CLIR is organizating a ‘primer’ on ‘managing digital assets’. The text below is from the description of the event. I think it overstates the case, but it is an appropriate reminder that we are really in the early stages of constructing viable digital information environments.
Aside from the largest research institutions, universities and colleges are only beginning to think about how to efficiently manage the growing variety of electronic information for scholarly use that is under their purview. These institutions now accumulate electronic versions of theses, dissertations, scientific data, video, and unpublished research papers. Their librarians now provide access to traditional library content electronically though licensing agreements for journal articles, books, statistical information, music, and more. Still others own specialized, unique, or other local materials that are unlikely to be digitized by anyone else. Some have begun to create and house specialized Web pages of local information resources, as well as digitized manuscripts, archives, learning objects, and images. The pressing issue that all campuses face is how to provide efficiently for storage and retrieval of these growing collections. These institutions also expect their library and technology leaders to make technical and policy choices that ensure their valuable assets will remain accessible over time. Most library directors find themselves poorly prepared to make these decisions, and most will need to work with their technology cohorts to ensure that service needs are met. [Managing Digital Assets: A Primer for Library Administrators]