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SLIS Student’s Work Selected as Digital Library of the Week by ALA

University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries’s Digital Military Newspaper Library was recently selected as the American Library Association’s Digital Library of the Week.  The grant funded project is being worked on by USF SLIS graduate student Kaitlin Wilson, who recently commented how the readings and ideas learned in the library administration class have been useful while working on this project with the UF Library Development Office.

UF’s Digital Military Newspaper Library, a grant funded pilot project, intends to house, organize, and preserve 16 contemporary and historic military newspapers. These newspapers represent Naval and Air Force bases from many geographical regions around the state of Florida and will include Kennedy Space Center, a submarine base at King’s Bay Georgia, the Panama Canal Zone, and two newspapers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This undertaking will seek to build on the success of other projects including the Florida Digital Newspaper Library and the Caribbean Newspaper Digital Library. Other related digital collections include the Korean War Oral History Collection, Vietnam War Veterans Oral History Collection, and World War II Oral History Collection from the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.

Digital Library of the Week is available at ILoveLibraries.org, ALA’s website for the public, and was designed to keep America informed about what’s happening in today’s libraries. The website is produced by the ALA Office for Library Advocacy, and it’s brought to you by ALA staff from all corners of the association, who come together to volunteer their time and brilliance.

A graduate of USF’s Bachelor’s in Religious Studies, Kaitlin Wilson began her formal library experience as an intern with the Digital Library Center (DLC), just as she was beginning her first semester in the LIS program.   She chose to intern with DLC because she knew that digitization and preservation are increasingly important elements of librarianship. The internship taught her so much about scanning, copyright blurring for digitized newspapers, Photoshop, and quality control.

In December 2009, she was hired by DLC to work on a new grant-funded project, the Digital Military Newspaper Library (DMNL), a sub-collection of the Florida Digital Newspaper Library at UF.  While working to promote DMNL, Wilson has worked with the Development Office in UF Libraries in the creation of brochures, contacting people, and military librarianship.  Currently, Kaitlin is working on putting together an online exhibit in honor of Veterans Day 2010 that highlights the collection.  She’s really happy to work on this project because it has so much to offer the military community and their families, and researchers and students.

She submitted DMNL for ALA’s Digital Library of the Week because she thought it would be a great way to raise awareness for the project, and is very happy that they recognized its importance.  She is currently working on a written announcement about the project for the Special Library Association’s Military Library Division’s newsletter in July.   She is scheduled to graduate December 2010, the same month she is getting married.



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