The Maintainers organization - co-organized by Andrew Russell and Lee Vinsel - is pleased to announce that the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will be supporting some of its activities. With funding from the Sloan Foundation, we plan to build our capacity to create and nurture communities that connect scholarly research and practical applications. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Educopia Institute, a non-profit organization focused on "building communities, connecting likeminded people, and using collective action to advance institutions of all kinds." Educopia will provide some staff support and its considerable expertise in community cultivation to help us further grow The Maintainers network.
Our primary focus will be something we call the Maintenance Community Framework, through which we'll study the state of maintenance in individual sectors and professions, and document and disseminate best practices and lessons learned. The first two maintenance communities we'll focus on are InfoMaintainers - people working in libraries and digital preservation - and Maintainers in the Workforce, a group of experts on the law and policy of labor and poverty. We plan to identify and seed some other maintenance communities this year, including ones on transportation and water infrastructure, engineering, and philanthropy. We'll also be seeking additional funding sources that can sustain this effort for several years. And we’re now starting the planning process for Maintainers III, a conference that will take place in the fall of 2019. We’ll be sending out announcements soon to detail different ways that individuals or organizations can get involved – so stay tuned, and drop us a line in the meantime if you have any ideas or questions!
Most of all we are happy that the Sloan Foundation has given a vote of confidence in The Maintainers, and we are grateful for all of support we’ve received from friends, colleagues, and collaborators. We look forward to working with you all even more in the future!