Ask an Agent: How Do You Handle Digital Content Management?


You’ve got questions,  we’ve got answers! Our volunteer Agents are on the job! Here’s what they have to say this week….

Question: In regards to a digital creativity center, what are people doing for content management? When it comes to storing files, moving files, etc. do you check hard drives out to patrons, or do you use a server model? Thanks!


Jake (Boone County Public Library) says:

My library does not currently have any procedure for storage in a digital creativity center. There are numerous options though, and I don’t think any of them are particularly bad (though I highly doubt that my library would allow for patrons to store things on a central server). This would also depend on how you’re planning to run the creativity center. If you’re going to allow any patrons to come in and create, having storage for the patrons could easily become overwhelming if the service is popular. If you have multiple hard drives, you’ll need to be careful of what each person is accessing (not getting into other patron’s material), and you’d need to be on the ball with keeping files up to date. It may be easier (though still risky) to utilize some kind of cloud based storage (iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, etc…). Again, none of these are without risk, and the possibility of being without Internet access may dissuade you from using these, but in order to keep each patron secure, a unique password protected storage may be the way to go.

Faythe (Tulare County Library) says:
I’m in a rural, low-income area and created a digital media lab for teens. If they have created something they want to keep I let them borrow a USB Drive; that worked for a little bit. A lot of the teens who use the lab, use it for homework because they don’t have a computer or internet access at home. They can’t afford to pay for prints let allow buy a USB drive to use. Now I teach all the teens how to use Google Docs. If they want to save something to work on later, I have them use Google Docs. Presentations for school? Google Docs. It’s working really well so far.

Natalie (Farmingdale Public Library) says:
We don’t sell hard drives to patrons, but we will lend one for the day and have them e-mail the content to themselves.

Wendy (Culman High School) says:
I work in a high school, and we check out flash drives for students working on these sorts of projects — their capacity now is pretty enormous — and occasionally will loan students a larger capacity hard drive. Depending on what they are doing, we might try to encourage them to use Dropbox, which integrates with our district’s Learning Management System or in Drive on our Google Apps for Ed domain, but some prefer something tangible rather than the cloud.

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