2 Replies to “An experiment with a digital preservation policy”

  1. Scott,

    Thanks for your post, and for bringing UMD’s digital preservation policy into the conversation. I think it is valuable to familiarize ourselves with the practices of our own institution. I like the point you made when you said that having digital preservation policies in place saves the institution work in the future. This is something that I have come to realize while working on the consultation project. If an institution has done little in the realm of digital preservation, it can be an enormous amount of work to get the process started, much less becoming organized to the point where they can create a policy. I’m willing to bet that most of the smaller organizations we’re working with do not have a policy; I know that my institution does not.

    The next step of our projects will be to submit a digital preservation policy, and I hope that this work will be beneficial for those institutions that are currently lacking. Perhaps this document will help professionals appeal to their superiors for more resources; resources they did not have at the start of this project. The point I’m trying to make is that yes, all of this is a lot of work. But, it will be a lot easier to maintain digital preservation procedures than start from scratch in the future.

    Mallory

    1. Thank you very much Mallory. In my undergraduate Lib sci work, one of my primary professors was a very strong believer in formalized policies. She had been a public librarian in a relatively small town, and had limited resources. Having policies in place for many eventualities allowed her relatively small staff to remain on the same page, and to know what to do when say, the library flooded. It also was an effective advocacy tool and empowered staff in disputes with patrons, vendors, or other library stakeholders. The digital preservation policies in many ways are somewhat different as they can be thought of as best practice philosophies rather than a strict rule set such as my work’s “Behavior Rules Governing the Use of the District of Columbia Public Library” policy. Still they can really help our staff.

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