31 August 2014

New BDC-Led Digital Preservation Hobbyist Group for Family Treasures

As the Library system’s special local history collection and archives, we preserve materials in the Beaufort District Collection (BDC) each and every day. Our highest priority is to be good stewards of the cultural heritage materials entrusted to us for the community. Therefore we must be up-to-date on preservation thought, practices, and techniques.

One of the key components of a librarian's professional life is to guide others to information that helps them meet their personal goals. This requires professional librarians to learn new things as we adapt to new circumstances. Our cultural heritage, whether held by institutions or family members, now embraces digital formats and preservation of digital formats for access in the future is a growing concern and challenge.

Over the past decade, how we capture memories have changed. Think about your daily life.  Do you capture memories on film cameras?  Probably not so often as you capture the moments of your life via digital format.  Tens of millions of images are taken every day with cell phones, smart phones, tablets, web cams, digital cameras, etc., many of those relating to our personal lives and families, in effect making each one of us our own personal archivist.

According to "Perspective on Personal Digital Archiving" (2013) by the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress "Without some focused attention, any personal collection is at high risk of loss – and quick loss at that." Thus, preservation of digital assets, whether institutional or personal, is a concern for librarians, archivists, and family historians in the 21st century. The Library is positioning itself to extend its traditional role as a center for lifelong learning to include 21st century skills such as digital preservation. The Beaufort County Library's Board of Trustees approved the Library system's Extended Strategic Plan:
The community will embrace the library as a center for lifelong learning opportunities. The team members will become specialists in a specific literacy and have confidence in their ability to impart their knowledge.
(To download the PDF go to Library homepage > About Us tab > Extended Strategic Plan).

By default, more or less, digital preservation is to become my specific literacy to share with others. The newly formed BDC-led Digital Preservation Hobbyist Group at St. Helena Branch is intended to provide tools to help you - over the course of the next year or so - to :

* Better manage your personal collections;
* Better manage the accumulation of images, documents and duplicate copies;
* Better manage distribution;
* Move materials to new formats when needed;
* Make physical copies of key images.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, just drop in at St. Helena Branch on Thursday.
We can muddle through the 21st century challenges of digital preservation and management processes that ensure the long-term accessibility of digital information-  together. No need to register, plus it's free!

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