The CPC team has a set of loose guidelines that make for an “ideal” candidate for CPC partnership. (A “partner” is an organization whose collection/s are featured on the searchable CPC website alongside other presidential materials.) I will list those below but, if these do not describe you or your organization, please keep reading—this whole entry is about attempting to create this reality for potential partners. We wouldn’t get very far at all if we only accepted ideal candidates.
Ideal CPC Candidates
An ideal CPC partner will have a completely digitized collection that is:
- posted online,
- is clearly focused on the presidency,
- and has a complete and clear digital metadata record about each item.
Additionally, an ideal partner organization needs to be able to export those records and provide them to us in some digital format. (That might be XML, CSV, Excel, etc.—we can work with a lot of formats!)
Now… is the above description an easy reality for many organizations? Probably not. But we’d like to change that.
We are not blind to the fact that partnership in CPC requires a bit of effort from partner organizations. We are also keenly aware that these organizations, who house incredible (but often hidden) collections, are too-often strapped for resources as it is. As we applied for the IMLS funding, we often thought to ourselves, “Partner content is crucial to CPC’s success—how can we help empower organizations to be able to participate?” … and, related, “How in the world can we ask for more labor from organizations that are likely overwhelmed to begin with?”
We believe that partner organizations stand to gain a great deal from participation, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t real barriers in the meantime (like non-digitized collections, or slim metadata, or a gap in institutional expertise needed to make the digital presence a reality).
A Rising Tide Raises All Boats
Our answer came in the form of an additional “pillar” of our project: the Educational Materials. What does that entail? Well, honestly, we’re not sure yet. It will likely include some mix of educational videos, easily-accessible tutorials, and links to relevant resources. Knowing that some organizations simply need funding assistance, we’d would love to compile a list of funding organizations that are open to micro-grants for the purpose of technological development.
But they key is this: We won’t know what the real barriers are until we hear from you. And yes, I am talking to you. It doesn’t matter if you come from the best-funded, largest, most successful presidential library on earth (or the smallest and thriftiest!)—surely you have challenges or lessons that you could share.
We want to hear from you! What do you think about the CPC project? If we were ready today to include you in the site, what might be some barriers before we were fully able to succeed? Do you have a way to export metadata? Is the metadata in good shape? How about digital facsimiles of physical items: do they exist? Do they exist online? If not, do you have a website or content management system where these items could be posted? What are some of the immediate barriers to beginning this process?
In short: We believe that the more we can empower organizations to rise and meet the digital future, the better off we all will be.
If you would, please take a few moments to contact us and let us know your thoughts. You can comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The more feedback we receive, the more successful we ALL can be—THANK YOU for your assistance!
UPDATE: We have a survey! The goal here is to hear from anyone interested in CPC (in any capacity!) about how we might develop the project to enable participation. Your feedback will be immensely useful… please take a few minutes and give us your thoughts!