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CONTENTdm in action

Community collaboration

When you choose CONTENTdm, you become part of a large, active user community that shares best practices and locally developed extensions through a listserv and the User Support Center, regional user groups, and other collaborations.

And CONTENTdm is collaboratively designed for communities that share, helping libraries pool resources in creative ways.

Vibrant user community

Our community collaborates and supports one another in several key ways.

Regional user groups

The expanding regional user group communities meet regularly. The multi-day meeting events offer expert speakers, the opportunity to learn from other CONTENTdm users, interaction with the CONTENTdm product team and some feature training sessions. Information about regional user groups is shared regularly on the CONTENTdm listserv.

Blogs and forums

Licensed CONTENTdm users can participate in the CONTENTdm Forums on the User Support Center. The USC provides forums for users to share ideas, tips, and best practices for using CONTENTdm. Information about upcoming online user meetings and training, as well as software and documentation updates is also distributed through the listserv. To sign up for the Forums, please visit the User Support Center. You can also subscribe to a digest of Blog and Forum articles that will send you email with the hot topics from the USC.

Shared extensions

While most customers run the CONTENTdm software “out-of-the box,” it also has an application programming interface (API) that allows for custom development. The open architecture supports extensions, and our customers agree to share their custom extensions with the community when the API is provided.

CONTENTdm users have created and shared extensions that add Z39.50 compatibility, MetaLib integration, workflow tools for managing copyright information, interface customizations and more.

Community collaborations

Libraries have a long tradition of pooling resources in creative ways. Digital collection building is another arena where alone, the resources may not be available, but the power of many can enable all to participate.

Across multi-type library cooperatives

CONTENTdm easily brings together reformatted and “born” digital materials about particular topics or themes, regardless of where the materials originate. Small libraries and archives have important local history materials that are increasingly in demand.

These materials can be scanned and contributed to CONTENTdm collections hosted by a larger organization such as a state or academic library supporting a regional or state-wide project.

For example, the Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Archive, funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, is a collaborative project that virtually frames related primary resources held in different museums, libraries and historical societies at Washington State University Vancouver, Idaho State Historical Society, Oregon Historical Society, Washington State Historical Society and Washington State University Pullman.

Among colleagues

Peer organizations often partner to purchase a CONTENTdm license because the Project Client can be distributed generously throughout the membership.

For example, the Appalachian College Association, a group of 35 colleges and universities, joined together to build the Digital Library of Appalachia. The Library’s 12 collections contain materials related to the culture of the southern and central Appalachian region.

Within single institutions

For academic libraries, your special collections are the treasures of your holdings—unique and priceless. In addition to broad library collections, your end users need access to departmental and even personal digital collections. And for all types of libraries, museums and archive organizations, your various branches and departments may want to store multimedia documents in a shared digital repository for ready search and retrieval. CONTENTdm can be put to many and diverse uses within a single institution, leveraging existing partnerships and lightening everyone’s budget.

For example, at the University of Illinois, the University’s Digital Services and Development Unit partners with campus departments and the University Press, digitizing historical maps and other valuable materials, and providing teaching resources to the greater community.

For more information, please contact your OCLC representative, your nearest OCLC office or e-mail

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration. Learn more »