The Library recognizes that there are several challenges to implementing an effective digital preservation policy, such as:

  • Change: Technology changes frequently, and with it, formats and dissemination mechanisms. As the Library's digital collection diversifies over time, staff will be required to monitor the changing needs of materials, and update policies and procedures based on these needs.
  • Rapid growth: The University's official record is increasingly available only in digital format. The Library's digitized collection grows each year. Stewarding these materials requires a concerted investment in technological equipment, resources, and staff that must scale with increasing demands and obligations.
  • Sustainability: A sustainable digital preservation model responds to change with appropriate new technology and increases in staffing. Cost modeling numbers are difficult to come by in the field, but noteworthy advancements are being made. Library staff will monitor the output of the 4C Project for possible sustainability models and other advice in this area. The Library requires sufficient funding for operations and major improvements to manage its digital collections and to sustain funding for ongoing digital preservation efforts. A digital preservation policy requires adequate resources. The Library must refrain from promising more than it can deliver.
  • Selection: Realistically, the Library cannot preserve everything. It is vital that sensible selection processes and criteria be developed.
  • Management: Additional thought must be given to the coordination and oversight of digital collections that are to be preserved. To balance the sometimes competing goals of access and preservation, the Library will focus on the role preservation plays in access.
  • Partnerships: The Library is committed to working with content providers including creators, donors, and others to preserve their content.
  • Communication: To implement a digital preservation policy, the Library must commit to transparent, honest, and frequent communication among all relevant parties. This commitment implies that regular reports should be supplied to the Preservation Committee from content managers and IT on processes and difficulties.
  • Expertise: The Library must commit to hiring or developing staff with the requisite expertise to operate a robust digital preservation program. Additionally, the library must be committed to continually update staff skills as technologies change.
  • Rights: The changing landscape surrounding intellectual property rights impact the ability to provide access to digital materials and can impact digital preservation efforts. In addition, the Library must function as steward for materials that are in-copyright and have access restrictions.