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Tuesday, November 19 • 2:30pm - 2:55pm
Great, we've got over a thousand stories of Vancouver. Now what?

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Five years after the Vancouver Public Library started collecting personal stories, our team was given the space and time to look back at what we have wrought: nearly 400 individual interviews and well over a thousand individual audio and video clips from a number of projects, stored in an attractive, stable repository built on Islandora. The team began working on a recalibration of our Islandora installation in order to improve user experience out of our main concern – that users weren’t able to discover the most relevant and appealing content. After years of frantic collection and production, we found ourselves in a situation of having too much content and too much content that didn’t really meet our quality standards. What to do?

As good librarians, our instinct is to curate and to weed. As interviewers, connecting with our subjects, our instinct is to include EVERYTHING. Our biggest project, Story City, comprised of over 300 interviews, has forced us to finally address those two warring philosophies in the context of a collection comprised of very personal stories shared directly with library staff. A recalibration of Islandora would help us improve discovery through more robust search and display functionality, but this would be a partial solution – we had to take a hard look at how we collected, what we selected for addition to the collection, what we didn’t include and how to treat material that had been added but may not have relevance or value to the user. This is the story of our journey - process, technology, philosophy.


Renee Chalut

Librarian, Vancouver Public Library
Collection maintenance for digital heritage projects. Places to go around Aotearoa - I'm here for a couple of weeks after the conference. Please correct my te reo Maori pronunciation and feel free to laugh at it.

Tuesday November 19, 2019 2:30pm - 2:55pm NZDT
Angus - Breakout Room Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand