Tag Archives: partners

Who’s on first? Keeping track


[photo credit: bahri altay / shutterstock.com]

We have recently debuted a new internal tracking system for our CPC partners. We have a lot of contacts with people who work in presidential sites and libraries, and while my email is a good way for ME to keep track of conversations and partner activity, it is not so good for other people. So Amber, our web developer, built a tracking system in the back-end of our content management system. Now instead of my email and a spreadsheet that lives only on my desktop, we are tracking our interactions with partners in our CMS, and that means it is available to the whole team at any point in the process.

Recruiting partners, adding metadata into CPC, and finalizing partner information on the CPC website generally takes many steps and a long time. I generally reach out to a potential partner at least three times before we can finalize a partnership, and then it takes many more emails to handle the details such as the partner agreement and the data export of metadata for CPC.

This isn’t a problem—it is just the process that is necessary to build partnerships and grow CPC. In many cases, potential partners don’t know us and need to learn about the Miller Center and CPC before they are willing to consider joining the project.

Then we have many partners that don’t yet have digital items but in many cases they are working on it. So I email a partner and then check back in periodically to find out where they are in their process. One partner that I first reached out to in November 2015 was interested, but they needed to put their items online before they could consider a partnership with CPC. By August 2016 the site was up!

That timetable is actually fast—it normally takes a long time for an organization to put their collections online, and it takes a long time to redesign websites. One partner we work with took more than two years to redesign their website. It takes a long time in part because many partner organizations are beholden to outside web design companies to build their new websites. And honestly, building a new website is detailed and complicated work. It cannot be done on the fly.

I’m excited about our new tracking system because it is one step toward moving CPC past a temporary grant project and into life as a full-fledged program. The IMLS grant continues into 2017 but we are working on building more permanent systems and processes for CPC that can see it into the future. So although it has taken me a long time to put all the partner information into the tracking system, I know that it is effort well spent because it shares and preserves valuable information.



CPC at the Presidential Sites & Libraries Conference, 2014

ImageWe’d like to send a BIG thanks to the Clinton Presidential Center and the AASLH for hosting a fantastic Presidential Sites and Libraries conference this week!

Thanks also to those of you who took the time to hear our presentation, to chat about CPC, and to tell us about your wonderful collections. It is an honor to be included in such an impressive contingent of representatives from these priceless American resources.

If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out presidentialcollections.org… and especially take note of the survey link in the top right. We’ll be developing materials (read more about those here) to help raise the tide for all sites and libraries and would love (LOVE) to receive your guidance and feedback on how we might be of service.

And in the meantime, as ever, follow us on Twitter for the latest and the greatest!

Safe travels, conference-goers. Many of you will be hearing from us again soon!

With the help and support of our partners

One of the big parts of this project is working with our partners. Right now our partners consist of five presidential sites (centers, libraries, museums, etc.) that have agreed to share information about their collections with us for the beta product. The concept behind this project is to create a website where people can come and search and find presidential materials. But we are not housing or hosting most of said materials. We are referring users to the organization that actually has the digital item. So the goal is to drive traffic to these partners’ websites so that more users are able to find and enjoy their collections.

I feel so strongly about the focus on collaboration and partnership for this project. This is not a project that the Miller Center can do alone. And it is not a project in which we alone benefit. In the long term, I believe that this project can benefit many presidential sites and libraries as well as many different types of users–the scholar, the student, the teacher, the presidential history buff, and more. The more organizations that participate in this project, the more useful it will be to users!

I am thrilled to have our five partners at this early stage in the project. And I very much look forward to reaching out to other partners as the project progresses. We are only starting with five partners at this point in order to keep the scale manageable. But once we feel like we have a clear plan, we can’t wait to expand the project to interested participants. And we hope that we will find many interested presidential sites and libraries who want to be part of this project.