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Preservation-the Time is Right, Still

Margaret Maes, a recipient of the Marian Gould Gallagher Award in 2018, served as the Legal Information Preservation Alliance’s Executive Director beginning in May 2008 until her retirement. This past November Margaret Maes passed away. How to best honor Margaret’s active and influential professional career was a discussion point at LIPA’s December board meeting.

Still fairly new to the world of the law library profession, equally small and large at the same time, I did not know Margaret. The paragraph above should suggest as much. Reading a heartfelt remembrance written by a close friend which was shared with the LIPA board, viewing some of her accolades and a list of scholarship, I am confident in saying her passing is a loss to us all.

In discussing how to best honor Margaret, known by many as Margie, I volunteered to read something she had written and share a thought or two. That brings me to a 2003 Spectrum article in which Margaret details the “Preserving Legal Information for the 21st Century” conference. There participants created a draft plan that ultimately led to the creation of LIPA. Margaret wrote of her belief in the law librarian profession and a need for collaboration to “ensure that legal materials will be available to future generations” (Spectrum 2003). Nearly twenty years later LIPA is going strong and that is in large part thanks to Margaret’s efforts as its executive director.

Margaret’s article, Preservation - the Time is Right, has a message that is true today and one that will be true in the future. The time to preserve is now and to collaborate as suggested by Margaret, I share here the need to carry out good practice. While we as a profession spend time trying to discover best practices for preservation, at a minimum we need to carry out good practice. Good practice is one of five objectives found in the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) Strategic Plan for 2022-2027. To learn more about good practice, I encourage you to view the freely available DPC Digital Preservation Handbook.

If you are interested in further collaboration and learning what LIPA is up to, you are invited to the upcoming Winter Membership Meeting. A date and time will be announced soon.

“It’s up to the rest of us to carry out the preservation vision with the Legal Information Preservation Alliance. The time is right.” - Margaret Maes, Spectrum 2003.

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