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How Practicing Professionals can get Hands-on Experience in Digital Curation

As the final event in LYRASIS' NEH-funded Preservation Town Hall series, LYRASIS hosted a town hall meeting showcasing three different models for gaining hands-on experience in digital curation. Three speakers, George Coulbourne (The Library of Congress), Andrea Goethals (Harvard University) and Kari R Smith (Massachusetts Institute for Technology), presented on different education/training opportunities, followed by an open panel discussion with attendees to explore existing models, as well as existing needs.

As practicing professionals, it can difficult to obtain the education and experience needed to advance skills and career opportunities. Readings and discussion of acquiring, curating, and managing digital content can only go so far. You need to experiment with tools, workflows, and best practices.  Learning theories provide a good base, but hands-on experience comes next but this can be difficult if your organization is not yet actively engaged in digital curation.  Graduate school programs offer internships, but where do working professionals go to get similar opportunities? Where can we gain experience, try out new tools and see how our peers are using them?

For some there is the possibility of a focused residency; stepping away from your work place and immersing yourself in digital curation projects at an active library, museum, or archives.  For others, there may be regional options; a residency that doesn't require you to move far afield.  But for many, stepping away from your job and home is not an option so what opportunities might be available to you? What kind of training model might best fit your situation and how can you get involved? 

The Town Hall was held June 24th, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM ET at Georgia Tech Global Learning Center. This Town Hall meeting was webcast live. Recordings are available on YouTube.

Featured Speakers for the Town Hall at Georgia Tech were

  • George Coulbourne: "The National Digital Stewardship Residency Pilot Program – The Year in Review"
  • Andrea Goethals: "NDSR in Boston "
  • Kari R Smith: "Learning [while] on the Job"