Thursday, February 25, 2016

Where in the Org Chart is Digital Preservation?

Where in the Org Chart is Digital Preservation? Shannon Virginia Zachary. Bits and Pieces blog. January 21, 2016.
     Where on the organizational hierarchy does a digital preservation fit in a research library:IT, collections management, or preservation? Often it is bundled with other preservation responsibilities,  digital creation, curation, and delivery tasks. Early on, "digital activities were often assigned to a specific person, probably in a pilot project", then collected into a single department.  As the programs grew, "policies and practices for preservation were developed in silos—or not at all in the intense focus on creation and delivery." For the library, there were questions about creating a Digital Preservation Position; they realized the need for a position with responsibility for the development and management of preservation policies. Questions that need to be answered are, where the position should reside; in the job a management or a technical job; and is it a digital library responsibility or a library responsibility?  Discussions with stakeholders made it sound like it belongs in preservation; it needs to work with others throughout the library, and policies and technical solutions need to be developed to make preservation happen.
  • Above all, preservation requires communication and partnership between those with specialized technical knowledge and those with collection knowledge and responsibility: how the collection grows, how it is used, what materials are likely to be wanted ten years from now or fifty or a hundred. 
  • The preservation specialist needs to be able to talk management with managers and technicalities with technical experts.
Where digital preservation work is located on the org chart doesn’t matter as long as the "library recognizes that preservation needs to happen and that responsibility for preservation must be assigned somewhere". Recognizing the similarities in digital collections with what libraries have always done, however, will provide a strong foundation for sustainability.

No comments: