the digital files. This session by Jill Vuchetich addressed issues from grant writing to cataloging in the interest of providing useful information to others interested in digitizing their sound and moving image collections.

My Collection Is Online. Now What?

We spend a lot of time and effort digitizing our collections and making them available to the world. We study our analytics to figure out how people are using our material. But what are the real-world benefits of having your material available online? Inga Theissen, Collections Manager at the American Swedish Institute (ASI), conducted a discussion about how digitizing ASI's collection has benefited the institution and how digitized material can be used in unique and interesting ways.

An Update on Community Assessment

This presentation focused on the assessment tools available to foster a better understanding of how users are engaging with collections in Minnesota Reflections. Scott Hreha, Jolie Graybill, and Kent Gerber discussed the challenges around evaluating the usage of collections in Minnesota Reflections and the impact these collections have on our users.

Preserving Institutional Cultural Heritage on the Cheap

Diana Magnuson and Timothy Senapatiratne's presentation described the dynamic process of their ongoing project to convert audiocassette tapes and printed lecture materials to a digital format through the Minnesota Digital Library. The current collection consists of thirty audiocassette tapes recorded from 1962-1971. The cassette tapes feature lectures given at "Founder's Week," held at Bethel University and connected to Bethel's denominational organization the Baptist General Conference (now Converge) and Minnesota church histories. Topics of discussion included material gathering; interdepartmental collaboration; documentation and metadata creation; strategies to use institutional and MDL resources to keep financial costs very low; and some takeaways that might be helpful for others considering similar projects.

Staff contact
Molly Huber

Outreach Coordinator, Minnesota Digital Library