Montana state librarian driving digitization

Following her December 2011 appointment as State Librarian, Montana officials suggested to KXLH News that Jennie Stapp had been selected for the position based on her ability to bring local media services into the "age of information and digitization." Just a few months into her tenure, Stapp appears to be repaying the faith bestowed upon her.

According to the Helena Independent Record, one of Stapp's early focuses has been making state records publicly available. While the library has traditionally circulated a few hundred such publications each year, more than 18,000 digitized documents have been viewed by curious locals in the past three months alone. The institution's revamped content management platform now hosts everything from property ownership records to geospatial information relating to Montana's plethora of natural resources.

"We do what is considered traditional library work, but it's in a very nontraditional form because the majority of our collections are online, in digital format," Stapp told the news outlet. "So we're making that information available primarily via the web."

The Montana State Library is still several years away from fulfilling its digitization objectives, according to news source, but project coordinators have already remarked on the importance and surprising cost-efficiency of the initiative.

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