DCPL Launches Memory Lab

Posted: March 1, 2016 by saacua in News

Guest Post by: Cynthia Vrabel 

On Saturday, February 20th, the DC Public Library launched a new space at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library branch called the Memory Lab. As its name suggests, this new space is dedicated to providing the public with the technology and training needed to preserve their digital materials. The kickoff event started with tours of the space in the morning, followed up by a screening of the documentary “Through a lens darkly” and a talk with the film’s director, Thomas Allen Harris.

The Memory Lab is both a physical space and an online resource. People will be allowed to reserve the lab for up to three hours at a time, and will have access to digitizing videos and photos with step-by-step instructions. In addition to the resources available at the actual location, there is also an online resource–giving people opportunities to research the space and learn more about the kinds of technologies available to them at the library and at home.

The importance of this space is not lost on members of the community or its staff. As professionals, we are always cognizant of preservation needs of our workplace, and personal needs often fall by the wayside. By placing personal archiving and preservation of digital materials on the same level as the preservation needs of institutions and businesses, we can work towards protecting the stories of our users, and our communities.
Learn more about the Memory Lab here, and access Jamie Mears’ (project coordinator) talk on the importance of personal archiving here.

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