April 20, 2021

DC Public Library, Public Library Association, Announce Memory Lab Network Grant Recipients

From the DC Public Library:

People and families in seven communities are one step closer to being able to digitize and preserve videotapes, photographs and other family keepsakes at their library. Their libraries have been awarded a Memory Lab Network Grant.

Tehama County Library, CA; Calcasieu Parish Public Library, LA; Middle Georgia Regional Library, GA; Central Arkansas Library System, AR; Tulare County Library, CA; Free Library of Philadelphia, PA; and Chesapeake Public Library, VA are the recipients of the grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grantmaking as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

More than 25 libraries applied for the program. The finalists were selected based on their interest and commitment, location, library system size and population served. The DC Public Library is administering the grant.

Under the grant, the libraries will attend an in-depth digital-preservation boot camp in Washington, D.C. At the camp, staff will receive digital preservation training and equipment recommendations that support their respective digital archiving programs. The project will also create training materials that other libraries can use to develop similar programs.

This is the second cohort to receive grants. The program is modeled after the DC Public Library’s Memory Lab, which features technology like professional-grade scanners and VCRs along with step-by-step instructions for saving items in a digital format. Since the lab’s launch in 2016, patrons have booked more than 1,400 sessions and digitized more than 4,000 hours of video, audio cassettes and other personal materials.

National Leadership Grants for Libraries are awarded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services to support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archive fields and that can advance library and archival practice with new tools, research findings, models, services or partnerships that can be replicated.

Memory Lab Network Project Advisory Board Members

  • Lauren Algee, National Digital Initiatives, Library of Congress
  • Nicholas Kerelchuk, Technology and Innovation Manager, DC Public Library
  • Jaime Mears, National Digital Initiatives, Library of Congress
  • Yvonne Ng, Senior Archivist, WITNESS
  • Rick Prelinger, Founder of the Prelinger Archives; Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Molly Schwartz, Studio Manager & Imaging and Recording Specialist, Metropolitan New York Library Council
About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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