Wanted: Bush-isms to Describe Libraries

Cathy Hartman, of the University of North Texas, enlivened her remarks about the Web-At-Risk digital archiving and preservation project, with some choice Bush-isms, including one to describe her own project.

With this project, she said, "We wanted to be as envisionary and imaginary as possible, with a chance to be clarified later."

Web-at-Risk is a 3-year collaborative effort of the California Digital Library, the University of North Texas, and New York University. According to the project’s Web site, "the project will develop a Web Archiving Service that enables curators to build collections of web-published materials." The project, which is about mid-way through its implementation, will be using government documents as its base. To date, a number of surveys and focus groups have been conducted, with results at the Web site.

In her remarks today, Ms. Hartman identified the special conditions that apply to the archiving and preservation of Web resources.

"I have been known," she said, quoting a librarian in one of the project’s focus groups, "to archive Web periodicals by printing them out and having them bound in buckram and then cataloged," which Ms. Hartman observed is sometimes a viable strategy.

Of the obstacles to Web archiving that survey respondents identified, copyright was, surprisingly the least of their worries. Staffing was number 1, followed by funding, management commitment, policy, technology, and ongoing maintenance.

For example, "IT needs to understand," she said, quoting a survey respondent, "that archiving is not the same as a backup and that preservation goes beyond the 3-months that backup copies are retained."

Ms. Hartman ended her remarks with an open request for people to contribute Bush-isms that describe libraries. You can reach her with your suggestions at University of North Texas . . . or, use the comment feature here to post your contributions.

Dick Kaser
ITI, VP, Content

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