Memory Lab Network: An interview with Project Manager Lorena Ramirez-Lopez

Applications are being accepted until December 15th to participate in the Memory Lab Network, an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Grant facilitated by DC Public Library (DCPL) in partnership with the Public Library Association (PLA) to create free public access to tools and information on caring for personal digital archives. Seven public libraries will be awarded as Network project partners and will spend one year creating personal archiving stations and programs for their communities following the DCPL model. Awardees will receive financial support for equipment, mentoring, and training, some of which will be hosted by the Library of Congress.

Lorena Ramírez-López, Project Manager for the Memory Lab Network, holds weekly online FAQ sessions for librarians interested in applying.  We caught up with her to find out what questions librarians are asking as the deadline approaches.

Who can apply to be a Memory Lab Network partner?

Applicants must be a public library [as defined on the Network’s website]. This includes tribal and rural libraries! We’re looking for libraries that are engaging with their communities around local and personal history or digital literacy, which are the foundations for a strong Memory Lab program.

What discourages potential applicants from applying but shouldn’t?

The sustainability plan. It is required as a part of the application, but it is something that we [DCPL] can develop together with applicants, and it doesn’t necessarily mean financial sustainability. We are interested in how the institutional knowledge of the lab will be passed down, shared, and replicated.

What gets lost in translation?

One common misunderstanding amongst applicants is what we mean when we talk about digital preservation. The scope is not limited to just digitizing. Born digital stuff can also be a part of the Memory Lab’s scope, such as supporting patrons downloading photos from their phone, and learning about best practices for taking care of their digital files such as organization and selection.

A Memory Lab Network FAQ webinar will take place on December 12th at 12 p.m. EST. Click here to register.

For more information about the Memory Lab Network and application instructions, visit https://www.dclibrary.org/memorylabnetwork.

The Personal Digital Archiving 2015 Conference

The annual Personal Digital Archiving conference is about preserving any digital collection that falls outside the purview of large cultural institutions. Considering the expanding range of interests at each subsequent PDA conference, the meaning of the word “personal” has become thinly stretched to cover topics such as family history, community history, genealogy and digital humanities. New York […]

Helping Congress Archive Their Personal Digital Files

By early December 2014, a Congressional election year, newly elected Members of Congress were preparing for public service as outgoing Members were ending their public service and attending exit briefings. At an event sponsored by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress, the December 3rd “Life After Congress” seminar, Robin Reeder, Archivist of the […]

“Elementary!” A Sleuth Activity for Personal Digital Archiving

As large institutions and organizations continue to implement preservation processes for their digital collections, a smattering of self-motivated information professionals are trying to reach out to the rest of the world’s digital preservation stakeholders —  individuals and small organizations — to help them manage their digital collections. Part of that challenge is just making people aware that: […]

Personal Digital Archiving 2015 in NYC — “Call for Papers” Deadline Approaching

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Preserving Your Personal Memories: Students Create Workshop on Photo Archiving

The following is a guest post by Lea Harrison, Lindsey Bright & Michelle Datiles, all graduate students in the digital curation class of Dr. Jane Zhang, Catholic University of America Inspired by the Library of Congress’ Personal Digital Archiving initiatives, our small team of three Catholic University of America grad students in the Library & […]

Digital Archiving: Making It Personal at the Public Library

The following is a guest post from Samantha Thomason,  web developer at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and chair of the Virginia Library Association’s Local History, Genealogy and Oral History Forum.  Because personal digital archiving covers so much territory — from scanning to cloud storage to estate planning — it is easy to […]

Public Service Libraries and Personal Digital Archiving

The Texas Library Association Annual Conference started earlier this week, and I’ll be heading out there on Friday April 11 to participate in an interactive session with the TLA’s Digital Libraries Roundtable on the National Digital Stewardship Alliance and some of NDIIPP’s initiatives related to Personal Digital Archiving. Our parents and grandparents saved hand-written diaries, […]