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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

BPE 2007 Introduction

From May 2-4, 2007, it was my privilege to attend and present at Best Practices Exchange 2007. The purpose of this conference was to share information on how states and other organizations are discovering, describing, preserving and providing access to digital, (mostly government) information. There were six broad tracks – Metadata & Discovery, Access, Preservation, Technology, Project Management & Outreach, and Emerging Issues. A more detailed explanation of the tracks is available on the web site.

This conference drew 103 registered attendees representing 32 States and Provinces from 61 organizations. A list of presenters and presentations is available at http://bpexchange.org/presentations_chron.htm
and should have all the presentation slides, including mine in the next few weeks. But in case you can’t wait, I’ve attached my LOCKSS presentation slides to this blog post.

Those who know me well know that I find it hard to resist cliches. So I have to say this isn’t your parents’ conference. The organizers of this conference followed last year’s model of very short presentations (10-20 minutes) with small audiences (20-35) to allow for maximum discussion and sharing between states and organizations. I didn’t attend last year, but I found the format very helpful and invigorating. There were also long breaks and lunches to facilitate networking. During one “break”, someone from InterPARES
took the time to do a one-to-one JHove tutorial for me. JHove extracts technical metadata from a large variety of files and I really wish I had a working knowledge of it when I prepared our latest “gubernatorial snapshot” DVD for the Alaska State Publications Program. I’m so impressed, I might offer a file analysis as an optional download.

This conference has something for everyone regardless of their experience with technology. There are a variety of sessions and all speakers were patience and supportive of all questions. As a result, I even think I now have a partial handle on OAIster and OAI-PMH, which I didn’t despite having tried to read many articles on the subject.

Assuming this conference is offered next year, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you register. As soon as I hear that BPE 2008 is being planned, I’m going to start promoting it to the entire Alaska State/Federal depository community.

Over the next few days, I plan to write more about what I learned from the Exchange. It will be more about lessons learned than a blow-by-blow description of sessions. I might make an exception for the keynotes, which were done by Brewster Kahle and former Arizona legislator Jeff Hatch-Miller.

If you are reading this and were a fellow BPE2007 attendee, would you include a tag of BPE2007 in anything you blog about? Thanks!

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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