From Chaos to Order: Diverse Communities Interested in Personal Digital Archiving Resources

Organization - Mara, by nist6ss, on Flickr

Organization - Mara, by nist6ss, on Flickr

I’ve written a couple of blog posts (as a guest blogger) about the personal digital archiving talks I’ve given and about some of our events.  So for my first post as an “official” NDIIPP blogger, it seems fitting I write about a recent talk I gave at a meeting of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers.

Earlier this week, I attended a NAPO membership meeting to talk about our personal digital archiving guidance related to managing and preserving digital photographs.  I was particularly excited to speak to this group, in part, because I’m fan of organizing…anything.  But also because I see many commonalities between this professional community and the librarian and archivist community.

Professional organizers use principles and expertise learned through coursework and experience to enhance the lives of their clients. They design organizing systems and teach organizing or life skills.  Generally speaking, as information professionals, librarians and archivists are trained in the organization and management of services or materials. They collect, record and maintain books, files, photographs and other documents for an institution or organization. In a few short words: professional organizers and information professionals turn chaos into order.

BY048 Order and Chaos, by listentoreason, on Flickr

BY048 Order and Chaos, by listentoreason, on Flickr

Because of the similar nature of the skills required to perform both activities, this opportunity gave me a chance to think about our guidance in a different way: how the small-business community could benefit from our personal digital archiving guidance.

Our guidance is geared toward helping individuals preserve personal digital information.  We’ve also marketed our guidance to librarians and archivists through an awareness campaign.  It strikes me that the small business community can also use our advice to excellent advantage.

Just as people are creating, sharing and handing down digital memories, individuals who run their own business have a vested or economic interest in ensuring their digital information is kept safe and preserved for as long as necessary.  Our guidance can provide a starting point for these individuals who may have not thought about personal digital preservation, and I’m looking forward to exploring more effective ways to deliver our tips to this community.

We are currently working on expanding our guidance with additional resources, and we’ll be updating our web site in the next few weeks with this new information.  Stay tuned!

2 Comments

  1. Keri
    January 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    This is a great post, Erin.
    I was helping a friend who runs two businesses out of her home organize her paper and electronic files this afternoon. I was stunned to discover her desktop dates back to 1996, a graduation present from college, with good old Windows 98 installed. My friend confessed it was time to upgrade her computer and with the fantastic guidelines NDIPP has provided we sketched out a plan to migrate all her old files to her laptop and how best to organize them. Small business owners are a great community to get thinking about personal digital archiving.

  2. Janet Schiesl
    January 18, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Erin –
    Thanks for the great presentation to NAPO-WDC. Your workshop about managing and preserving our clients digital photo collections was wonderful. It is another benefit we can offer our clients.

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