Sustainability Strategies for Digital Resources

Nancy Maron, BlueSky to BluePrint, USA, Sarah Pickle, Ithaka S+R, USA

This half-day tutorial will introduce project leaders to the basics of sustainability planning, help them define the challenges they face, establish ambitious but realistic sustainability goals, and sketch out a plan to achieve them. The workshop will include group participation and will share real-world examples, illustrated by case studies of digital projects that really worked …or didn’t. The session will introduce participants to the “Sustainability Planning Tool” a tool designed by Ithaka S+R to help guide those leading digital resource projects in choosing and testing the strategies that will work best for them.

Museums and other cultural heritage organizations today are building digital resources that are valuable for community engagement, teaching, and scholarship, including multi-format educational projects to digitized collections to born-digital works and innovative software tools. While some may be experiments and are valuable for the experience they offer or the capacity they build within an institution, others create collections of content, dynamic websites, or other resources that are intended to continue well beyond their initial creation. As these projects and resources continue, their creators often face the challenge of identifying financial and non-financial resources that will permit them to maintain their value over time. This session encourages project leaders to define the intended impact of a digital project, assess its current or potential audience and the wider environment in which it operates, and consider sources of financial and non-financial support, using tools developed with feedback from hundreds of project leaders worldwide.

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