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August 10 Program Report: Chris Vinson on the Open Parks Network

Clemson University librarian Chris Vinson can now claim to be a bi-coastal SLA speaker. In June 2014, at the SLA Annual Conference, SLA Georgia Past President Nancy Snell attended Chris’s digital archives session on the Open Parks Network. A year later, at Oglethorpe University’s Lupton Hall, Chris updated an audience of Metro-Atlanta Library Association (MALA), Society of Georgia Archivists (SGA) and SLA Georgia members and guests on this collaborative project between Clemson and the National Parks Service (NPS) since 2008.

OPN’s mission covers four objectives: Disseminating parks information, providing conservation planning tools, offering communications tools and training and capacity building. With Fran Mainella, the first female NPS Director having taught at Clemson, the university had already established ties with the NPS. Chris shared information on the facilities, equipment and staff at Clemson used to populate OPN’s repository and he stressed the importance of metadata especially those related to geographic location.

Mary Troy, Chief of Museum and Archival Services at NPS’s Southeast Regional Office, shared the NPS perspective on this project which included convincing her managers that the NPS needed to establish a social media presence to generate interest in the Open Parks Network.

After Chris and Mary fielded questions from the audience, we enjoyed a light dessert reception sponsored by Crawford Media Services, Inc. and represented by Emily Halevy. Costco Wholesale also provided tasty cookies and bottled water to keep us cool on a warm and humid afternoon. Then, Stephen Sherman from MALA, Brittany Parris from SGA and Ernie Evangelista from SLA Georgia briefly described their organizations which will continue to collaborate on programming in the future.

Thanks to those who attended and extra appreciation to Oglethorpe University librarian Eli Arnold who coordinated the use of beautiful Lupton Hall on campus. With 18 out of 23 participants completing program evaluations, ALL felt that Chris’s presentation was effective, that the time allotted was adequate and that the facility was fine.

To view photos, be sure to check out the Chapter’s Flickr album.

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