The following is a guest post by Ali Fazal and Claudia Martinez, both HACU interns with the Library’s Office of Strategic Initiatives.
The National Digital Stewardship Residency program held a meeting with potential host institutions on Friday, September 21st. This program, which was created by the Library of Congress, Office of Strategic Initiatives, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, intends to serve the American people by developing the next generation of stewards to collect, manage, preserve and make accessible our digital assets. It is one of the only programs of its kind in the field of digital stewardship, and seeks to complement graduate coursework with hands-on experience.
Representatives from various cultural heritage institutions in the Washington, DC, area met at the Library to learn more about the program and how to apply to become hosts for a potential resident. Attendees included representatives from the Law Library of Congress, PBS, National Archives and Records Administration, Association of Research Librarians, the University of Maryland, Folger Shakespeare Library, Copyright Office, National Security Archive, National Library of Medicine, Congressional Research Service, Dumbarton Oaks, Georgetown University, World Bank Group Library and the Smithsonian Institution Archive.
Enthusiastic potential hosts engaged in dialogue with Kristopher Nelson and George Coulbourne, NDSR liaisons from OSI; and Kevin Cherry, liaison from the IMLS. Discussion centered on various key components of NDSR, such as mentorship, program implementation, and the development of key projects for residents. These projects must be meaningful, creative, and relevant to the host institution and add to our cultural history. There was also talk about devising a standardized performance evaluation for the residents, so that their work progress could be objectively examined from institution to institution. Additionally, the cohort of residents will enable the host institutions to develop their own professional network.
The NDSR program will allow 10 recent graduates of masters programs in relevant fields to complete a nine-month residency at various institutions in the Washington, DC, area. Beginning in June 2013, accepted residents will attend an intensive two-week digital stewardship workshop at the Library. Thereafter, residents will begin their experience at a host institution to work on significant, predetermined digital stewardship projects. Their projects will allow them to acquire hands-on knowledge and skills involving the collection, selection, management, long-term preservation, and accessibility of digital assets. Additional information about the NDSR can be found on the website.