This is a guest post from George Coulbourne, Executive Program Officer in the Office of Strategic Initiatives, Library of Congress.
Braving the heat of an Indiana summer, 21 library, archive, and museum professionals recently completed the Digital Preservation Outreach and Education program’s second Train-the-Trainer Workshop.
Representing the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin, these men and women joined the DPOE Trainer Network, bringing the total number of DPOE Trainers to 45, with potential digital preservation training activities now possible in 33 States. This workshop was made possible through a partnership with the Indiana State Archives and Indiana State Library.
George Coulbourne, Executive Program Officer in the Office of Strategic Initiatives, led the workshop along with three leading digital preservation experts who taught the DPOE Baseline Digital Preservation Curriculum. Mary Molinaro, Associate Dean for Library Technologies at the University of Kentucky, Robin Dale, Director of Digital and Preservation Services at LYRASIS and Jacob Nadal, Director of Library and Archives at the Brooklyn Historical Society graciously lent their time to further digital preservation management in the Mid-West region.
The effort will not be wasted since the first group of DPOE Trainers, who completed the program in September of 2011, has already delivered digital preservation training using this curriculum to more than 900 professionals in less than one year. In return, DPOE Trainers contribute to the Library of Congress’s efforts to deliver digital preservation knowledge and practices to local organizations. This initiative is taking hold. Coulbourne recently stated that “digital preservation training needs to be accessible, for example, not only to large institutions but to smaller organizations such as museums and historical societies in small towns, and to individual citizens.”
The Indiana State Library in Indianapolis, Indiana, was the site of the event, held August 21-24. This group of 21 professionals was selected from a highly competitive regional pool. The base-level application requirements included teaching experience and familiarity with digital preservation.
“On behalf of Governor Mitch Daniels, welcome to Indiana, the Crossroads of America,” said Jim Corridan, Indiana State Archivist. “The Indiana State Archives is proud to be the host and sponsor. We have supported this program because of our efforts to educate the state about electronic records and preservation issues facing our institutions. It’s also been enjoyable working with the Library of Congress in planning this event. Most importantly, I challenge each of you to take what you learn here this week and help build a cadre of future leaders that understand digital preservation and assist in building an infrastructure of people and resources to save our electronic records and digital history. This is the future both literally and figuratively, and much is at stake in the success of this mission.”
The workshop was co-sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. IMLS is the chief source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. The agency’s mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. IMLS provides leadership through research, policy development, and grant making. Both Senator Sherrod Brown and Congressman Andre Carson have expressed their interest in DPOE conferences which shows the significant impact the initiative is generating.
This new group of Midwest based trainers will deliver one or more digital preservation training events in their local communities by early 2013. DPOE hopes to hold a second event in 2013 in the Western half of the country, with states such as Alaska already confirming. Coulbourne noted that “moving forward DPOE will continue to support the efforts of its trainers to spread digital preservation education throughout the country which needs to happen sooner, rather than later.”