Saturday, July 14, 2012

2012 Best Practices Exchange: Annapolis, Maryland, 4-6 December

The Best Practices Exchange (BPE) is an annual event that brings together archivists, librarians, records managers, information technology professionals, attorneys, and other people seeking to preserve born-digital state government records and publications.  Sessions are informal, presenters are compelled to leave plenty of time for questions and discussion, and attendees are expected to participate actively in session discussions.  In addition, presenters and attendees are encouraged to highlight not only success stories but also stumbling blocks, problems, and unexpected developments -- in other words, all the experience one acquires when one doesn't get what one wanted or expected.  There's no teacher like failure, and I always come away from the BPE grateful that I'm not the only person who's run into particular problem and determined to make sure that my

I always leave the BPE feeling as if my head is stuffed with knowledge, and I'm glad that this non-traditional conference -- which grew out of a one-off event sponsored by North Carolina in 2006 and has been hosted by libraries and archives in Arizona (2007 and 2010), Montana (2008), New York (2009), and Kentucky (2011) -- has flourished.  If you have an abiding interest in digital preservation haven't experienced the BPE, I encourage you to do so if at all possible; attendance isn't limited to state government employees, and about 10-15 percent of BPE attendees are employed by non-profit organizations, private academic institutions, and other non-government institutions.

Maryland is hosting the 2012 BPE. The BPE website doesn't yet have any information about this year's meeting, but Tim Baker of the Maryland State Archives circulated a save the date/call for proposals notice via the BPE listserv last week.  Excerpts are reproduced below:
I am very pleased to announce that the 7th annual Best Practices Exchange (BPE) will be held in Annapolis, Maryland at the Lowes, December 4-6, 2012. The BPE is a conference that focuses on the management of digital information in state government, and it brings together practitioners to discuss their real-world experiences, including best practices and lessons learned. 

We have secured some excellent accommodations at the Lowes in Annapolis . . . .  While Annapolis is a relatively small city, there is something for everyone to enjoy.  Plus, everything you will want to see or visit in Annapolis is within walking distance from the Lowes.   

Call for Session Proposals
 . . . . Following the format of past Best Practices Exchanges we encourage you, the attendees, to present your projects and experiences, successes, failures and lessons learned.  

Each session will be 90 minutes long with two or more speakers per session.  We ask that you keep presentations to 10-15 minutes to allow for discussion and engagement with the audience.  Proposals should include an abstract of 100 words or less and the name, title, email, phone number and organization of each presenter.  You may submit a proposal for one speaker, which will then be paired with others by the program committee; or a proposal for a full session with multiple speakers (please contact and confirm the other speakers prior to submission.)   

Please send all session proposals to Tim Baker at the Maryland State Archives:

. . . . For planning purposes the hotel costs will be $101/night plus tax and conference registration will be in the neighborhood of $165. 

In the meantime, check out some local web sites:

There really is something for everyone in Annapolis!  

Program Committee Volunteers
I am looking for volunteers for the program committee.  If you are interested, please send me a note [] or give me a call [410 260 6402].
Image: Fireworks over the Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York, 4 July 2012, 10: 05 PM EDT.