National Library of France
Organization and logistics
Growth in the volume of documents being digitized constitutes a major step up in BnF’s digitization plans, on several counts. In particular, this growth has led to far-reaching changes in quality control methods.
Previously, documents were systematically checked before being placed online, but there was no detailed monitoring of production methods.
Current volumes and turnaround times mean that these methods can no longer be maintained. Consequently, BnF is gradually adopting a quality management approach inspired by methods used in the manufacturing industry.
A Quality Insurance Blueprint is a set of documents drawn up by a service provider, with input from the sponsor, during the contract initiation phase. It describes the full range of methods used for the following:
The “production” component is further defined by way of charters and procedures. Each production service (numeric copy creation, digitization, OCR, inputting tables of contents, document quality control, etc.) is covered by a charter, which sets out the expectations of the sponsor (BnF) and the service provider’s undertakings in terms of quality. Production procedures describe the methods used to ensure compliance with the undertakings set out in a charter.
This internal quality process is reflected in a document whose structure and objectives are based on the Quality Insurance Blueprint for external services.
This internal Quality Insurance Blueprint is also used as a tool to support the management of change triggered by changes in methods, channels, and volumes.
Since 2008, BnF has been carrying out checks on document structure to ensure that documents will be viewable in Gallica, BnF’s digital library. These checks are automated, and are carried out by specific software. Once approved, documents are placed online within Gallica.
In order to monitor quality and guide audits, sample-based visual checks are then carried out. These checks focus on image quality, Dewey indexing, and consistency between digital documents and their originals. Any errors or discrepancies are notified to service providers for correction and added to lists of issues to be addressed by audits.
Outline of the production quality management process
sur le schéma méthodologique de l’Audit BnF [fichier .pdf – 27 Ko – 01/07/09 – 1 p.]
What does an audit consist of?An audit consists of following a specific, objective methodology to check whether a service complies with its stipulated objectives. Audits are designed to foster progress and motivation, and rely on a constructive relationship between service provider and sponsor.
In the context of its digitization program, BnF has developed “process” audits (in accordance with the ISO 9000 standard) aimed at checking incoming and outgoing processes involving documents sent for digitization. These audits consist of the following:
Errors identified when a document is delivered are liable also to have affected all other work currently in production.
Careful management of timescales makes it possible to optimize the elapsed time between an anomaly being detected, that anomaly being corrected, and any impact on documents delivered.
The Project Committee, which regularly reviews production quality, also provides an opportunity to flag up anomalies and monitor corrective actions implemented by service providers.
Monday, September 17, 2012