Sarah Middleton

Sarah Middleton

Last updated on 24 January 2020

This time last year, in January 2019, we were about to hold our first DPC Members Lounge. It is an idea we had been toying with for a while… we wanted to provide an opportunity for members to get together and chat informally, without an agenda and just on the topics that were at the front of their minds at that time, kind of like you might around…say… a water cooler?

Often the best ideas come when you give yourself a break, have a chat and let the conversation go whichever way it takes you.

And so the monthly Members Lounge was born (we called it that for want of a better name and because we couldn’t quite replicate a water cooler. A little imagination is required).


Every month from January 2019 we have met online in a Zoom meeting, for 1 hour to talk about whatever digital preservation activity we were working on…sometimes not even digital preservation, often cake, recipes, weekend plans …

And during that time we have been witness to one or two magical Members Lounge moments along the way: where someone was truly stuck with something they were working on and another member has said – oh yes, that happened to me, have you tried….? And another moment when two Members, who had previously never met realised that they work working on similar projects and should definitely join forces. And they did!


With the start of the new year, and our next gathering just days away, we want to encourage more magical Members Lounge/ water cooler moments!

So, for the next four sessions (at least) we’ll be theming our Members Lounges as follows:

  • 30th January, 1200 GMT – Workflows: do you want to know how to perform a particular digital preservation action? Have you just cracked a particularly tricky workflow? Do you just want to hear what and how others have been doing various digital preservation functions? Come along!
  • 27th February, 0900 GMT – Procurement: are you in the middle of/thinking about procuring a digital preservation product or service? Have you just been through a procurement process? Share your thoughts/worries/experiences in a free ranging chat on the subject!
  • 26th March, 1500 GMT - Preservation policy: are you starting to write/update your digital preservation policy? Are you wondering where to start? What it should include? Have you written one recently or in the past? Come along and swap notes on the best approaches…and by the way, hear about the new DPC Policy Toolkit which will be launched around that time.
  • 30th April, 1200 BST - Skills and labour market: are you recruiting for a digital preservation position? Want to know what should go into a job description? What salaries and grades should be? What the process should be? Or have you recently recruited and want to compare notes with others?

The topics don’t mean you need to come prepared with a presentation or a scripted talk. This is so you know what we’ll be chatting about, so if you are interested in the subject…you know where to be!

We’ll aim for half an hour chat on the chosen subject, and if the conversation goes in a different direction for the rest of the session… that’s fine too! And by the way, we’re also looking for suggestions for May, June and July … so let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to discuss with other members.

So, who’s up for workflow chat next week?! Thursday 30th January, 1200 GMT - see you there!

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