New ALCTS E-Forum on Digital Preservation

Just posted on the ALCTS e-forum list:

Digital Preservation

January 19-20, 2010

Hosted by Amy Rudersdorf and Lisa Gregory

Please join us for an e-forum discussion.  It’s free and open to everyone!

Registration information is at the end of the message.

Each day, sessions begin and end at:

  • Pacific: 6am – 2pm
  • Mountain: 7am – 3pm
  • Central: 8am – 4pm
  • Eastern: 9am – 5pm

Although you may not think it, digital preservation touches all areas of library services.  Incorporating this ever-expanding area of responsibility leads to challenges in resource management, as well as change management.  But what is digital preservation and why do people from acquisitions to reference need to care?  This e-forum will explore how digital preservation impacts each department, and will ask participants to discuss what policy and technology steps their library has taken to steward digital objects over time.


  • How do you define digital preservation? Does that definition differ in other units of your library, especially IT departments, administration, and public services? How can you bridge that gap between what you know to be true and what others think to be true?
  • Digital preservation is a relative newcomer to library’s responsibilities.  Are your libraries addressing it? How? To what extent is their commitment? Think resources (people, funding, space, technology), buy-in (passing phase or programmatic change), administration (change is happening at the top or the bottom or somewhere in between)? Can you think of other areas where commitment is needed? If your institution is not committed to DP, any ideas for how to get commitment?
  • Do you feel professionally prepared to deal with digital preservation? How so? If not, what do you think you need to better prepare for this challenge?
  • Do you think digital preservation is something you, in your particular position, need to care about? If you say no, we think we can convince you otherwise. 🙂
  • We’re currently introducing video preservation and have found there is a steeper learning curve than expected.  What types of digital files do you feel are the most challenging for preservation and why?
  • How do you think cloud computing will impact digital preservation? Or will it?
  • Are you employing preservation metadata? If so, how and what kind? Why do think this is an important aspect of long-term management of digital files?
  • Cataloging vs. metadata? Digitization vs. Digital preservation? Storage vs. active management?
  • When does preservation begin? End?
  • Social networking preservation? Should we put resources toward capturing Facebook, Twitter, or MySpace? Why or why not?
  • What is the biggest challenge you are facing related to DP? How are you approaching it? Is it working?
  • Any DP success stories? Any DP failure stories?

Amy Rudersdorf is the director of the Digital Information Management Program at the State Library of North Carolina. This small but tenacious group – affectionately called the DIMP — identifies and promotes solutions to ensure long-term preservation and ready and permanent public access to born-digital and digitized information produced by (or on behalf of) North Carolina state government. The team represents, in partnership with the State Archives of North Carolina, the NC Department of Cultural Resources on the National Digital Stewardship Alliance, a digital preservation collaborative of the Library of Congress. Prior to her work in state government, Rudersdorf worked with digital materials in special collections at a North Carolina State University and briefly co-ran a digital production group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her “spare time,” she teaches courses on preservation (San Jose State University) and metadata (North Carolina Central University, spring 2011).

Lisa Gregory works as Digital Projects Liaison in the Digital Information Management Program at the State Library of North Carolina.  She is a recent graduate of SILS at UNC Chapel Hill, where her training was predominantly in digital curation.  She currently works with digitization projects, usability, and interface design, as well as initiatives related to digital preservation of state government materials.

*What is an e-forum?*

An ALCTS e-forum provides an opportunity for librarians to discuss matters of interest, led by a moderator, through the e-forum discussion list. The e-forum discussion list works like an email listserv: register your email address with the list, and then you will receive messages and communicate with other participants through an email discussion.  Most e-forums last two to three days. Registration is necessary to participate, but it’s free.  See a list of upcoming e-forums at:

*To register:*

Instructions for registration are available at: Once you have registered for one e-forum, you do not need to register again, unless you choose to leave the email list.  Participation is free and open to anyone.


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