Monday, September 15, 2008

For New Yorkers: Presenting the NY Digital Collections proposal to the Regents' Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education Committee

Today I am presenting the proposal for the New York Digital Collections Initiative to the Regents' Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education Committee. The two-page overview that is in the Committee's meeting packet was written by Johanna Duncan Poitier (Senior Deputy Commissioner of Education) and Jeffrey Cannell (Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education, and Acting State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries). [MS Word version] The four-age discussion paper on the Initiative provides more background.

Like many other states, our state government is looking for ways of trimming the budget. This leaves every department and agency with a difficult decision -- how do you decrease spending while meeting the needs of constituents? In New York State, how do we create infrastructure for this Initiative -- that is necessary for the creation and use of digital resources that will improve access to information for students, teachers, researchers, businesses and ordinary citizens -- in today's economic reality?

My personal hope is that this proposal will be seen as a foundation for the future and a foundation that requires a commitment -- at some level -- in the 2009 budget. Waiting could be devastating. Short-term, I hope the EMSC Committee supports this proposal (as did the Cultural Education Committee) and that it will soon be supported by the entire Board of Regents.

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