Communication Team Spreads the Word

Every once in awhile here at “The Signal”, we will feature the work of staff members to highlight what’s going on “behind the scenes” in NDIIPP.  This week, it’s not a person it’s a team – the NDIIPP Communications Team, to be exact.

NDIIPP at Book Festival

Team in action at recent LC Book Festival

Six staff members – Mike Ashenfelder, Erin Engle, Butch Lazorchak, Abbey Potter and myself, all led by Bill LeFurgy – are producing publications, videos, web resources, presentations and social media feeds to spread the word about what’s happening in the Library’s digital preservation program.

Remarking on this, LeFurgy says “we are using different communication channels to get the word out about what the Library is doing with digital preservation.  Our partners around the country are also doing great things that people want to hear about.”

Several years ago, the team launched the program website as a one-stop place for all NDIIPP partner information.  The site has since grown to include a variety of resources – tools and services, feature articles on timely projects, videos, podcasts, partner profiles, information on personal archiving, and a steady stream of the latest news items.  Abbey Potter remarks, “We are continually adding information about the latest projects and resources, with the goal of creating a community resource for all of those interested in digital preservation.”

Video image

Screen shot from video, "Why Digital Preservation is Important for You" 

Once the site was launched, we created a monthly newsletter highlighting the latest news and information, which is available through the website, or through free subscription.

About a year ago, we launched a digital preservation video series which is now up to 12 videos with more to come.  According to Mike Ashenfelder, who has been coordinating these, “video is a highly effective means of communication because it holds a user’s interest through narration, ‘talking heads’ and graphics.  Most of our videos are brief and centered on one topic.”

In recent months, the team has become more involved in promoting personal digital archiving with tips on how to preserve documents, photos, and other artifacts of daily life. Butch Lazorchak notes that “ this is an area that affects everyone, in addition to library and other professionals, so it’s important that we can offer resources to help steer people in the right direction.”

Now, through a variety of social media tools, the team is reaching out even further.  If you thought you saw us on Facebook, you were right. (Go ahead and “like” us here! )   The team is making increasing use of social media, and according to Erin Engle, “Facebook, and more recently our Twitter stream, has really helped to engage and inform new audiences about NDIIPP, and digital preservation in general.”  We are of course, hoping this blog will do so as well!  The team will continue to explore other such avenues in the future as a way of expanding our outreach.

Even with all the social media tools, there are ongoing and valuable opportunities for outreach the old-fashioned way – in person- with other libraries, our project partners, and the general public.  We have had a presence at events such as the Library’s annual Book Festival, Preservation Week, and various workshops and conferences.

So, when the question is asked of LeFurgy “what is there left to do?” he answers without hesitation:  “there are always new avenues for getting the word out, new people to reach, and new projects to talk about.  Our work is never done.’

Update:  The Communications Team’s newest member is Trevor Owens.  Trevor  has a special interest in building communities around tools such as “Recollection”,  and will be sharing his insights in future posts here on The Signal.

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