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The two-day Dodging the Memory Hole 2015: An Action Assembly forum built on the digital news archiving priorities identified at the 2014 event Dodging the Memory Hole: Saving Born-digital News Content. Sessions focused on connecting various stakeholders, evaluating work that action groups had completed since the 2014 event, and forming more working groups to collaborate on potential solutions to problems. The event was hosted by the Educopia Institute in conjunction with the Journalism Digital News Archive and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library. It took place May 11-12, 2015, at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library in Charlotte, North Carolina.

View recorded sessions and transcripts from this event

Monday, May 11

All sessions took place at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library in North Carolina. The schedule is available in PDF format on the Educopia Institute's website.


8 a.m.       Registration, coffee


8:30 a.m.       Welcome, introductions

Katherine Skinner, Educopia Institute


9 a.m.       Keynote

Brian Hocker, vice president of digital media, programming and research at KXAS-TV, NBCUniversal

View the video and transcript here


9:45 a.m.       Break


10 a.m.       Panel 1: Awareness Raising

Marc Gartler, Madison Public Library; Leigh Montgomery, Christian Science Monitor; Cal Shepard, State Librarian of North Carolina; Ryan Thornburg, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication; David Thompson, Kentucky Press Association

The first panel conversation will identify key issues in raising awareness of the "digital memory hole." How do we prove there is a problem? Whose attention is needed to address it? How can we each take an active role in promoting awareness now? Where can our voices best carry? The panel will set the state for the three "Take Action!" breakout sessions that follow.


11 a.m.       Take Action!

  1. Delivering the Message (Leigh Montgomery, Christian Science Monitor)
  2. Scanning the Environment (Katherine Skinner, Educopia Institute)
  3. Public-Private Partnerships (Edward McCain, University of Missouri)


12:30 p.m.       Lunch


1:30 p.m.       Panel 2: What to Preserve ... and How?

Ana Krahmer, University of North Texas; Herbert Van de Sompel, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Ben Welsh, Los Angeles Times; Eric Weig, University of Kentucky

This panel conversation will focus on two core topics: the news content types that are currently most at risk and the tools and workflows that can help us to preserve them. Are some content types more vulnerable than others? What content will hold the most value to future researchers and citizens? What tools have already been created that can help a variety of stakeholders to participate in digital news preservation? And what tools are most critical to build in the near future? This panel will frame the three "Take Action!" breakout sessions that follow.


2:30 p.m.       Break


2:45 p.m.       Take Action!

  1. Preserving PDFs: Workflows and Pathways (Ana Krahmer, University of North Texas)
  2. Preserving News: Paper Vault (Eric Weig, University of Kentucky)
  3. Whose standards? Our standards! (Ben Welsh, Los Angeles Times)


4:15 p.m.       Wrap-up, Day 1



Tuesday, May 12


8 a.m.       Registration, coffee


8:30 a.m.       Take Action! Report Outs and Showcase


9:30 a.m.       Break


9:45 a.m.       Panel 3: Succession Agreements and Donor Agreements

Ian Buchanan, Newz Group; Dwayne Butler, University of Louisville; Martin Halbert, University of North Texas; Jim Kroll, Denver Public Library; Lisa Macklin, Emory University; Frederick Zarndt, Digital Divide Data

This conversation will examine a range of legal agreements used by news organizations, vendors, libraries and archives. This panel will grapple with such questions as:

  • What happens when a news organization goes out of business?
  • What rights should (and can) a library or archive request when a producer donates news content?
  • How might we foster strong relationships between these crucial producers and stewards of our historical record?

The panel will provide attendees with a grounding in current practice that will help them to "Take Action!" in the final breakout sessions of the event.


10:45 a.m.       Break


11 a.m.       Take Action!

  1. Content Management: A Quest for Interoperability (Frederick Zarndt, Digital Divide Data)
  2. Addressing the Needs of Small Libraries (Maria Tucker, Pueblo City Public Library; Liz Bishoff, The Bishoff Group)
  3. Donor Agreements: Workflows and Exemplars (Martin Halbert, University of North Texas)
  4. Donor Agreements: Documents, Process and the Unknown (Jim Kroll, Denver Public Library)


12:30 p.m.       Lunch


1:30 p.m.       Take Action! Report Outs and Showcase


2 p.m.       Lightning Presentations


3 p.m.       Jump In! What Comes Next?

Abbey Potter, Library of Congress


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