The ability to remotely connect and network with colleagues has been one of the positives that have arisen from these challenging times. From my home in Aberystwyth, which is not always the most accessible of places by non-digital highways, I am able to engage with experts, learn from their experiences and contribute to discussions on a global basis. Although we have been building digital preservation capacity in Wales for many years, these encounters have inspired us to extend the reach of the work being undertaken to promote digital sustainability. Working with the sector, developing the use of digital technologies and sharing skills are key elements of the Library’s new strategic plan which will be launched shortly.
The opportunities presented by the use of platforms such as Teams and Zoom enable a more proactive engagement than has been previously possible. Through using these communication platforms, it is possible to discuss issues relating to sustainable access to digital material. The associated technological, organisational and policy issues which arise from providing access to digital material in the long term can be tackled by working collaboratively.
A particular innovation which will commence soon is the ‘Saving the Bits’ programme, which will be open to organisations across Wales. Sessions will discuss theoretical and practical issues, making reference to existing models, tools and workflows, which can be adopted by organisations. Taking advantage of new technologies, these sessions can now be both readily accessible and interactive, using presentations, live demonstrations and breakout discussions.
These sessions would not be possible without the resources and training materials which are now freely available; but what online meetings enable is greater coordination in the use of these resources and networking over how to implement new techniques more effectively. It is hoped that these sessions will contribute to the building of the community which is committed to saving the digital heritage a bit at a time.