This excellent report, based on a recent survey, looks at how organizations staffed and organized their digital preservation functions, and compares it with the survey done in 2012. This is a report worth studying.
Survey respondents were from the following organizations:
- Academic library or archives (46%)
- Government entities (11%)
- Museum (8%)
"Organizations establishing or scaling up digital preservation programs are faced with many staffing, scoping, and organizational decisions. Some of the questions that need to be answered include":
- How many staff members are needed and what kinds of skills, education, and experience should they have?
- What types of positions should the institution create?
- Should it hire new staff or retrain existing staff?
- What functions should be included in the preservation program, provided by other parts of the organization, outsourced, or implemented through collaboration with other organizations?
- What organizational and staffing models work well?
From the survey, organizations reported:
- an average of 13.6 FTE are working in digital preservation activities, but ideally the organizations would double that to 27.5 FTE
- there is a need for more digital archivists,software developers, and cataloger/metadata analysts.
- 68% of organizations retrained existing staff for at least some digital preservation functions,
- 42% of organizations also hired experienced digital preservation specialists.
- Staffing for an organization managing 1–50 TB
- Current: 10.7 FTE
- Ideal: 30.6 FTE
Content amount and Collection growth:
- 58.6% were preserving 1–50 TB of digital content,
- 16.5% were preserving 51–100 TB,
- 14.3% were preserving 101–500 TB,
- 8.3% were preserving more than 500 TB.
- 73.2% expected less than 25% growth in the collection.
- In 2012, 68% expected up to a 49% growth.
Preservation activities and organization:
- Most organizations prefer conducting most digital preservation activities in-house
- Only 32% of the organizations had a dedicated digital preservation department
- 46% were not satisfied with how the digital preservation function was organized within their organization
- 25% believed it was organized properly.
- Satisfaction decreased from 2012, when 43% agreed or strongly agreed that their digital preservation functions were well-organized.
- One of the most striking findings was the increased percentage of respondents who reported that they were not satisfied with the way the digital preservation function was organized
- 52% of respondents participate in at least one consortium or cooperative network. Benefits include:
- networking (68%),
- training (57%),
- storage space (54%)
- Consulting (35%),
- access interface (33%)
- communications/marketing (28%),
- programming (25%),
- federated search (16%)
- Department that takes the lead for digital preservation:
- Library / Archives 69.1%
- Information Technology (IT) 16.0%
- Preservation department 6.2%
- Other 8.6%
Other general comments of interest about digital preservation staffing issues include:
- “Continuing education is a must, so that staff can stay up-to-date on current trends and the latest news in technology.”
- “It should be organized keeping in mind extra skills of an individual in addition to his/her specialist skill set.
- “Staffing is critical to success.... All the pieces must be in place for a successful digital preservation effort.”
Importance of Qualifications for digital preservation staff in 2017, in order:
- Knowledge of digital preservation standards/best practices
- Passion and motivation for digital preservation
- Analytical skills
- Project planning/management