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Friday, August 9, 2013

Learning About Digital Preservation & Owning My Hearing Loss

Train the Trainer Class - July 2013 - Photo by Library of Congress
I am in the second row, wearing purple.

This summer I had a fantastic work opportunity to learn about digital preservation from the Library of Congress through their outreach and education program. The Library of Congress is committed to getting Americans to think about digital preservation and start taking steps in that direction. To achieve their goal, the Library of Congress is presenting Train the Trainer workshops throughout the country. The trainers who attend the training are charged with presenting the information to their local communities to spread the word on the importance of digital preservation.

For a brief introduction to digital preservation, please view the video below.
Note: Captions not available :(

During our training, I connected with a librarian who works near me. The two of us plan to present our training together. We want to present a workshop called "Getting Started with Digital Preservation". Neither of us have done digital preservation before, so we are going to discuss the concepts we learned and then share how we have gotten started implementing them at our libraries. We will probably offer our workshop sometime in the fall. Then, we will also participate with a more in-depth regional workshop series to take place next spring.

When I went to this training last month, I was planning on not saying anything to anyone about my hearing loss. I would just manage as best I could. Ha! I didn't even last a day at that. This is what happened. The first morning of our class, I arrived twenty minutes early to get the best possible seat for hearing the speaker. I found one at the front of the room with a great view of the projector screen and located well away from the projector itself. I knew from past experience that projectors can make plenty of distracting background noise. I thought I had it made.

But later that day, the trainers had us count off by numbers 1-6. I ended up being a number six. This meant I had to move to the very back of the room and be part of group six. So much for my effort of arriving early to get the best seat. Then, we had some group work time where all the groups were talking among each other at the same time. Oh, the hubbub! I was relying completely on lipreading at that point. Then, we broke up to receive more instruction from a Library of Congress trainer. But, of course, now I was at the back of the room. I had to do something. I told my group, "Sorry, I have to move up to the front to hear" and pulled my chair up to sit at a front table. That group looked a little surprised to have me join them, but I simply explained, "I need to sit here to hear." The trainer didn't even seem to notice.

I was so glad later that I took the initiative to make that move. I met someone at the front table who was compassionate about my hearing loss and one of the training organizers told me later she just assumed I had moved to be able to see better. LOL, I had never even considered that possibility.

Through this training opportunity, I learned about digital preservation AND the importance of owning up to my hearing loss. It was a little embarrassing in the moment to move my seat, but not a big deal in the long run.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah. Thanks for sharing your experience here. Glad it went well in the end. I would have felt uncomfortable too moving to the front at first. But at least like you knew, I would have known the same that being at the front would be best hearing wise.

I would have been sooo gutted to have found the best seat early, only to have to have gone to the back.

All the best when you work with the other librarian to teach about digital preservation.