Biblioteca Digital del Caribe Bibliotheque Numerique des Caraibes
April 18, 2008
Dear dLOC Advisory Board Members,
First, on behalf of the directors of dLOC, I would like to thank you for agreeing to serve
as academic advisors for this project. We have a diverse mix of interests and talents on
the Advisory Board, and I am confident that together we will be able to strengthen and
grow this important project. Your roles as advisors to and ambassadors for this project
are vital for its continued success.
As mentioned in the application process, we will have the annual board meeting at the
2008 CSA Conference in San Andres. Experience has shown that lunch meetings are
usually the most convenient. Please confirm via email that you are available to meet on
Tuesday, May 27 from 1:15pm to 2:15pm at the restaurant in the conference hotel.
I expect that you have many questions about your role in the project. In general,
members are appointed to advise content development, suggest granting opportunities,
identify other sources of funding, and assist in the development of both promotional
materials and educational resources.
This concise update and the attached poster are intended to give you an overview of
dLOC so that we can develop a plan for the board. This process needs to be collaborative
so that we can find ways to match your interests with the project's needs.
Three important areas where we have identified a need for input are:
1) Development of five broad pan-Caribbean themes to guide the educational
outreach and topical collections for the project. These themes will serve to
organize the information within the library as well as focus our collection
2) Recommendation of specific, key Caribbean resources which are eligible for
digitization (in the public domain).
3) Assessment of the usability of the current interface. Marilyn Ochoa at UF is
leading this initiative, but we would like to rely on the board to review the testing
protocol and help promote the testing.
Also, please verify your information on the dLOC governance page on the website.
Please let me know if we should make any changes. We are pleased to be able to offer a
small honorarium for your service on this board. I will send the necessary paperwork in a
Thank you for your participation, and I look forward to working with each of you.
The first dLOC Planning Meeting was held in July 2004 at the University of Puerto Rico,
Rio Piedras. The original project partners successfully submitted a proposal to the US
Department of Education Technology Innovation and Cooperation Foreign Information
Access program. This funding, which runs from October 2005 through September 2009,
has enabled this innovative collaborative project to develop the relationships and the
technology necessary to support dLOC's collaborative online digital library.
The driving purpose for dLOC is to preserve and increase access to valuable resources for
the study of the Caribbean and the advancement of Caribbean Studies. In order to
achieve this purpose, we must cross borders and build collaboration among diverse
institutions to share resources in a common space to expand the range of Caribbean
materials available to scholars, students and citizens through electronic access in
TICFIA Project Goals
Increase access to Caribbean research resources by digitizing and making
available through centralized searching collections of note in English, French, and
Build capacity by developing a multi-layered and comprehensive digitization
training program for international partners;
Advance Caribbean Studies by building an aggressive and engaging outreach
program that delivers these collections to scholars, to the classroom, and to the
Cultivate the development of new research initiatives among Caribbean scholars
by providing a supportive framework to disseminate this work;
Ensure sustainability of the dLOC by consolidating the organizational framework,
both in governance and technical infrastructure.
The dLOC serves as an umbrella for digital projects and collections from and about the
Caribbean that might exist in isolation at a single institution, thus providing a critical
mass of resources in a single space that will foster a fuller interdisciplinary
understanding. Current partners include
Bibliotheque Haitienne des Peres du St-Esprit, Haiti
The College of The Bahamas, Bahamas
Florida International University, Florida
Fundaci6n Global Desarrollo y Democracia (FUNGLODE), Dominican Republic
National Archives of Haiti, Haiti
National Library of Aruba, Aruba
National Library of Jamaica, Jamaica
Universidad del Oriente, Venezuela
University of Central Florida, Florida
University of Florida, Florida
University of South Florida, Florida
University of the Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands
Five complete digitization stations provided to each of the original Caribbean partners.
The hardware includes a state-of-the art computer, a top-of-the-line flat bed scanner, a
rotary high-speed scanner, a printer, a web camera, a back-up power supply, and other
A multi-layered and comprehensive digitization training program including a web based
manual and a hands-on classroom component provided to each of the original five project
partners with follow up training already completed for some.
A multi-lingual web site for dLOC and a standards compliant digital library management
system written over free open source Greenstone digital library software were created.
A newly revised dLOC Toolkit which allows dLOC's Caribbean partners to track their
content and to submit metadata with their digital resources. The Toolkit also facilitates
various quality control functions such as the creation of tables of contents and an online
"Building a Digital Library of the Caribbean: Crossing Borders" by Erich Kesse,
Catherine Marsicek, and Judith V. Rogers (United States, St. Croix, USVI) in Caribbean
Libraries in the 21st century: Changes, Challenges, and Choices.
We have a number of projects and initiatives in progress. Some of these are listed purely
for informational purposes and others would greatly benefit from the Advisory Board's
input and guidance.
1. New dLOC Toolkit
dLOC Programmer Mark Sullivan just finished this Toolkit which should greatly
facilitate our partners' contributions to dLOC. This Toolkit allows our partners to
provide the metadata, organize and verify their scanned materials, and submit online
via FTP to UF for processing.
Our current partners have already been trained on the pervious version of this
software, and we are hopeful that they can upgrade with remote support. We have
provided the software to our new members, and will determine their training needs as
2. Caribbean Studies Association Conference
We will hold our annual Scholarly Advisory Board Meeting at the CSA conference.
The meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 27 from 1:15pm to 2:15pm
(during the lunch break) at the hotel restaurant. Please let me know if there are any
conflicts with this time.
dLOC co-director Judith Rogers will be presenting on the project immediately
following our meeting during the Technology in the Caribbean panel.
3. ACUIRL (Association of Caribbean University Research and Institutional
The annual Executive Board Meeting (which is comprised of the project partners)
will be meeting to discuss their participation for the next year, successes and
challenges posed by participation in the project.
Mark Sullivan (UF) will present on the dLOC Digitization Toolkit develop your
own digital resources
Marilyn Ochoa (UF) and Brooke Wooldridge (FIU) will present a workshop focused
on dLOC titled "Usability Testing: A User-Centered Approach to Improve Electronic
4. Educational Outreach
In addition to preservation and increased access, Educational Outreach is a main
component of this project. We are currently defining exactly how this Outreach will
be addressed. As a Board we need to identify five overarching themes in Caribbean
to focus our efforts in this area. These themes will become the basis for the activities
below and a new initiative not included in the current proposal to develop the topical
collections and provide context for the materials within dLOC.
Over the next 18 months dLOC will:
a. Provide two teacher training workshops for Miami Dade County Schools
in conjunction with the Latin American and Caribbean Center at FIU. We
have $2000 will cover the honoraria for speakers, travel costs and the
development of curriculum materials based on information resources
available in dLOC.
b. Develop interactive web-based curriculum modules using materials held in
the dLOC. We have $10,000 allocated for this project, and need to
determine the most effective plan to achieve this goal. The original plan
was to use these funds to cover the design, web/programming and
selection and processing of additional materials for dLOC for two web
modules. These funds may not be sufficient and we are pursuing other
options. One idea is to develop a competition (with a number of prizes
where teachers/education majors) develop lesson plans that incorporate
c. Two lectures by prominent Caribbean scholars will be held at FIU during
the fall and spring of year four of the grant period. These scholars will
base their lectures upon materials accessible in the dLOC. The $3000 of
Federal funding will cover the honoraria for two speakers, travel costs,
real time satellite video to other U.S. and Caribbean partner institutions.
5. Partner Relations (upcoming visits)
Haiti We are in communication with the Embassy regarding the possible donation
of a high end scanner for use by our partners. The technical director, Erich Kesse,
project coordinator, Brooke Wooldridge, and programmer Mark Sullivan will be
traveling to Port au Prince shortly to discuss this possibility and to train new project
partner Bibliotheque Haitienne des Peres du St-Esprit and provide follow up training
for the National Archives.
Dominican Republic Brooke will be presenting dLOC to meeting at the National
Librarian Association Meeting and working with project partner FUNGLODE to
increase participation and establish a collection development plan.
Guyana Brooke and Mark will be visiting CARICOM in Guyana to address some
technical issues and define a collection development plan.
6. New Initiatives
World Digital Library We are in communication with the WDL to identify possible
Usability Testing is in the planning stages and will be conducted over the summer.
Promotion plan is in the primary stages to encourage awareness of dLOC among
As with any grant funded project, we are constantly looking for new sources of
funding. We are currently funded by TICFIA through September of 2009. We will
be attending a grantee workshop in May where we should learn more about the
possibilities for renewal of this grant for another four year cycle.
It is also important that we look for new sources of funding. Now that we have a
proven platform and framework for Caribbean wide cooperation in ajoint, mutually
beneficial digital library, we can look for funders that will sponsor individual archives
and the organizational structure that supports them (us). This will increase content
for dLOC, provide funds for our continued operation and provide our partners with
the necessary resources to expand their digitization programs.