Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Farewell, Helen!

It is with mixed emotions I share the news that Helen Bailey, Preservation Specialist, is leaving Dartmouth. Helen has been with us for about three years and in that time has made a substantial impact on the department and the Library. When she began in 2009 as a conservation intern from the University of Texas she took on a number of special projects. One close to my heart was the rejuvenation of our department web pages; she reorganized the web site creating a coherent and consistent design that provides information for library staff and the general public. The Preservation Services blog, which she currently manages, has become popular due to her thoughtful posts on digital preservation, statistics, film assessment, and of course, Preservation Week.

When Helen became our Preservation Specialist in 2010 she turned her focus to digital preservation, collaborating with me to write the Library's first Digital Preservation Policy. Working with her colleagues in Acquisitions, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Digital Resources, and Digital Library Technologies Group she chaired an e-Resources Preservation Group. That group has effectively raised awareness of the preservation needs of e-resources including better ways to utilize existing tools and getting the most from our Portico and LOCKSS memberships.

Helen came to Dartmouth for book conservation and, not forsaking her book binding roots, she has been on staff as a Book Arts Instructor. Her classes on miniature books and Coptic bindings were very popular as were her classes on accordion folds and piano hinge bindings. She was also the behind-the-scenes technical coordinator of our online registration system – no mean feat!

So, what has lured Helen away from Dartmouth? Only a super, fantastic appointment to be the first MIT Library Fellow for Digital Curation and Preservation! This new program provides outstanding librarians just beginning their career the opportunity to contribute in strategic areas for academic research libraries. Helen will be working in the area of digital curation and developing outreach materials to engage librarians, faculty, and others in best practices for the long-term management of digital content. Our consolation in her departure for MIT is that we surely will benefit from the work she completes in her fellowship.

Farewell and remember, we are just up the road from you. Don't be a stranger!

Helen's last day in Preservation Services is October 5.

Written by Barb Sagraves.

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