Digital Collaborations in Western North Carolina - A Community Needs Assessment Project

Appalachian State University’s Digital Scholarship & Initiatives team (DSI) has received a Library Services & Technology Act (LSTA) grant to fund “Digital Collaborations in Western North Carolina,” a needs assessment project for the development of digital preservation and access programming for communities/groups/organizations in the Western North Carolina (WNC) region. This grant project will:

  • identify and assess the needs of organizations, small businesses, and/or community groups in the WNC region that lack and would benefit from support, training, and professional development in DSI areas of expertise
  • recommend formats (e.g., in-person workshops, online training resources, etc.) and content areas (e.g., copyright, 3D scanning, etc.) that would best serve the identified groups
  • recommend outreach activities to engage these groups

We Need Your Feedback!

In order to gain a better understanding of the needs and interests of the region, we are seeking information from community members on their professional needs and interests in several areas, including but not limited to:

  • Scanning photographs, documents, or other items
  • Records management, physical or electronic
  • Digital assets management
  • Long-term preservation of physical and/or digital items
  • 3D scanning of physical objects
  • Copyright and intellectual property
  • Creating a digital repository to showcase works/objects online
  • Publishing content online
  • And other related areas

If you work in a WNC organization, non-profit, or small businesses, we’d appreciate 5-7 minutes of your time to complete a 9-question survey that will ask you about your needs and interests in programming and services in the areas listed above. Your answers will remain anonymous. Your IP address will NOT be collected. Your survey feedback is very important to us as it will help inform our development of free programming and services to meet WNC community needs.

Survey Link

Complete the survey

Why is this project needed?

Many communities, organizations, and small businesses in the WNC region may lack access to digital tools, skills, and services that support their growth and ability to thrive in an increasingly complex and evolving digital landscape. Support and training in DSI specialist’s areas would support community members in maintaining their digital records for long-term preservation and, in some cases, make them available as publicly accessible digital collections. WNC communities may need services and tools such as digital archiving, digital asset management, and digital preservation planning, which can help them store, manage and share digital assets as well as protect those assets from loss, corruption, and obsolescence. Moreover, organizations and businesses in the region may need services and tools that can help them migrate their digital assets to new formats and platforms. By incorporating digital preservation, digitization, metadata, and 3D scanning into their workflows, WNC nonprofits, small businesses and other groups can not only increase the longevity and accessibility of their digital assets, but also enhance their competitiveness and reach in their respective fields and marketplace.
DSI seeks to better understand community-user needs in these areas so that it may develop customized, user-centered programming that meets community needs and fosters their success. From previous work with local organizations, Appalachian State University Libraries has identified a need for education and training in records management, digital preservation, digital access, and intellectual property and privacy literacy. The Digital Scholarship & Initiatives team has the skills, knowledge, and expertise to help organizations manage their records and digital assets for long-term preservation and accessibility. Through targeted education programs and selected partnerships, we can assist in the preservation and access of WNC’s social and cultural resources and activities and provide support that will contribute to the region’s economic well being.


To learn more about this project, please contact:

Pam Mitchem
Coordinator, Digital Scholarship & Initiatives
University Libraries
Appalachian State University
(828) 262-7422

Ashlea Green
Metadata Librarian, Digital Scholarship & Initiatives
University Libraries
Appalachian State University
(828) 262-6588

Dea Rice
Digital Projects Librarian, Digital Scholarship & Initiatives
University Libraries
Appalachian State University
(828) 262-6724

This program is supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-253645-OLS-23).