There is a really nice article about digitization projects on the Information Today site right now. Jane Monson’s What to Expect When You’re Digitizing: A Primer for the Solo Digital Librarian details some valuable lessons about embarking on digital projects whether you are in charge of a crack team of experts at a huge library or business or the solo librarian at a smaller locale. Highlights include accepting your limitations, seeking outside funding if available, and learning to juggle and collaborate.
Also, realize that even open source free software takes an investment of time and IT expertise to configure and install and that it is likely the project will actually take longer than you expect. As a general rule, it has been my experience that you should factor in trial and error time for the first upload to account for collection management software issues and also to build in extra time for creating metadata. Eventually, all steps will go more quickly, but at first there will be some errors, glitches and ramping up time.
In addition, it is wise to plan your a sort of soft launch to test part of your online collection with a group of trusted colleague’s before going live for the public and search engines alike.