What is the Digital Library of the Caribbean?

The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a cooperative of partners within the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean that provides users with access to Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials held in archives, libraries, and private collections.

When did dLOC begin?

dLOC began with the governance model and community of practice formation for dLOC in 2004.

What kinds of materials are held in the library?

dLOC comprises collections that speak to the similarities and differences in histories, cultures, languages and governmental systems. Types of collections include but are not limited to: newspapers, archives of Caribbean leaders and governments, official documents, documentation and numeric data for ecosystems, scientific scholarship, historic and contemporary maps, oral and popular histories, travel accounts, literature and poetry, musical expressions, and artifacts.

Who has access to dLOC?

dLOC is an open access digital library; no institutional affiliations or subscriptions are required to access the materials available in dLOC.  However, users can register for free for a MydLOC account to use enhanced features.

How can I find the resources in dLOC?

The easiest way to start searching in dLOC is from the home page.  The basic search now allows you to access bibliographic citation information of the items in dLOC and receive results in record time.  In addition, users can explore the topical collections or take advantage of any of the advanced search options described below:

  • Map Search:  If you are looking for items with discrete geographic locations, you can now take advantage of the new map search.  Just a few clicks allow you to highlight your specific geographic area of interest, and once you click search, you will receive results for all items with the corresponding longitude and latitude noted in the metadata.
  • Advanced Search:  If your basic search returns too many results to easily and efficiently organize, the advanced search feature will allow you to restrict your search terms by categories such as title, author, subject keyword, country and more. 
  • Full Text Search:  If you would like to search through the full text for a specific word or phrase, simply click on the text search tab.   If you would like to include the newspapers in your search, click the check box below the search bar and then type in the search term and wait while dLOC searches each full text file for you.  In seconds, you will receive results that include the term either in the citation or the full text.  If the term is found in the full text, all pages with that term appear in the “matching tiles” box at the top left of the screen.
  • Browse By:  If you would like to browse through similar items held in the dLOC collection, the browse by function allows you to see items related by the similar criteria.  This page defaults to the partner collections, but you can also see results displayed by the following categories:
  • Faceted Searching:  Upon completion of any of the above searches, users have the option to expand or narrow the results by selecting the related search terms in the box to the left.  Options for faceted searching include, but are not limited to, finding items by the same publisher and finding items related to the same geographic area or with the same subject keywords.  Since dLOC partners use both standard and local subject keywords, this can be an especially useful way to locate new materials!

How can I save or share my search results?

Registered users of dLOC can save search results and create bookshelves and share these via email or by posting links.  Users can reference saved searches, add comments to items and organize public and private bookshelves via the MydLOC home page.  Users can also share items through a variety of popular channels, including Facebook, Twitter, DIGG, StumbleUpon, Yahoo, Yahoo Buzz, Google Bookmarks, Browser favorites, and others

How can I use an image from dLOC in a presentation or publication?

Many of the resources you find on the Internet are copyright protected. You may use all or part of a copyrighted work only if you have the copyright owner's permission or your use falls under a legal exemption. Although the Internet is a different medium than printed text, ownership and intellectual property rights still exist. Check the citations of documents you are viewing for appropriate statements indicating copyright ownership and what the person or entity holding those rights is asserting. It is your responsibility to respect these rights including all copyrights. You may retrieve and save these materials for educational purposes. Please check each page for information (photo credits, etc.) about the owners and about permission to copy the images and documents they contain.

How does dLOC address and comply with copyright and other restrictions?

Copyright laws vary across the Caribbean.  dLOC relies on its partner institutions to research the copyright and ensure compliance.  It is the local partners who can best determine if a resource is in the public domain or negotiate the permissions for online distribution, if possible.  The holding or source instiutions retain all rights to the resources and only grant dLOC non-exclusive digital distriubtion rights for non-commercial educational use.  If the copyright status of an item online is challenged, we immediately remove the item and attempt to seek permission.  If a user seeks to use an item in a publication or in another commerical use, he/she must contact the holding institution.

Where are the originals materials held?

The partner holding the material usually performs the digitization. We have also experienced collaboration between our current partners who have digitized content for “silent” partners.  In that case, the holding institution identifies where the item can be found and the source institution performed the digitization.  This information is found in the bibliographic citation. 

Where are the digital master files held?

The dLOC Toolkit and myDLOC online submission tool facilitates the archiving of partner contributions on disk at the partner’s institution. Contributions are also maintained in the dark (no access to the public) at the University of Florida (UF) and in the Florida Digital Archive (FDA) to ensure content survival against hurricanes, earthquakes, fires and other disasters. Both FDA and UF migrate content forward based on media, hardware and format obsolescence; and both new and old formats are archived. The digital archive technology of FDA is free to dLOC as the result of the collaboration of Florida partners. But, commercial vendors charge annually for similar technology and attendant services.

Are there resources to help me use these materials in the classroom?

Through collaboration with the Title VI National Resource Centers for Latin American Studies at Florida International University and the University of Florida, dLOC provides teacher training workshops, presentations and booths at local and national conferences and a nation-wide lesson plan competition have reached thousands of K-12 teachers.  The Teaching Guides collection now hosts 36 titles with over 6,500 hits.  dLOC continues to work with teachers and seek contributions to encourage the study of the Caribbean at the K-12 level.
Details: http://dloc.com/info/outre      

What are the requirements for partners?

Partnership in the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is free and is open to all archives, libraries, museums, governmental institutions, associations, organizations, research centers, and publishers that meet the eligibility criteria (availability of collections with Caribbean content; willingness to contribute collections and to make these freely available to the project; willingness to designate representatives; and willingness to comply with common standards, primarily for digitization and for copyright).

What does a dLOC partner get for its association with the dLOC?

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, partners in dLOC gain access to the already operating dLOC website built upon the University of Florida Digital Collectionr technologies which includes: highly advanced OCR/text conversion; zoom image technologies; a sophisticated digital library system and interface; and access to the Florida Digital Archive (FDA).

  • The OCR technology has a cost of $60,000 if the partner were to build out the same technology.
  • The Aware zoom image technology has a cost of $25,000 USD
  • The digital library technology employed by dLOC is freeware but is maintained by two programmers and one hardware engineer at a cost of $150,000 USD annually, on more than $60,000 USD of computer and network hardware.
  • UFDC/dLOC programmers take requests for system development - what benefits a dLOC partner generally benefits UF.
  • dLOC technology will soon have the ability to ingest OCLC or other MARC-based catalog records, spreadsheets, finding-guides, etc. - all methods currently in final test at UF. It will also have the ability to generate MARC-based catalog records for items entered into its systems without catalog records.
  • Ability to search the collections contributed to dLOC from the partner’s site. The technology is capable of displaying content under alternate pages. See the College of The Bahamas - dLOC Contributions as an example:
    dLOC version: http://dloc.com/icobn?n=dloc
    College of The Bahamas version: http://dloc.com/icobn?n=cobn

Does dLOC provide training for new partners?

The tri-lingual digitization training manual, online videos and other supports provide partners with the skills to build local digitization programs.  Since 2005, dLOC has delivered on-site training to more than 375 people during 25 in-country trainings.  Through training at the Caribbean Library Association (ACURIL) conference, dLOC reached 100 people through workshops and 600 with poster presentations. 
Details and training materials: http://dloc.com/info/training  

Who governs the collaborative digital library and provides direction for the collection development?

The governance structures of dLOC ensure the project’s future.  The Executive Board determines policy-making, planning and fundraising efforts while the Academic Advisory Board is an active, guiding force that bridges dLOC with broader academic communities. 
Details: http://dloc.com/info/bylaw