Thursday, July 30, 2015

DPOE Interview with Danielle Spalenka of the Digital POWRR Project

DPOE Interview with Danielle Spalenka of the Digital POWRR Project. Susan Manus, Barrie Howard. The Signal. July 20, 2015.
     Article about an interview with Danielle Spalenka, Project Director for the Digital POWRR Project. They had a National Leadership Grant to investigate digital preservation at institutions with limited resources. They have prepared a workshop, a white paper and the Tool Grid. The workshop, free through the end of 2016 with funding is from the NEH, looks at best practices and standards. 

Our review of the landscape of digital preservation instruction was that it is largely aimed at an audience beginning to come to grips with the idea that digital objects are subject to loss if we don’t actively care for them. There are lots of offerings discussing the theory of digital preservation – the “why” of the problem – and we found that there were limited opportunities to learn the “how” of digital preservation, both on the advocacy and technical sides. We also found that other great offerings, like the Digital Preservation Management Workshop Series based at MIT, had a tuition fee that was unaffordable for many prospective attendees, especially from under-funded institutions. Our goal in this phase is to make the workshops free to attend.

"A major goal of the workshop is to discuss specific tools and provide a hands-on portion so that participants could try a tool that they could apply directly at their own institutions." It provides an  overview of how digital preservation services and tools actually relate to the standards, how to use them in a workflow, and how to advocate for implementation. The POWRR Tool Grid is now maintained by COPTR (Community Owned digital Preservation Tool Registry).

Some recommendations for those just starting out:
  • First consider what type of tool you might be interested in (processing, storage, etc.) Looking at the specific function of a tool might be a good place to understand the wide variety of tools better.
  • A number of tools and services offer free webinars and information sessions to learn more about a specific tool. Download the tools to gain some hands-on experience.
  • Remember that digital preservation is an incremental process, and there are small steps you can take now to start digital preservation activities at your own institution. 
  • Remember you are not alone! 
  • See what others are doing and talking about. 

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