Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meeting yes, Meetings no, Meetings maybe

There are some upcoming meetings/symposia/conferences which have caught my eye. One I'm definitely attending, one I'm not, but will try to watch online, one I'm still uncertain about attending, but if not, will try to watch online.

The one meeting I am definitely attending is a "by invitation only" event, I believe. (Invitations went out to State Librarians and Archivists and I was "tapped" as my employer's representative.) The meeting is about digital archives of state documents, and the models used by the Washington Digital Archives, and the Indiana Digital Archives. The Library of Congress and NDIIPP (National Digital Information Infrastructure & Preservation Program) will also be involved. While archiving electronic state government documents may not be as glamorous as deacidifying newsprint, it is vitally important, and hugely challenging. Indiana and Washington have been leaders in this work and I look forward to hearing what they have to say.

The meeting I'm not attending, but do hope to watch much of it online is A Symposium on Disaster Information Outreach: for information professionals meeting disaster health information needs. The event is on Mar. 39-40 at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, MD. I'll just copy their text to describe:

Who should attend?
  • Librarians, library staff, library students, information professionals, informationists[!?], and disaster medicine and public health professionals with a communications focus
Learn about...
  • Assessing and meeting the information needs of disaster managers and responders
  • Communications, social media and disasters
  • Using library facilities to support disaster needs during response and recovery
  • Workforce development for those interested in disaster information
  • Disaster resources for librarians – building a community of practice
  • Medical Library Association's new disaster information specialization
  • Tools for providing disaster health information
I'm really liking this increased attention to the role of libraries and their staff within their community in the preparation and response to a disaster. Libraries and disasters is not just about recovering wet books, but its also about helping responders and affected citizens find the information they need.The event is full, but they will be videocasting it on Day 1 and Day 2.

The final event is one I would love to attend, but I'm still not certain I'll go. The Newspaper Archive Summit: Rescuing Orphaned and Digital Content will be held on April 11-13 at the University of Missouri. Copying some text from their announcement:
More than 160 U. S. Newspapers have either quit business or stopped publishing a print edition during the past three years. How can we make sure that a community's history and cultural record does not cease to exist? How can we make sure that digital news products currently being created by online news organizations are preserved and accessible for citizens and scholars in the twenty-second century?
 I've a soft spot for newspapers, for their role in communities, and for the preservation, and presentation of their content. My slides from a talk I gave at a meeting of the Michigan Archival Association, "The Past and Future of Newspaper Preservation" (the slides aren't nearly as good as the title) have had almost 900 views. I'd really like to attend this event and be part of the conversation, but my participation will likely be limited to watching the live stream. (I am incredibly grateful for organizations that make their events available online.

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