Thursday, April 28, 2016

Preserving the Fruit of Our Labor: Establishing Digital Preservation Policies and Strategies

Preserving the Fruit of Our Labor: Establishing Digital Preservation Policies and Strategies at the University of Houston Libraries. Santi Thompson, et al. iPres 2015. November 2015.
     Paper that presents the library's digital preservation efforts. They formed a Digital Preservation Task Force to assess previous digital preservation practices and make recommendations on future efforts. The group was charged to establish a digital preservation policy; identify strategies, actions, and tools needed to sustain long-term access to library digital objects. The group was to look at:
  • Define the policy’s scope and levels of preservation
  • Articulate digital preservation priorities by outlining current practices, identifying preservation gaps and areas for improvement, and establishing goals to address gaps 
  • Determine the tools, infrastructure, and other resources needed to address unmet needs and to sustain preservation activities in the future 
  • Align priorities with digital preservation standards, best practices, and storage services
  • Recommended roles, responsibilities, and next steps for implementing the strategy and policy 

The primary tool used for policy creation was  the Action Plan for Developing a Digital Preservation Program. It helps institutions establish a high-level framework with policies and procedures, and addressing resources to sustain a digital preservation program for the long term. The group also:
  • Selected and studied Action Plan for Developing a Digital Preservation Program to construct digital preservation policies
  • Drafted high-level policy framework
  • Outlined roles and responsibilities for internal and external stakeholders
  • Defined digital assets including digitization quality and metadata specifications; collection selection, acquisition policies, and procedures; and access and use policies
  • Identified and described key functional entities for the digital preservation system, including ingest, archival storage,preservation planning and administration, and access
  • Drafted potential start-up and ongoing costs for digital preservation
  • Focused on evaluating software
Principles outlined in their Digital Preservation Policy include collaboration, partnerships, and technological innovation. As more library resources and services become digital, the responsibilities must expand to include the identification, stewardship, and preservation of designated digital content.

The Digital Preservation Policy consist of three main sections: Policy Framework, Policies and Procedures, and Technological Infrastructure. Sections in the Digital Preservation Policy Framework include:
  • Purpose
  • Objectives
  • Mandate
  • Scope
  • Challenges
  • Principles
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Collaboration
  • Selection and Acquisition
  • Access and Use

Policies and Procedures section describe digital preservation policies, procedures, roles, and responsibilities in greater detail than the policy framework. It outlines requirements concerning digital assets, including recommended specifications for digital objects, preferred file formats, personnel also acquisition, transfer, and access of content

Technological Infrastructure section outlines digital preservation system functions and requirements in greater detail than the policy framework and includes:
  • The rules and requirements for Submission Information Packages (SIPs), Archival Information Packages (AIPs), and Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs)
  • The workflow for ingesting, updating, storing, and managing digital objects
  • The metadata requirements
  • The strategic priorities for future digital preservation efforts and risk management

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