“Karma Cleanse: Check your motives. Watch your attitude. Act with love. Be grateful. Forgive.”
Tom Eblen published an article in today’s Herald-Leader about our IFLA Pre-Conference. It’s a good article, exposing some of the challenges we face as a global community to capture and preserve our news, often referred to as the “first draft of history.” What he didn’t mention were the people in the room from the University of Kentucky Libraries who built the UK program into a national leader (that’s why we were chosen to host the pre-conference after all). At the mixer, Becky Ryder pointed out that the first and last stewards of UK’s newspaper program were present. She was talking about Judy Sackett, above left, and myself. The three of us combined have over seventy years experience with newspaper preservation. You see, Judy was the first formal steward when UK Libraries became one of the first participants in the NEH funded United States Newspaper Program (USNP). It was designed to catalogue and microfilm as many historic newspapers as could be gathered from each state. A decade or so later, Becky took over as the first Preservation Librarian at UK Libraries. She was instrumental in getting UK into the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), the successor project to USNP. I was the program manager of NDNP when our NEH funding ended in 2013, thus, summarily ending over sixty years of Kentucky newspaper preservation. Since then, Eric Weig and I have been doing what we can to reignite the program, but as Eblen points out in his article, lack of funding and staff make it nearly impossible. Neither Eric nor I are dedicated full-time to newspapers, which is what it would take to put us back on top (did I mention we trained nearly everyone in NDNP, and people still use my tutorials to train their staff?). I have faith that one day we’ll be back to preserving Kentucky’s first draft of history. In the meantime, I’m forever grateful to follow in Judy and Becky’s footsteps. They’re mighty women and excellent mentors.