The Iowa State University Library Digital Collections include a wide variety of content which is presented in a variety of formats.  There are many photographs presented as individual images, some audio and video files, and plenty of PDFs like the example below of a seed catalog from 1887.

DigCollSeedCat

We want all of our collections to be accessible to the public who view the content from a variety of computer devices that connect to the internet, so we test everything by viewing it on different computers besides the computers on our desk in our office.  We discovered that our PDFs were not opening on any of the public computers throughout our library.

The library has an automated system that turns off all the public computers when the building closes and when it turns them on in the morning, it also opens the Internet Explorer browser to the library web page so that when a patron comes up to any computer it’s ready for searching the library.  Eventually, I figured out that the reason that the PDFs were not opening was that the add-ons for Adobe PDF and Adobe PDF Link Helper were not enabled when the Internet Explorer browser opens automatically each morning.  Through much trial and error, I finally figured out that all I had to do was to close Internet Explorer and re-open it for the Adobe PDF add-ons to be enabled.  However, having somebody manually close and re-open Internet Explorer every morning on all the public computers in the library is not a very good solution to the problem.  Library IT is looking into why the Adobe PDF add-ons are not enabled when Internet Explorer opens automatically every morning and how to make it happen.  However, as Library IT continues to work on a solution, this glitch in the system remains for our potential Library Digital Collections users.

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