Deliver accessible PDFs via Odyssey--i.e. run PDFs through software to OCR before delivery
Our campus wants us to deliver accessible PDFs for faculty who post files online for classes. Many libraries scan as images and deliver via Odyssey as part of the scanning process. They don't have opportunity to OCR files before delivery.
Planned for ILLiad v9.2 in Q3 2021
David Larsen commented
Thanks, Sara, and all the folks at Atlas for making this happen! This is terrific news.
Hello all, thank you for commenting or upvoting this enhancement idea. After the immense amount of interest, we are excited to say Support for External OCR workflows is planned for the next version release of ILLiad (v9.2).
If you would be interested in attending a focus group to discuss potential workflows, please comment below or contact me at email@example.com or 757-439-0208.
To see an updated list of other features planned for the next release, check out the ILLiad Roadmap: https://www.atlas-sys.com/illiad-roadmap. Once I have any additional updates on this feature such as a release date, I'll post them in this thread.
Thank you again all for your feedback!
Naomi Chow commented
Perhaps the solution might be to reverse the process -- the received PDFs were run in some kind of OCR program after the ILLiad server has received the document, but before being finally upload to the patron.
This would, however, only address accessibility for your home patrons, not for the supplying library providing a PDF to a non-ILLiad library.
Not being in IT I'm not sure whether ILLiad would be be able to have another transmission program (e.g., via OCLC AE if file size limit is higher or some other file drop service) to automatically switch to using if the file size is too large for Odyssey to handle, or to send to non-ILLIad libraries.
Probably would ideally need the OCR accessibility solution addressed on both sending and receiving documents.
Wayne West, ILL at MXO commented
I am going to offer a NEGATIVE viewpoint to putting OCR into ILLiad. I recently scanned 90 pages for a request, it became a 13 MB PDF. No big deal. When I ran character recognition on it in Adobe Acrobat, the file size ballooned to 85 MEG! BIG DEAL! Needless to say I transmitted the file without character recognition and advised the recipient that if they wanted to run it, this is what they could expect.
My previous career was over 3 decades in IT. Lots of IT departments put a quota on how big email attachments can be. This could be a big problem! I think it would be better to leave it in the hands of either the ILL tech or even the ILL requester. At our uni, and admittedly this is not true of all, we are installing the full Adobe Suite pretty much everywhere.
So because of file size issues, being an IT guy, I would conditionally be opposed to this idea. If it is implemented, I would say it would require a lot of education. There's a huge risk of REALLY offending the IT department and blowing out email server hard drive space!
Because of the space issue, have the document delivery people do the OCR and either burn it on a CD or have the requester bring in a flash drive for the copy if it's too big to email, or set up a Dropbox or equiv system. Use CD-RW and encourage reuse if you like.
And I'll even identify myself and not be an anonymouse.
This is one of our most desired needs for ILLiad.
Naomi Chow commented
This has become a legal accessibility requirement for our university system to be in compliance with ADA regulations. Highly desirable upgrade for ILLiad!
It seems there is a desire for OCR documents. It would be great if we could include this in ILLiad
Diane Englot commented
This would make things so much easier...make it so!
Mark Sullivan commented
Since a good number of libraries are now using Tipasa, having ILLiad OCR the pdf before sending through Odyssey or Article Exchange would be great.
This is a priority on our campus, thanks!
Melinda Dermody commented
I see this as a high priority enhancement to better serve a broader group of patrons. Thanks you!
Ronald Figueroa commented
This is a very important functionality to have in our system asap. We need to be conscientious and keep up with the times and technological tools available to meet user’s needs. On the one hand, an enhancement like this will positively target a group of patrons that, in many cases, have more difficulties to fulfill academic needs due the lack of good patron-oriented services—this is actually shocking to see. On the other hand, it will benefit users in general by providing a rich and robust product suitable to the times we live in. It will also save staff time during processing. Our mission is to share and provide access to information and knowledge to our patrons and "patrons" means everybody.
Amy Fuls Paulus commented
Please add in this functionality. We have an increasing number of students registering with our student disability services office and we have a workflow outside of ILLiad to accommodate these patrons which is terribly inefficient. Plus there are users not with an official disability that really benefit from having accessible PDFs and we cannot deliver that to them.
We have discussed adding OCR to our scanning processing multiple times, but lack the staff-power to make it so with our current systems. Adding OCR capabilities to Odyssey would be absolutely game-changing in terms of customer service and accessibility.
Meg Massey commented
I would also like to see OCR processing added to Odyssey.
Amy Gherardini commented
We too would like to have OCR enhancement.
Sidnie Reed commented
I agree make OCR available.
At Furman, we are working hard to make our website and other public assets screen-reader friendly. This would be an EXCELLENT step forward to help ALL of our fac, staff, students be able to use resources!! We NEED this!! Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Logan!
Morgan Bond commented
I vote yes to adding OCR processing to Odyssey!
Brian Miller commented
We did a local ILLiad User Survey this past year, and our faculty and student users told us they want OCR'd articles and book chapters. I fully support this enhancement.