The Felix G Woodward Library at Austin Peay State University (APSU) began offering a pretty cool addition to their digital collection two weeks ago. Visitors to the digital collection website can access all the issues of the student newsletter, The All State, dating back to 1930. So far, they have 1148 issues available online and have digitized every single newsletter up until 1988. They are adding the remaining issues as fast as they can.
The library used optical character recognition during the digital encoding process so all the newsletters are searchable. It’s fun to get a glimpse into how the lives of students have changed over the last 81 years. It’s also interesting to see how the technology used to make the newsletter itself changed over a wide span of time.
APSU is one of a few Tennessee colleges that has a library that is actively embracing digital content. In addition to the newsletters, the library also loans out Kindles. Unfortunately, the selection of books available for those Kindles is extremely small. We’re guessing the library is still testing the waters with the devices to see if they are popular. This is common among libraries that have chosen to carry Kindles.
It’s nice to see that college libraries are actively involved in the transition to digital content. They command huge budgets and massive clout that can really help in developing electronic collections at our libraries.