“Government Bits: Stewardship of Public Information in a Changing Digital Landscape”

February 8, 2012

The School of Information and Library Science (SILS) and School of Government (SOG) at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) will hold a day-long symposium called “Government Bits: Stewardship of Public Information in a Changing Digital Landscape” on March 16, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 2601 of the Knapp-Sanders Building on the UNC-CH campus.  The symposium will include panel discussions and other interactive sessions related to lessons and strategies for professionals to engage in public information stewardship.  The regular rate for the symposium is $60 per person.  The student rate is $40 per person.  Registration includes a continental breakfast (8-9 a.m.), lunch and beverages.

Online registration for the symposium is available at http://cfx.research.unc.edu/res_classreg/browse_single.cfm?New=1&event=E8661CA4F537B1D326C269CB2A8187A7FE107726

Panelists will contribute insights based on extensive experience in a variety of professional contexts.  They include:

• Richard Barry, Principle, Barry Associates
• Earl Bunting, Director (retired), Information Technology Services, City of Jacksonville, NC
• Daphne DeLeon, Division Administrator/State Librarian, Nevada State Library and Archives
• Duncan Friend, Director of Enterprise Technology Initiatives, Kansas Department of Administration
• Alex Hess, Librarian of the Joseph Palmer Knapp Library, SOG, UNC-CH
• Sarah Koonts, Acting State Archivist, State of North Carolina
• Cal Lee, Associate Professor, SILS, UNC-CH
• Denny McGuire, Technical Policy Manager, State of North Carolina, Office of Information Technology Services
• Richard Marciano, Professor and Director of Sustainable Archives and Leveraging Technologies group (SALT), SILS, UNC-CH
• Theresa Pardo, Director of the Center for Technology in Government, Albany, NY
• William Rivenbark, Professor of Public Administration and Government/ Director, Master of Public Administration Program, SOG, UNC-CH
• Helen Tibbo, Professor, SILS, UNC-CH
• Shannon Tufts, Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Public Technology, SOG, UNC-CH

Themes of the day will include challenges in the stewardship of electronic records; current solutions for digital records environments; moving from a paper-based environment to a digital environment; information stewardship strategies for public administrators; and building information systems for information stewardship.

The symposium is part of Educating Stewards of Public Information in the 21st Century (ESOPI-21), which is a three-year collaboration between SILS and the SOG at UNC-CH, sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

ESOPI-21 is based on the belief that the stewardship of public information is a fundamental responsibility of a democratic society.  Public information (e.g. agency records, government publications, datasets) serves as evidence of governmental activities, decisions, and responsibilities at the local, county, state, and federal levels.  Providing appropriate access to public information promotes accountability, rights of citizens, effective administration of policy, and social memory.

Public officials and public servants must increasingly make and enact decisions related to information systems; this requires an understanding of the ways in which people, information and technology can best complement each other.  At the same time, information professionals are increasing required to engage in policy discussions and processes, in order to carry out their duties responsibly and effectively; this requires an understanding of the history, principles, processes and methods of public administration.

ESOPI-21 and ESOPI2 are developing educational and professional engagement opportunities to prepare for the stewardship of public information and the integration of policy with information technology solutions and workflows.  They are funding graduate-level Fellows, who pursuing dual degrees at SILS and the SOG, and they are providing internships for the Fellows at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Archives and Records Section (NC-ARS), UNC-CH’s University Archives, the Town of Chapel Hill, NC, North Carolina’s Orange County Office of the CIO, NC-LIVE, UNC’s Environmental Finance Center, and the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science.  The project builds on the work and accomplishments of the DigCCurr I & II (Digital Curation Curriculum) [ http://www.ils.unc.edu/digccurr/ ] projects, which were also funded by the IMLS.  ESOPI is also benefiting from the extensive knowledge of experts who compose its Advisory Board, and who are serving as panelists at the March 16 symposium.

For more information on registration, please contact Wake Harper at wharper@email.unc.edu.
For questions regarding the symposium, please contact Lori Richards at lorraine.richards@unc.edu.