Mission

The Educopia Institute empowers collaborative communities to create, share, and preserve knowledge.

We believe in the power of connection and collaboration. In all of our work, we encourage knowledge sharing and network building across institutions, communities, and sectors. Our strengths include training, neutral community facilitation, and administrative backbone support services for collaborative communities. Educopia also develops and manages applied research projects that benefit our affiliated communities and the broader information fields of libraries, archives, and museums.

We help information stakeholders including researchers, archivists, curators, publishers, and students to establish common ground, work toward shared goals, and ultimately achieve system-wide transformations.

Since its founding in 2006, the Educopia Institute has laid a foundation for sustainable growth and programmatic success by:

  • Maintaining a minimal and flexible staff, enabling us to serve clients with maximum effectiveness at low cost.
  • Working with community leaders to harness state-of-the-field research while developing organizational frameworks, governance structures, and economic models that provide the foundation for community-driven growth and sustainability.
  • Engaging and partnering with diverse stakeholders from public and private spheres representing libraries, archives, presses, research centers and scholars, as well as cultural and scientific non-profits, government agencies and fellow meta-organizations.

Growing beyond its initial support of the MetaArchive Cooperative, the Educopia Institute has entered into program development partnerships with affiliated communities, such as the Library Publishing Coalition and the BitCurator Consortium.

Every activity we undertake is explicitly designed to encourage system-wide transformation as organizations work collectively to ensure knowledge is sustainably produced, widely shared, and preserved.

Governance

Educopia’s work is overseen by an all-volunteer board representing the professional and academic fields that have an active interest in the organization’s mission and vision.

The executive director leads the Educopia Institute’s day-to-day operations. The executive director proposes to the Board new opportunities, strategic partnerships, and ongoing directions for the Institute’s research projects and affiliated communities. This role is a paid, full-time position.

The board of directors works closely with the executive director to ensure all work undertaken by Educopia fulfills its mission and that its operations remain financially stable and sustainable. The Board approves budgets, oversees audits, and reviews all prospective plans and proposals. It also evaluates the results of Educopia’s work during its quarterly meetings.

Members of the board are not employees of Educopia Institute and are not paid for serving on the board. There is a non-compensation clause in the bylaws concerning board service.

Board of Directors

Martin Halbert (President)
David Seaman (Vice-President)
Cal Shepard (Secretary)
John Sherer (Treasurer)
David Magellan Horth

Elected Board Members (beginning January 2019)

Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Loretta Parham

Former Board Members

Tyler Walters
Rachael Bower
Greg Crane

Executive Director

Katherine Skinner

Staff

The Educopia Institute is run by a small group of individuals with a passion for building communities, connecting like-minded people, and using collective action to advance institutions of all kinds.

History

Connecting, collaborating and building communities around shared goals since 2006.

Filling a Critical Gap

Educopia was founded in 2006 to fill a critical gap in the information management landscape by providing a lightweight, inexpensive administrative infrastructure to facilitate and coordinate the work of collaborative communities.

We created an organizational structure that would energize a community of players to do their work in concert for mutual benefit and maximum impact — while ensuring that the joint work serves to complement, not supplant, the vital work done in their local institutions.

Since Educopia’s founding, we have maintained a neutral center that assists member institutions in our communities, empowering them to interact as peers instead of participating in a hierarchy of “lead institution” and partners. Educopia operates in an intentionally lean, nimble framework that privileges a decentralized model of member participation rather than storing up knowledge and infrastructure centrally. Every activity we undertake is explicitly designed to foster communities of engagement, and to encourage system-wide changes that empower and enable libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions to increase the availability and sustainability of knowledge in all forms.

Casting a Wider Net

System-wide change requires system-wide involvement.

To put it another way: we cannot make system-level progress by treating institution-level interests.

Right now, most networks don’t yet include all of the players necessary to bring about systemic change. Libraries, archives, museums, publishers, and researchers have largely worked within their own silos, but each is an essential player within a bigger system of knowledge creation and dissemination. Bridging these stakeholders to catalyze change is our core purpose.

Key Dates in Educopia Institute History

2004

MetaArchive Cooperative founded

2006

Educopia founded

2007

MetaArchive becomes an Educopia community

2009

Educopia Research launches with a MetaArchive project award from the Library of Congress

2010

Inaugural Private LOCKSS Networks conference hosted by Educopia

2011

NEH-funded Chronicles in Preservation digital newspaper preservation project begins

2011

Inaugural Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation event

2011

Electronic Theses and Dissertations preservation project begins (IMLS)

2012

ICONC project awarded (NDIIPP)

2012

Proposed Library Publishing Coalition to the library community

2013

IMLS Nexus Leadership Training project awarded (IMLS)

2013

Aligning National Approaches to Digital Preservation Action Assembly

2014

Library Publishing Coalition launches as a community

2014

BitCurator Consortium launches as a community

2014

Nexus LAB project awarded (IMLS)

2014

ETDplus project awarded (IMLS)

2014

Chrysalis project awarded (Mellon Foundation)

2015

Coalition to Advance Learning project awarded (IMLS and OCLC)

2016

Library Publishing Curriculum project awarded (IMLS)

2017

News on the Margins project awarded (Knight Foundation)

2017

OSSArcFlow project awarded (IMLS)

2018

Sustaining Digital Curation and Preservation Training project awarded (IMLS)

2018

Bitcurator.edu project awarded (IMLS)