Local History and Genealogy Goes Public with Inmagic Presto

An Inmagic Presto Success Story

Crawfordsville District Public Library Challenges

Cutting edge technology

Visual appeal and multimedia options

Federated search

Permanence and data security

“Digital storage of valuable information requires staying current on technology and archival methods. In the world of technology, five years can be an eternity with all its changes. It is because of this need to stay current that CDPL took its local history databases to the next level with Inmagic Presto”

ANGELA WHITE,
Digital Initiatives Librarian

T he Crawfordsville District Public Library’s local history and genealogy team has a longstanding tradition of preserving and storing its community’s history. Their archives collections are well known, and progressive staff have made resources available online since 2000 when their databases first materialized, thanks to Inmagic’s DB/TextWorks and WebPublisher Pro—and thanks to those who collected, scanned, indexed, and kept building their digital collection over the years.

Eventually, because of budget, staffing, and technology concerns, they knew they had to migrate to a more robust solution to support their digitization and online access strategy. At that time, they were running 20 different databases as silos—with a total of well over a million records, scanned documents, and images, as well as text. User needs and expectations had evolved greatly and a more integrated solution was needed.

The Right Choice: Inmagic Presto

They studied several options (including open source), focusing on how they could easily migrate their data, maintain oversight, enjoy easy configuration, and dramatically broaden online access—but until they saw Inmagic Presto, they were not satisfied, in large part because other solutions would be very labor intensive, costly to maintain, and didn’t look robust or visually appealing. Per Bill Helling, library technologist, electronic resources expert and consultant, in addition to being impressed by its many powerful capabilities they chose Inmagic Presto “because it promised a seamless transition and an elegant solution”.

By the time they were ready to migrate they had over a million records available to the public, including 48,000 images, 134,000 marriage records, 330,000 vital records, 450,000 yearbook records, and many others. Lucidea’s Client Services team supported the migration, and per Angela White, Digital Initiatives Librarian, were willing to work within CDPL’s budget, showing flexibility and commitment. Staff also value the “huge amount of customization capability in Presto” and are “floored” by how many options they have, finding they can easily do most things themselves with good training, and are confident they can make alterations themselves —while Client Services staff are “so quick to respond if needed”. Says Ms. White, “…you cannot overestimate the value of helping stabilize our collection.”

Future-Proof Technology

Part of stabilizing the collection rests in the technology. Thanks to the upgrade, CDPL’s valuable information is now stored onsite as well as on a remote cloud server (leveraging Lucidea’s SaaS solution) to assure permanence of the data. Per Bill Helling, benefits of the SaaS solution include “data protection for the future, 24/7/365 data availability is assured, we don’t need to dedicate technical expertise and staff at the local level, and we no longer worry about hardware and software issues”. Further, Lucidea’s pricing is “very favorable compared to competitors and the vicious circle of maintenance and upkeep”.

Digital Discovery and Inspiration

Inmagic Presto’s powerful indexing capabilities mean that CDPL’s artifacts are now indexed back to 1831, facilitating the discovery process and broadening access to their collections. Statistics show a year on year increase in page views from a daily average of 225 to 439. However, far from replacing visits to the Library, online multimedia exposure to CDPL’s artifacts enables the public and researchers to realize the depth of information that is available to library goers, ultimately increasing footfall and engagement. Per Jodie Steelman Wilson, Acting Director, visitors now “do their homework first” online—leveraging federated search capabilities that allow them to make a single query across all the databases— and often then spend 1-2 weeks with the physical collections. With Inmagic Presto, the digital experience excites and motivates visitors to want the “tactile experience” of holding something in their hands. As one poignant example, a patron discovered online the ledger that contained her great grandmother’s naturalization record; she then felt compelled to visit the library to see the real thing and “interact with the item itself”. She started to cry, and the ledger had to be handed back before she could wet the ink.

CDPL staff are especially proud of their image collection. They are fortunate as part of a public library to have collected images for over a century, and they have dedicated staff who manage them, building both a national and international reputation (and by the way, Ancestry.com links out to their databases!). Staff favorites include an image of two ladies bathing a pig in a washtub, and a photograph of Carrie Nation, temperance activist, attacking saloons in Crawfordsville with her hatchet.

Inmagic Presto and Crawfordsville District Public Library
“Staff favorites include an image of two ladies bathing a pig in a washtub…”

All in Good Time

Future uses of Inmagic Presto may include integration of audio/video interviews—with veterans, for example—and oral histories (often donated by family members on cassettes that need to be digitized). They may also put complete subject matter specific collections curated by their archivists online, such as a WWI display, or a railway history display supported by multimedia files. At a more granular level, per Mr. Helling, “We would like to do some more work on the front end and make our gateway page easier to use. We would also like to experiment with some of the output displays (e.g., search, results display, etc.) that Inmagic Presto allows us to configure. Finally, we want to work on some of the responsive styles for the template we use—but all in good time because with Presto we have an excellent solution already in place.”

Per Ms. White and Mr. Helling, “With Lucidea, we truly have a partner instead of just a third-party vendor. CDPL is innovative in terms of its digital strategy and presence, and most software hasn’t caught up with our needs. Inmagic Presto is the exception, and is far more of a robust product than we ever thought we could have.”

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Inmagic Presto and Crawfordsville District Public Library Success Story

Local History and Genealogy Goes Public with Inmagic Presto

Crawfordsville Public Library took its local history and genealogy databases to the next level with Inmagic Presto’s knowledge management tools.

More Inmagic Presto Success Stories

Local History and Genealogy Goes Public with Inmagic Presto

Crawfordsville Public Library took its local history and genealogy databases to the next level with Inmagic Presto’s knowledge management tools.

Bringing a Community’s History to Life, with Inmagic Presto

Inmagic Presto delivers an online, searchable database of approximately 15,000 town records dating from 1639 – 1850 to the Sudbury Archives in the Goodnow Library.

Inmagic Presto and Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

Presto library software makes engineering firm SGH’s critical intellectual property searchable and accessible to all staff. Intuitive, web-based, social.

Inmagic Presto and RISE Innventia

RISE Innventia‘s library supports researchers, plus partners and sponsors, using Presto to provide global access to a unique pulp and paper collection.

Inmagic Presto and American Physical Therapy Association

APTA is digitizing its library collection and moving to electronic document delivery; Presto enables Knowledge Services to deliver impact and efficiency.

Inmagic Presto and Center for Transportation Research

CTR’s goal is to provide online public access to transportation research and resources; Presto—built for finding rather than searching—makes it happen.

Inmagic Presto and PFTA

“PFTA” is a leader in workplace health and safety education. Presto’s powerful Web publishing capabilities let them access resources anytime, anywhere.

Inmagic Presto and AAFPRS

Inmagic Presto provides a secure patient history database to AAFPRS facial plastic surgeons who care for those with facial deformities caused by trauma.

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