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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.

CLOCKSS passes TRAC audit, certified as trustworthy repository!

Congratulations CLOCKSS!! The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) just released the findings of their TRAC audit of CLOCKSS (Controlled Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe (LOCKSS)). The CLOCKSS Archive is a private LOCKSS network, much like the LOCKSS-USDOCS archive. And what’s more, according to David Rosenthal’s blog post announcing the successful audit, CLOCKSS received the “first ever perfect score in the “Technologies, Technical Infrastructure, Security” category.” W00t! David also noted that “In the interests of transparency the LOCKSS team have released all the non-confidential documentation submitted during the audit process.”

This follows an announcement earlier this year that Victoria Reich and David Rosenthal, the co-founders of the LOCKSS technology, were named the winners of the 2014 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology. Quite a year for the LOCKSS team!

QOTD: Google on lots of copies keeping stuff safe


QOTD: Google agrees that “Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe.”

Though Google at one time tried to offer customers the ability to store their data in one location in response to requests, it does not offer that feature now because it determined it was illogical, the person said. Google decided data is more secure if it is stored in multiple locations and that storing it in one location slows Google services and makes accessing the data less convenient for customers, the person said.

— a person briefed on Google’s policy who would speak only anonymously. Google Pushes Back Against Data Localization, by Claire Cain Miller, New York Times, Bits Blog (Jan 24, 2014).

Libraries Work Together to Preserve Canadian Federal Government Electronic Publications

The following is a press release (PDF) from the Canadian Government Information Private LOCKSS Network (CGI-PLN). Questions and comments should be directed to Amanda Wakaruk, amanda.wakaruk AT ualberta DOT ca.

Media Release – please forward

Libraries Work Together to Preserve Canadian Federal Government Electronic Publications

Librarians at eleven organizations have formed a partnership to preserve Canadian electronic government information.

This partnership, known as the Canadian Government Information Private LOCKSS Network (CGI-PLN), has established a geographically distributed infrastructure to preserve government information in a secure environment, helping ensure access to digital content in the future.

“The Canadian Library Association applauds the CGI-PLN initiative as an outstanding collaborative effort to make government information -increasingly available in only digital form – more accessible to Canada’s library communities and to Canadians nation-wide,” CLA president Pilar Martinez said. “CLA has been pleased to provide a forum where the beginnings of this work could take place.”

The Network’s first collection includes more than 111,000 PDFs produced by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada and collected by the Depository Services Program (DSP). This content was harvested in partnership with the Internet Archive’s Archive-IT service and will be updated by PLN members on a regular basis. The preservation of this content would not be possible without the cooperation of the DSP and its managers’ commitment to the stewardship of government information.

“It’s heartening to see Canadian libraries collaborating on such a critical mission. Future Canadians will laud the forward-thinking work of these librarians. Lots of copies do indeed keep Canadian documents safe,” said James Jacobs, LOCKSS-USDOCS Coordinator, Stanford University, and former Chair of the United States Depository Library Council.

While the CGI-PLN’s mandate is broadly defined, its current focus is on information publicly disseminated by the Government of Canada.

“This project illustrates how university libraries are finding new ways to contribute to the long-term preservation and access of important research resources,” University of Alberta University Librarian and Canadian Association of Research Libraries President Gerald Beasley said.

For more information, see:

CGI-PLN Participating Institutions (in alphabetical order):

  • Dalhousie University
  • McGill University
  • Scholar’s Portal (Ontario Council of University Libraries)
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Victoria

pdf available at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B13VrrzqeRbuaWFmWkhON3QyRk0/edit?usp=sharing
*Amanda Wakaruk*, MLIS, MES
Government Information Librarian
University of Alberta Libraries

Biggest Causes of Loss of Digitial Information?

David Rosenthal, in a post on his blog, gives a brief presentation on the principles behind the LOCKSS technology. In it, he explains some of the thought behind it (with useful links!). One of the key questions of digital preservation is “What are the causes of data loss?” David notes that most people would answer this question with the usual suspects: Media failure, Hardware failure, Software failure, Network failure, Obsolescence, Natural Disaster. But, David says, if you ask the people who run large data centers you get a different list:

  • Operator error
  • External Attack
  • Insider Attack
  • Economic Failure
  • Organization Failure

That helped inform the design of LOCKSS, which was explicitly modelled on the paper library system, which created lots of copies of material to be preserved, on durable, somewhat tamper-evident media, and scattered them around the world in such a way as to make it easy to find (and potentially alter or destroy) some of them but hard to be sure that you had found all of them.

Read on:

LOCKSS is the underlying technology for the Digital Federal Depository Library Program or “USDocs” private LOCKSS network.

Lunchtime listen: not your grandfather’s web anymore

Not Your Grandfather’s Web Any More, a project briefing from the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) spring 2013 member meeting by David S.H. Rosenthal of LOCKSS and Kris Carpenter Negulescu of the Internet Archive, is now available on CNI’s video channels:

YouTube: http://youtu.be/uIqU2Cr2Kjs
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/66175352

What are the practical and theoretical archiving problems posed by the newer parts of the Web, like social media, scientific workflows and Web services? How can the challenges of these latest developments be met, if at all? This presentation reports on the results of a workshop held at the Library of Congress under the auspices of the International Internet Preservation Consortium, where practitioners of Web archiving reviewed these questions. More information about this talk, including presentation slides, is available on the CNI site.