Digital Preservation Outreach & Education
DPOE Train–the–Trainer Homecoming
Faculty members and librarians from all members of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) joined Library of Congress staff and digital preservation subject matter experts from October 18 through 21 for a three-and-a-half day workshop to the learn the basic principles and practices of preserving digital materials. WRLC supports library and information services for nine universities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
It has been five years since the inaugural Digital Preservation Outreach and Education (DPOE) Train-the-Trainer Workshop was hosted at the Library, and since then the workshop has traveled as far as Australia to provide training on the fundamentals of digital preservation for current and future professionals. It was quite a homecoming, with Chief of Staff Robert Newlen and National & International Outreach Deputy Director Colleen Shogan on hand to welcome the Consortium representatives. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden even dropped in on the second day to say “welcome back”, and shared her enthusiasm with the Twittersphere.
Led by National and International Outreach (NIO) Internship and Fellowship Programs Chief George Coulbourne, the DPOE workshop has now trained over 200 archivists, librarians, and museum specialists and the recent workshop marks the tenth since the program began in 2010. Workshops are just one way that DPOE seeks to foster outreach and education about digital preservation on a global scale. DPOE supports its dispersed trainer network by providing an email-distribution list that allows practitioners to share information about digital-preservation best practices, services and tools as well as stories about their experiences in advancing digital preservation.
DPOE workshops catalyze networks of regional trainers, and equip them with the skills to teach others the basic principles and practices of preserving digital materials. In this way, DPOE’s “teach-a-person-to-fish” model extends the benefits of a workshop well beyond only those who can attend. After each workshop, the newly-minted topical trainers enter a network of like-minded practitioners and continue to engage with each other – and the broader digital-preservation community – online and through presenting training workshops of their own making. Many topical trainers regularly deliver webinars and workshops, and 2016 saw an unprecedented number of trainings from the Australian cohort with no less than 40 upon the last report heard from Down Under.
Workshop attendee Aaron Krebeck, who works directly for the Consortium, remarked, “I’m looking forward to fulfilling our obligation to the community. We’ve already made plans to deliver this training to local public libraries in the DC Metro Area.”
By all accounts, the workshop was a huge success. One attendee opined, “The workshop was fantastic! All of the hard work that went into preparing it for the WRLC audience is very much appreciated. We were made to feel extremely welcomed at the Library of Congress.”
While Library staff appreciated many accolades, much of the credit for a memorable event is shared with the workshop’s anchor instructors Sarah Milligan (University of Oklahoma), Mary Molinaro (Digital Preservation Network), and Katherine Skinner (Educopia Institute) for their exceptional knowledge and leadership.
The instructors have provided subject-matter expertise to DPOE in the past, offering guidance in developing and maintaining the workshop curriculum and conducting needs-assessment surveys to assist the Library in keeping up on changes in workforce development across archives, libraries, and museums.
The DPOE workshop is just one example of how the Library secures its position as a leader in the cultural heritage community, and collaborates with external partners to meet common goals and promote lifelong learning.