Event Title

New Torch, Same Flame

Location

Burlington Vermont

Start Date

8-13-2013 10:45 AM

End Date

8-13-2013 11:00 AM

Description

This project is a work-in-progress exploring collaborative preservation opportunities for libraries and current digital-content creators in Vermont. Legacy retention partnerships are waning with the print industry, and new independent creators are discovering the need to self-archive, develop new alliances, or risk eventual loss of their work. Cooperation is in everyone's best interests, in that libraries can advise on best curation practices for access and interoperability; creators can keep libraries up-to-date technologically; the public benefits from access to more digital-only work; and the bridges between print and digital records are maintained. This presentation is a narrative of the project's origins up to the present-day, in tandem with rapidly growing developments in the field.

Comments

Intro:

My name is Joanne Montanye, from Access Services in the Dana Medical Library, and my presentation is titled “New Torch, Same Flame". I’ll be glad to answer what I can at the end if time allows, and I will email a list of resources afterwards to anyone who’s interested—there are no live links in this presentation because there just isn’t time to explore them all.

Presentation Notes

1 [dawn slide]

This is a very early progress report on a project that has just begun for me. It all started because I have 3 jobs: in the Library, in community PEG Access, and in distance education and conferencing. I love all my jobs because each is an opportunity to support the same mission of providing access to information and freedom of expression—so wherever I am, it feels seamless.

2 [conference slide and free press logo/url]

In April of 2011, I wanted some professional development but couldn't afford library conferences--I realized I could still learn many related things at a public media conference, so I signed up for the National Conference for Media Reform, in Boston.

Hosted by Free Press organization They do a lot of work towards media equality and transparency at the governmental and grassroots levels.

(freepress.net) "Free Press advocates for universal and affordable Internet access, diverse media ownership, vibrant public media and quality journalism."

3 [groups of presenters 2011]

I was amazed and humbled by the caliber and variety of the work being presented: community-produced documentaries, citizen journalism, clever cost-saving innovations, creative combinations of technologies, and all addressing important issues. But the more I admired, the more I noticed that they all seemed so focused on the future that nobody appeared to be talking -or even thinking- about how their work would be preserved for future reference.

4 [Q & A slide]

I approached one presenter after the session- a nice woman on a panel of community media teachers and organizers- and urged her to advise her students to work with libraries, or archives, to preserve their work. She looked so surprised, and said to me: [fly quote in]

"We've never spoken to a librarian before. [fly quote in] We've never met anyone like you."

How could this be? Certainly more important and knowledgeable library professionals had to be working on meeting this need!

I came home feeling a responsibility to help bridge this gap between digital creators and information stewards. It was frustrating to not have any specific resources or referrals to give them. Digitization projects were beginning to get attention, but not current born-digital work, nor its creators.

5 [dark star]

I hunted and searched-- I signed up for newsletters, listservs, journal alerts, blog feeds; called and emailed people, asked questions in person--and time flew by.

Finally, just before the next NCMR in April of 2013, I began to see some developments. Two of the best were:

6 [handout image / Read Title and Quote-]

Activist Archivists-“a network of media archivists who support the efforts of individuals and communities to voice their concerns and opinions utilizing all of the digital tools available in our age”

They began as a small group reaching out to the Occupy activists, and grew into an advisory organization. “Why Archive” is a handout they developed with Occupy to explain to activist groups the importance of preserving their unique record.-

and

7 [NDSA page w/logo]

Library of Congress' National Digital Stewardship Alliance: this is the opposite of a grass-roots organization-

Point out name, mission statement, URL-

The mission of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance is to establish, maintain, and advance the capacity to preserve our nation's digital resources for the benefit of present and future generations

NDSA is an initiative of the LOC’s Digital Preservation Program specifically focused on current digital work, especially citizen journalism, community media, and hyperlocal news. Their research and case studies are intended to develop national standards and policies.

8 At this point, time was up.

[NCMR 2013 and images]

I took the Why Archive pdf and the NDSA’s contact information, and flew to Denver, hoping to find a receptive ear somewhere in the throng.

9 [soapbox images]

In Denver I found the Soapbox, where anyone could sign up for a 15 minute timeslot and make their pitch to the crowd. There was one opening left, in an hour--and I took it. With a simple show-and-tell I reminded people that their hard work would be wasted and their issues forgotten (or misrepresented!) if their current work wasn't archived for the future. I gave them my whole two references, and urged them to reach out for whatever advice they needed to safeguard their work.

10 [return to dawn]Next Steps

Now here I am on the other side, talking to libraries. Of course this is an extremely simplistic overview of an enormous challenge. Not since Gutenberg has there been such change, and at bit-speed—but if libraries want to remain involved, we need to be present and available.

Many current digital creators have no previous professional connection to libraries, and they don't know us. They don’t know our capabilities, or our advocacy, or our stewardship. We need to be willing to reach out, invite them in, or go to them.

Since April there’s been an incredible acceleration of development, from the local to the national level. So much is happening now that there is room and need for every skill set. Project-wise, I hope to be working with some PEG access groups in the Fall as they organize their holdings--that’s where I have any ability to contribute. I encourage all my library coworkers to check into what our media colleagues are doing and see where their own skills might be of help.

11 [fly in links 1-2-3] [ level of description time-dependent!]

Here are three excellent examples of the breadth of development so far:

On the street level: The Activists’ Guide to Archiving was created by witness.org, an international non-profit that uses video to expose human rights abuses. Hands down, this is the best, most comprehensive but readable, start-to-finish technical guide to video creation and archiving I’ve seen so far. I will be sending this to many people.

At the systems level: DPLA: The Digital Public Library of America. “The DPLA is an all-digital library that aggregates metadata about digital objects held by libraries, museums, and archives around the country” They hold no works themselves; they refer to themselves as a portal, a platform, and an advocate for the public option.

On the national level: The National Agenda for Digital Stewardship 2014 is the long awaited national action plan for the next year

The official description:

It annually integrates the perspective of dozens of experts and hundreds of institutions, convened through the Library of Congress, to provide funders and executive decision‐makers insight into emerging technological trends, gaps in digital stewardship capacity, and key areas for funding, research and development to ensure that today's valuable digital content remains accessible and comprehensible in the future, supporting a thriving economy, a robust democracy, and a rich cultural heritage.

These are just examples- the full list is still growing and it’s too long to include here- so if anyone is interested, just email me and I'll send it to you—and I’d love to hear about anything anyone else has found that I haven’t seen yet. Thanks very much!

 
Aug 13th, 10:45 AM Aug 13th, 11:00 AM

New Torch, Same Flame

Burlington Vermont

This project is a work-in-progress exploring collaborative preservation opportunities for libraries and current digital-content creators in Vermont. Legacy retention partnerships are waning with the print industry, and new independent creators are discovering the need to self-archive, develop new alliances, or risk eventual loss of their work. Cooperation is in everyone's best interests, in that libraries can advise on best curation practices for access and interoperability; creators can keep libraries up-to-date technologically; the public benefits from access to more digital-only work; and the bridges between print and digital records are maintained. This presentation is a narrative of the project's origins up to the present-day, in tandem with rapidly growing developments in the field.