Planning a project? Here are some things to think about.
Does your project support the Bates mission?
Since 1855, Bates College has been dedicated to the emancipating potential of the liberal arts. Bates educates the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. With ardor and devotion — Amore ac Studio — we engage the transformative power of our differences, cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action. Preparing leaders sustained by a love of learning and a commitment to responsible stewardship of the wider world, Bates is a college for coming times.
Information and Library Services supports this mission by developing collections and services which focus upon the curriculum needs of undergraduate students. Projects should therefore complement existing or planned areas of instruction.
Who are your users and stakeholders?
Who are the intended users of your project, and what is the intended impact on their education?
Stakeholders includes potential sponsors, those who could have a positive or negative influence on project completion, and those outside your intended user group who might also benefit from successful completion of the project.
Could you find project partners or models?
Have you researched potential partnerships either within or outside of Bates?
Have you researched other projects that could serve as models for one or more aspects of your project? You may not need to create everything from scratch.
What relevant standards will you use?
What file formats will the project involve, and what relevant standards will you use? You’ll want to consider the time and effort required to create files in that format, the amount of space the files will take up, how easy it will be for others to use that format, and whether or not the format will be viewable in the future.
The University of Oregon’s overview of file formats is a helpful resource.
What hardware/software will you require?
What hardware will you require? Does Bates already have equipment you could use? If equipment must be purchased, what are potential costs?
What software will you require? Does Bates already have software you could use? If software must be purchased, what are potential costs?
Where will your project be hosted?
If you will be looking into contracting with external vendors, please contact Eileen Zimmerman, Director of Systems Development and Integration, for a list of important questions to ask: email@example.com
If you’re uncertain of your hosting options, please contact us.
Does the project involve any copyright, intellectual property, or privacy concerns?
Have you considered website accessibility?
Will the project be accessible to all Bates students, regardless of visual, hearing or mobility impairments?
Visually impaired users might need to enlarge text substantially, or they might make use of a screen reader. Websites that are easily translated by a screen reader will contain clear, descriptive page titles, alternative texts for images, labels for hyperlinks, and an intuitive structure. Hearing impaired users benefit from captions, transcripts and volume controls. For the mobility impaired, websites that work with voice recognition software, touch pads, sticky buttons and tabbed navigation can increase accessibility.
Not everyone who works on a digital project at Bates will be an expert in website creation, let alone website accessibility. However, as it is vitally important to serve all our students equally, it is worthwhile to acquaint yourself with some of the basic concerns and needs of users with visual, hearing, or mobility impairments.
Some resources to consider:
American Foundation for the Blind, “Creating Accessible Websites”
“About Web Accessibility” for the Deaf or Hearing Impaired
A Web accessibility analyst on using the web while mobility impaired
How will users find your project?
Answers to this question could involve finding an appropriate metadata schema, developing a controlled vocabulary, and exploring the possibility of integration with existing library discovery tools such as Summon.
Some resources to consider:
Dublin Core is a widely used general metadata schema
The Library of Congress on Thesauri and Controlled Vocabularies
For more information on discoverability in the library catalog, contact Sharon Saunders, Associate College Librarian for Systems & Bibliographic Services.
How will you promote and evaluate your project?
Do you have a plan to promote your project?
A resource to consider:
Do you have a plan to evaluate the impact of your project?
A resource to consider:
A Framework of Guidance For Building Good Digital Collections, Principle 6, “A good collection has mechanisms to supply usage data and other data that allows standardized measures of usefulness to be recorded” (Pages 19-21)
Will the project require ongoing support?
Will you be adding to the project over time? Have you considered project maintenance concerns such as: redesign, troubleshooting, format conversion, updates to content or links
Should the project be archived?
Is the project unique and of enduring value to the Bates mission and community? If so, we should archive it for future researchers. Contact Bates College Archivist Michelle Belden for more information