Helping Members of the Community Manage Their Digital Lives: Developing a Personal Digital Archiving Workshop | D-Lib

It is estimated that over 90 percent of all new information is born digital. We create new digital materials practically on a daily basis. What can we as libraries do to help our users manage their personal digital materials? This article explores resources and methods that could be used in the development of a personal digital archiving workshop and how to best tailor it to your library audience.

Madonna once sang "we are living in a material world." While that may still ring true, she might also now sing that we are living in a "digital world." It has been estimated that 93% of all new information is born digital.1 Whether we realize it or not, we create digital materials on a daily basis. Emails, text messages, voicemails, social media "status updates" or "tweets," documents, etc. — the list can go on and on. Because of the immense amount of digital information and its fragility, digital materials are very much at risk; more so than paper and analog materials. Files can be deleted, hard drives can crash, websites can disappear — there are many ways in which we can lose our digital materials. As with physical materials, it's likely that many of us have digital materials that are important to us and that we do not want to lose. Whether it be digital music files that we have paid money for, a trail of emails that may serve as evidence in an office dispute, or simply a digital file that has an emotional attachment, there are various reasons why we want to hang on to our digital materials.2 Because of this, it's necessary to practice what is being called personal digital archiving. Personal digital archiving consists of saving and archiving digital materials and managing them so they will be available for future use. While this is not always easy, it is vital if we want to maintain our digital lives.