As Federal Depository Librarians mull over the idea of digital deposit and discuss that with their administrations, consider the Alaska State Library’s recent experience in storing and serving Alaska State Documents:
Starting with documents cataloged in July 2005 (FY 2006), the Alaska State Library stores local copies of cataloged electronic state publications on our web server. As of 12/7/2005, we had 279 titles in 463 files taking up 1.16GB worth of storage space. We still have 48GB available on our current web server, so at the average AK e-document size of 3.7MB, we could handle another 13,000 plus documents before we’d need to buy a new hard drive. Because we used space on an existing server, we had no upfront costs.
Documents stored on the server are accessible through our catalog and through our monthly shipping lists. A robots.txt file keeps our stored documents from being directly accessed by the major search engines. This is done to ensure that user understands they are not looking at an agency copy. Search engines do access the monthly shipping lists, so people will be able to find an agency document even if it is dropped of the agency’s server. But the user will be shown that they are looking at a library-archived copy.
Since making our harvested documents accessible through our own server in October 2005, there have been over a 1000 downloads of Alaska e-docs.
Alaska is currently exploring LOCKSS to preserve and diseminate Alaska State Documents. More news about that as it becomes available. We are already using LOCKSS as part of the GPO Pilot project to preserve federal e-journals. Our costs for LOCKSS so far have been: $2000 for a Linux Server, $1080 state library LOCKSS alliance membership, and approximately $80/month for a outside-the-state-firewall Internet connection. Once the system was set up, staff time was minimal, barely reaching two hours a month. If GPO sets up a digital deposit system around LOCKSS, I can guarantee we will participate since my administration has already approved the pilot project. If they select some other method, I can go to my administration using our state documents experience.