larger scope than before, it is incumbent on us to bring in collaboration from
outside the traditional preservation department. This is a good thing, and
leads to broader discussions of priorities, in conversations that include more
voices and perspectives. It will also inform those outside the department of
the priorities as viewed from inside.
Lars Meyer: In regard to the first question, if we accept the fact that the scope
of preservation is getting broader, we also need to accept that staff from
throughout a given library will contribute to a preservation effort, including
participating in discussions about priorities. We also need to look to partners
outside of our own libraries and parent institutions to help us set priorities,
this is particularly important for libraries who are actively working with
content creators and aggregators from elsewhere in the university.
In terms of the second question, I think conversations are emerging on
campuses about how to capture, provide access to, and preserve digital
content that’s created on campuses by academic departments, administrative
units, and student groups, as well as scholars and researchers. Due to issues
of format and technology obsolescence, as well as staff and student turnover,
it makes sense to build concern for these into records management and
university archives programs.
North American Leadership/Policy
Q: Jim, you mentioned the lack of national policy and
direction in terms of preservation of North America’s
collections. What is the most important thing we could do
to change and/or make some headway on this problem?
Jim Neal: We need a national program, which sets clear collective priorities,
including research and education. We need policies in the form of new
exceptions in copyright and standards to drive practice. We need funding from
appropriate federal agencies, who see the economic benefits of the investment.
I see centers of excellence, with the depth of technical and science expertise
needed across the preservation challenges, as inevitable if we are going to get
the work done. This may take the form of institutional focus, or new for profit
or not for profit organizations, public/private partnerships, or regional centers
supported by our universities.
Evolving Preservation Roles and Responsibilities of Research Libraries
C O N T I N U E D
OCTOBER 2009 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC