Co-Chairing an NDSA Group

NDSA Interest Groups and Working Groups should be run by a chair or two co-chairs. Chairs lead their group meetings and represent their group at the monthly Leadership meeting.

What are my responsibilities?

Interest Group Co-chairs lead monthly calls around topics of interest to NDSA members and the digital curation community, contribute to the strategic planning for NDSA, participate in Leadership calls, update the group webpage, maintain group documentation, and may lead or collaborate on Working Group projects. Co-chairs are also expected to help create an annual roadmap of what the group hopes to accomplish during a given calendar year. It’s a great way to collaborate and contribute to the digital preservation and stewardship community.

Working Group Co-chairs are like project managers. Working groups are created to achieve specific objectives or deliverables and are usually time-bound. Working Groups can be one-time (e.g. Web Content Strategy Working Group) or ongoing with periods of inactivity (Storage Survey Working Group). Working Group co-chairs lead, facilitate, organize, and manage the work of the group; participate in Leadership calls; maintain a Working Group webpage and documentation; and manage a group workspace. Additional guidance is available for co-chairs of Survey working groups to assist them with the many aspects of running this type of working group.

How do I put myself forward?

Interest Groups

Contact one of the existing co-chairs of an Interest Group you’re interested in, and let them know! Co-chairs often let their Interest group know when a chair is rolling off (typically at year end after DigiPres), so those involved already can step up if desired. If this doesn’t happen within the existing group, often a larger call to the NDSA-All listserv may be put forth. NDSA does not typically hold elections for co-chair positions unless necessary.

Working Groups

Since most Working Groups are targeted and time-bound, there may be less opportunity to co-chair an active working group. There may still be opportunities to be involved and perhaps co-chair the next cycle, so interested NDSA members should still reach out to the current co-chairs.

Interest Groups or the NDSA Leadership may create new working groups as needs emerge. Attend regular Interest Group meetings and subscribe to the NDSA-ALL mailing list to watch for opportunities. Members are also free to propose new Working Groups by contacting the current NDSA Coordinating Committee Chair.

How long is the appointment?

Generally, most Interest Group co-chairs serve for two years, though some have served for more. Ideally, co-chair terms are staggered when possible so replacement for both chairs doesn’t happen in the same year. However, NDSA keeps the co-chair appointment time length flexible (read: no hard term limits or commitments) to allow for both leadership change and longevity of co-chair leadership as desired by community and Interest Group members.

Working Group co-chairs usually serve throughout the duration of the Working Group, until it achieves the specific objectives or returns the relevant deliverables. Working groups that regularly activate and deactivate (e.g. Storage Survey Working Group) may have different co-chairs each time. If a Working Group is ongoing, such as the Communications and Publication Group, the group should revisit their leadership annually.

What is the time commitment?

Interest Groups

  • Approximately a half hour to an hour a month (average) planning, contacting speakers, coordinating presentations, welcoming new members to the group, and writing reminder emails to the group about calls
  • Approximately 1 hour a quarter co-leading Interest Group calls
    • Often co-chairs trade responsibility for leading Interest Group calls, which can consist of leading a topic-based discussion or hosting a presenter on a topic
  • Approximately 1 hour a month on NDSA Leadership calls
    • The Leadership calls consist of the Coordinating Committee, Interest Group co-chairs, a member from our host organization, CLIR/DLF, and any current Working Group chairs.
    • There may be swells when additional time is needed to complete NDSA Leadership work, such as strategic planning.
  • Approximately 1 hour a quarter attending the NDSA group co-chairs call.
  • In-person meeting at Digital Preservation conference
    • For the last several years, Leadership has held a meeting sometime during the Digital Preservation conference to allow for in-person strategic planning and review. Attendance is highly encouraged, but not mandatory.

Working Groups

Time commitments for Working Groups varies by the objectives or deliverables of the group. In general, Working Group co-chairs commit as much as or more time than Interest Group co-chairs and this may vary through the lifecycle. Working group co-chairs attend the quarterly NDSA group co-chairs meeting.

Additional guidance is available for co-chairs of Survey working groups to assist them with the many aspects of running this type of working group.