Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CILDC : National Digital Stewardship Residency Program

Kristopher Nelson and George Coulbourne
George Coulbourne - Library of Congress

Began planning the residency in 2013.  The NDSR pilot was had 10 residents,who have not been out of school for more than two years.  Began with a two week immersion program, then a nine months program,in cousin professional development and conference attendance.

The NDSR mission:
  • Create a community of professionals
  • Advance our capabilities
  • Make continuing accessible digital materials
84% of institutions has digital content that must remains accessible, but on 33% had dedicated staff for digital preservation.  

Why a residency program?
  • Digital projects have been lying dormant
  • Executive leadership nor prioritizing stewardship
  • Graduated are hungry for experience.  They have a gap between theory and practice.
  • Post graduate training has no standard model
  • Institutions need to collaborate through a professional network
They worked with 10 host institutions.  They wanted the projects to be challenging and deeply steeped in some part of the digital life cycle.  Projects needs to have impact on the external community.

Besides the normal applicants requirements, they also had to submit a 2-3 minute video talk about why they selected the projects that they did.

Dr. Howard Bresser did an independent evaluation of the program.

For the participants, being part of a cohort was very important.  Will this rank high for the virtual cohorts?

All of the residents landed jobs or fellowships by the end of the NDSR.

The institutions valued having the residents be new points of view.  

Challenges: (1) Frustrations with lack of resources, both advisory and administrative.  This was due to budget challenges at that time for the Library of Congress.  (2) The perception was that there was little or none digital preservation expertise in the host organizations.  This was due to that face that they weren't taken out to meet people outside of their mentors; this has been changed.  (3) Compensation during the pilot was too low.  (4) Expectations between residents and supervisors needs more definition.  (5) The two week immersion workshop needed to be shorter.

Kristopher Nelson - Library of Congress 

Program and challenges going forward.

There are similar programs in Boston and NYC, and there is a virtual program, all funded by IMLS.

The next class of residents has already been selected and they start in June.  The projects need to be completed in one year.

They had 18 project proposals this year.  They visited the top seven.

Info on 2016-2017 residencies will be posted at http://digitalpreservation.gov/ndsr

Changes to the program:
  • Shorter residency
  • Revamped curriculum
  • Five enrichment sessions - residents will help to put these together
  • WebEx presentations
  • NDSR symposium
  • Increased host/mentor participation
  • Professionals development plan and activities
  • Resident direct benefits
  • Increased time of the residency from 9 to 12 months
  • Increased pay to $40000
  • 2 set of 5 residents 
Feedback from the residents and hosts has been very positive.

Lessons learned:
  • Be transparent
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Maintain consistency
  • Foster growth through collaboration

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