9 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 296 2018 perceive that there is a track for reliability, which becomes an incentive for continuing to collaborate. Members—sometimes subsets—of other communities and domains, form a new community. A new community thrives by devoting time to getting acquainted. Community: Communities may be formal or informal large or small short-lived (for example, for the life of a project or initiative) or ongoing (for example, the growing and cumulative group of people engaged in digital practice) or loosely or tightly integrated because community affiliations depend on context. In this discussion, community refers to: “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.”6 Examples help with shared awareness and understanding. Examples of my communities include: the archival community, the digital preservation community, the digital practice community, the LGBTQIA community, dog parents, and many others. Digital practice: When we talk about digital practice, what do we mean? The working definition of digital practice that I use is: “to continually work [using digital technology] to bring content and lessons from the past for the benefit of the present on behalf of the future.”7 It is important to emphasize that good digital practice is cumulative, iterative, responsive to organizational and technological change, inclusive, and open. Whenever we look back through time, we increasingly perceive past practices and other forms of norms as quaint—that is a natural occurrence as our communities advance and as we become more familiar with available tools and technologies. That does not mean we cannot not learn from past practices, only that we should be thoughtful and kind in looking back. Not only can we learn from the past, but good practice dictates that we take the time to understand and bring lessons forward, many of which continue to apply to any digital content. Neglecting to learn from the past—from our own domains as well as others—wastes time, opportunities, and our limited resources.
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