Highlights of the Digital Preservation Conference 2018

Day 1: The Opening Ceremony of the Digital Preservation Conference 2018 commenced at 11.45am on Monday, 3 September 2018. In attendance were dignitaries from public and private sectors. The Chairman of the occasion was Barrister D. D. Fer who is the Acting Director of National Archives of Nigeria.

Dr Abiola Abioye, the Chairman of the NLA-PACS delivered a welcome address. The Keynote address was given by Prof. G. Olubunmi Alegbeleye of Babcock University, Ilisan Remo who is the Founding Chairman of the Section. Prof Alegbeleye dwelt on the imperatives of digital preservation having regards to the unique nature of digital information resources. James Lowry, a digital preservation expert at Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom contributed a keynote remotely. His keynote focused on digital preservation in a recessed economy with stringent budgets. Goodwill messages were received from the National Librarian/CEO, National Library of Nigeria, Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency and former President of Nigerian Library Association, Alhaji Rilwanu Abdulsalam. The representatives of the Head of Department of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of Ibadan and the Director of African Regional Centre for Information Studies also presented their goodwill messages. The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service was also represented at the opening ceremony. The Director of FCT Archives and History Bureau, Ms Cyril Jogai and the Librarian of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) were also in attendance.

The high point of the opening ceremony was the unveiling of the Section’s website which participants at the opening ceremony instantly logged on to using NLAPACS website to gain access. The role of the International Association for Social Science Information Science and Technology (IASSIST) in sponsoring the conference, was acknowledged and emphasized and IASSIST’s relevance in digital preservation was highlighted. Group photographs were taken and refreshments served.

Immediately after the opening ceremony, there were 3 paper presentations by Prof. G.O. Alegbeleye, Dr. Akinniyi Adeleke and Dr. Ngozi Azubogu. The first speaker made An Overview of Digital Preservation strategies while the other speakers presented two case studies of Digital Preservation from Tekena Tamuno University Libray, Adeleke University, Ede, and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri Library respectively. The session was chaired by Prof Yacob Haliso of Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.

Day 2: There were 3 Posters presented at the conference by Mrs Grace Ikenna; Dr D’Anna Shotts and Anthonia Ahima; and Mrs Adetoun Oyelude on different aspects of digital preservation. The first was on the state of digital preservation in the Kenneth Dike Library, University of Ibadan; the second on the progress of digitization in the Northeastern Baptist collection in Nigeria while the third was on the impact of IASSIST on digital preservation in the African Region.

Apart from posters, six (6) papers were presentated in very stimulating sessions by Dr. Ezra Gbaje & Prof. Umar Ibrahim on the OAIS framework and Insitutional repository as strategy for digital preservation of Scholarly contents; Omobolade Adeagbo/Sunday Obadare/Femi Oguntuase & Samson Akande on the handling of rare materials in the Hezekiah Oluwasanmi Library, Obafemi Awolowo University Library, Ile-Ife; and Mrs Kathryn Phillips & Edidiong Eyo on the University of Uyo perspective of factors affecting Institutional Repository development in the morning session. The afternoon session had Prince Jacob Igwe & Chidinma Aguwamba speaking on promoting digital resources on social media in selected University libraries in Nigeria; and Ifeyinwa Okafor & Olalekan Awujoola dwelling on Digital preservation standards for information organizations in the 21st Century. Aishat Egbunu/ Adeyinka Koiki-Owoyele & Adefunke Alabi presented a stimulating paper on safeguarding Africa’s cultural heritage through digital preservation. After each session activities, lots of networking, international participants… name it!

Day 3: even more Exciting. A paper by Dr. Benedict Oladele took participants on from Labyrinth of Digital Data Curation and Preservation, to a case study on Kenneth Dike Library Institutional repository case study presented by Mrs Titilayo Ilesanmi, on to Drs. Christopher Okiki & Racheal Odunlade research on Scholarly communication in Institutional Repositories. The Adetoun Oyelude & Winny Akullo research on Challenges and Opprtunities of Digital Preservation in Nigeria and Uganda, also joined the morning session which sparked stimulating discussions.

One needed to be there to listen to the afternoon session by Abass Mustapha on AudioVisual Digital preservation of Yoruba Indigenous Knowledge and its economic benefits, as well as the Busicon Exhibitor’s presentation on equipment for Digital Preservation and methods for it, presented by Mrs Lola Akanbi, the CEO of the company. Quite a package! Participants were practically ‘chased out’ from the venue at 5.45pm, almost 2 hours beyond target, not due to lateness, but the lively discussions that kept coming. See!

And… without doubt, NLA-PACS is creating a networking family that say nothing to each other, but come out with a colour code, simply coincidental! Code purple!. It was fun!

Day 4: The Grand finale was grand! The three papers that ended the conference were information packed. Strategies for deployment of Digital Preservation by Isaac Ajibola; an important aspect - Indigenous knowledge (IK) of the Traditional Medicine practitioners by Drs Rachael Odunlade & Chris Okiki; plus a final one from Okwor, Ihekwoaba et al from the Public library angle on Indigenous medicine knowledge.

The wrap-up, putting the communique together was another interesting exercise. The communique has been issued! It will be published in the print media in due course shortly. In closing the conference, the NLA-PACS Chairman, Dr Abiola Abioye expressed appreciation to all those who contributed in various respects to make the conference a reality. On the whole, the Digital Preservation Conference 2018 was a huge success. Lessons were, however, learnt which will properly position NLA-PACS for the next conference.

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