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Digital Preservation

The Library of Congress > Digital Preservation > News Archive > A Digital Preservation Summer

September 8, 2010 -- With the days getting noticeably shorter and the hint of fall weather approaching, the 2010 summer interns at the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program have wrapped up their duties. 

The NDIIPP Communications Team was fortunate to have two outstanding interns:  Candice LaPlante, from the St. Catherine University Master of Library and Information Science program, and Sally Whiting, from Palmer School of Library and Information Science at Long Island University.  While the two took different paths to the Library—LaPlante came through the Junior Fellows Program and Whiting was a summer work study intern—they worked closely together.

Candice LaPlante

Candice LaPlante

Their focus was on communication and outreach.  LaPlante oversaw a production for the NDIIPP Digital Preservation Video Series that compared the preservation of the original 1509 Waldseemuller Map with preservation of digital copies of the map.  "I really enjoyed talking with all the experts at the Library who work with the original and digital versions of the map," she said.  "The staff are so passionate in their dedication.  But they were also very willing to help me understand the intricacies of their jobs.  The video does a great job of introducing people to the map, the people who care for it, and the Library’s dynamic preservation efforts."

LaPlante presented the video as part of the Library’s 2010 Fellows Exhibition.  She also wrote articles for the Digital Preservation website, participated in Library-wide eScience Team meetings, helped with the 2010 NDIIPP Partners Meeting and conducted outreach for state archivists around the nation.  "I came into the fellows program with an interest in digital preservation and also in public engagement," she said.  "It was fantastic to combine them through my work at the Library.  It’s geek Valhalla—and I mean that in a really good way!"

Whiting worked with LaPlante on her video and also with another production focusing on personal digital archiving.  Through this and other projects she was able to meet her educational objectives.  "I was here for a full three months, and I can’t believe how much I learned about the Library," said Whiting. "People in all departments have just been so friendly and willing to take me on tours of some really interesting areas of the Library. It’s been a really positive experience."

Sally Whiting

Sally Whiting

Whiting took on several different projects during her time with NDIIPP, ranging from writing a great deal of content for to taking notes at the NDIIPP Partners Meeting. “No one ever wants to sit up front during those presentations," she laughed, "so they put the interns up there to hold the timecards for the presenters. I got a front-row seat for everything. It was great!"

Her articles for the Digital Preservation website touched on a wide range of topics, from software releases to staff profiles, and she interviewed several colleagues and NDIIPP partners while in the process of working on them. "Those interviews were a great way to learn more about the library and the work people do there," she commented.

LaPlante and Whiting regularly attended the communications team meetings, where video and article ideas are frequently discussed along with more nebulous issues such as maintaining the NDIIPP Facebook page. "Keep your eyes on that page," Whiting encouraged. "It’s a great source for information."

The summer program gave both interns a broad picture of the work that the NDIIPP team does to promote nationwide collaboration on the issues surrounding digital preservation. "I already had a strong interest in digital initiatives coming here," said Whiting, "but I didn’t realize just how huge the issue of preservation is for some organizations. I can see now why collaboration is so crucial."  LaPlante added, "It sounds corny to say 'it takes a village to do digital preservation,’ but I now know that is absolutely true.  The combined energy and passion of many people in many institutions around the country are needed to do the job." 

Both interns see their future careers focusing on digital data, preservation and outreach. 'There are a lot more questions than answers at this point when it comes to digital information," said Whiting, "and I think that’s a really exciting place to be."