January 21, 2011 -- Nicholas Taylor has joined the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program web archiving staff as an Information Technology Specialist. He comes to NDIIPP after serving as Library Technology Specialist at the Supreme Court of the United States.
Taylor brings to the job a background in cultural studies, information policy, and library technology. A California native, he received a BA in Media Studies and Psychology from Pomona College (external link), and wrote his thesis on impression management in computer-mediated communication. In 2004, he moved to Washington, DC to pursue an MA in Communication, Culture & Technology at Georgetown University (external link). Taylor says about this program, "CCT gave me a better vocabulary for talking about how technology both reflects and drives changes in culture."
After an internship at the Sun Microsystems Global Public Policy office (external link), Taylor took a position at the Supreme Court. In this role, he maintained websites, evaluated tools, automated processes, and provided help desk support. He also used web archiving software to preserve the library's electronic resources access portal for continuity of operations planning. Taylor notes with a smile, "I enjoyed the technical challenge of the project, but I didn't realize at the time that it would become the focus of my next job."
Working at the Supreme Court prompted Taylor to return to school in 2008 for a Master of Library Science degree at the University of Maryland (external link). He recalls that one of the more interesting papers he wrote concerned the Section 108 Study Group analysis of what copyright law meant for digital preservation.
Since graduating and having moved down the street from the Supreme Court, Taylor will be working on a wide range of technical projects for NDIIPP, including quality review of archived websites, requirements analysis for software tools, and transfers of web archive data files.
His enthusiasm is evident. "I'm excited to be part of a team that is devising tools and best practices for digital preservation, to be used here at the Library and elsewhere." He adds, "there's so much energy that goes into the production and distribution of digital information and comparatively little dedicated to ensuring that it will be preserved into the future. I'd like to help fix that."