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Omeka, Scriblio and User Contribution

One of the cool things about Scriblio is that it lets people contribute to a digital collection. Scriblio’s a WordPress MU (multiple user) plug-in that’s being used by some small to mid-sized academic libraries as an alternative to the traditional OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog). Scriblio ingests OPAC catalog records as blog posts, and uses a series of “connectors” to enhance bibliographic data from external service providers like Open Library, Amazon, Google Books, and Library Thing. And it can be configured to publish user contribution, in the form of questions, comments, announcements, and course postings. Check out Scriblio in action Plymouth State University’s library Web site.

But as a simple content mangement system (if that exists), Scriblio is also being used for digital collections, and it has some features that’d be nice to see in Omeka. Developed by Casey Bison, from Plymouth State University, New Hampshire, its pilot project was “Beyond Brown Paper.”

Beyond Brown Paper...

I first heard about this at WordPress Camp NYC, and I found it fascinating how Bison built a digital collection about the Brown Paper Mill in Berlin, New Hampshire and managed to get the whole community involved in documenting how the mill affected people and how its closing changed the town’s history.

I feel Omeka is a cleaner way to mount a digital collection, but what are the complications of implementing user contribution in Omeka? I know that the Contribution plug-in addresses similar ends, but it doesn’t seem to offer a simple way to comment on an item. Instead its purpose seems to gather items, which isn’t bad, but requires a lot more administrative intervention. Anybody have any thoughts on how users can enrich a collection’s metadata?

Posted in scriblio, user contribution.



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