METRO Hosts Planning Meeting to Map Our Digital Future

METRO Hosts Planning Meeting to Map Our Digital Future

On November 2nd and 3rd, METRO hosted "Planning Our Digital Future,"? an intensive two-day planning meeting at which 50 library leaders and stakeholders with a strong interest in digitization participated in setting strategic directions for our digitization-related services over the next three years.

Representing the enormous diversity of METRO's member institutions, participants hailed from a wide range of public, hospital, academic, and museum libraries and archives. Deans and directors of libraries and archives large and small participated, along with digital librarians, technologists, and faculty in graduate programs in information studies.

The meeting was co-facilitated by Liz Bishoff (Director, Digital and Preservation Service, BCR) and Tom Clareson (Senior Consultant, New Initiatives, Lyrasis). Both individuals have worked closely with METRO since our digitization programming began and were involved in the development of our 2007-2010 Digital Library Services Plan . The meeting utilized the "Open Space Technology"? method whereby attendees developed the agenda, chaired and reported on the discussion sessions, and prioritized the recommendations.

The participants generated more than 80 recommendations via 15 different discussion groups on how METRO can facilitate the work of our member libraries and archives in a constantly evolving digital environment. The top priorities fell into several general categories: training/continuing education; organizational networking and sharing of information; providing access to resources for digital project management; and mentoring programs across various subject areas. Across of all these topic areas, collaboration was an overriding theme.

Recommendations on the role METRO can play included: offering training on advanced digital rights, launching a digital preservation discussion forum, hosting a site for information sharing on all aspects of digital preservation, and playing a "matchmaking"? role in joining organizational partners together on mutually beneficial digital projects.

The recommendations made during the meeting will be brought to our Digitization Advisory Council for additional commentary and input. By Spring 2010, METRO staff will develop a final plan within the context of METRO's strategic priorities and funding. For more information, contact Dottie Hiebing, Executive Director, at: or Jason Kucsma, Emerging Technologies Manager, at: .

Sam Streed
Author: Sam Streed
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