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On Wed, 15 Feb 2006, Russ Hamm wrote:

> A cautionary note: My experience with IT departments tells me that you need
> to have at the least a supervisory role of an archivist or someone like
> that who truly understands the 'big picture' - not only the significance
> and value of the 'information' but also the necessity to adhere to high
> standards for data integrity, backup routines, uninterrupted power supplies
> and the like. My belief is that organizations have turned over much too
> much power to network engineers and technicians (IT departments) - just
> because no one else understands the technology. IT too often tells
> organizational management what they have to do rather than the other way
> around. Just one man's opinion.

I agree.

On more than one occasion I have given a negative review to a grant
application for this very reason. From my perspective, "outsourcing," even
when it is done between differing agencies within a large organization is
often seen as an excuse to abdicate responsibility and the need for
having any inhouse expertise in the agency contracting within the larger
institution...or outside that institution.

Along those same lines, I am concerned that too often I find libraries,
in particular, sending out reformatting work without having adequate
knowledge to write informed contracts and specifications and then not having
anyone on staff with the expertise, or the equipment to monitor the
quality of the work.

And perhaps somewhat related...using some vendor for long term
storage...how long will that vendor be in business, what rights does the
owner of the information have, who will specify the formatting of the
information, etc. For me, I haven't placed my retirement investments in
one mutual fund...similarly, I don't believe in placing all my eggs in one
basket.

While it has often been mentioned on this list, a perspective which I
share, that the best way to insure information will survive is to
diversify...modalities of storage and locations and vendors...Ok, so the
copyrights don't help us with this...It just crossed my mind...what say we
take all of the speeches of those legislators who work on the copyrights and
"accidentally" erase the files. Then tell them that all of their great
oratory has been lost...and that they couldn't have been backed up due to the
copyrights...

Maybe then we could have regional depositories of reformatted information
and maybe...one might not need to go to the holding library to audition a
recording.

Karl (hoping the copyrights will be revised before I die so I can hear
some of the things that interest me, items which are locked away due to
the copyrights)