Maintainers III: Practice, Policy and Care

Washington, D.C., October 6-9 2019, Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University

The third in a series of conferences that celebrates and unpacks the concepts of maintenance, infrastructure, repair, and the myriad forms of labor and expertise that sustain our human-built world.

About MIII

Maintainers III Goals

  1. Bring together practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, and activists who have deep engagements with maintenance

  2. Develop and sustain communities of practice in specialized areas

  3. Contribute to a broad public movement around the importance of maintenance and maintainers in modern life

Regarding conference dates and Yom Kippur:

We want to sincerely apologize to everyone that the Maintainers III conference dates coincide with Yom Kippur, one of the High Holy Days in the Jewish calendar. We did not check our dates against religious holiday schedules, and this was a mistake. We regret the conflict, recognize that this is inconsistent with our goals of inclusion, and express our deepest respect for all who observe Yom Kippur.

In order to support people who will be observing Yom Kippur but would like to participate in Maintainers III, we are prioritizing participation/discussion in Monday and Tuesday AM sessions; fundraising to support the live streaming and recording of some, if not all, conference sessions; and making all post-conference discussions easily accessible. We will learn from our mistake and commit to checking a calendar of religious holiday observance in any future event planning.

MIII Travel Scholarship

We are delighted to announce that one of our generous sponsors, Fiix Software, has sponsored two scholarships of $500 each to help support the costs of travel to Maintainers III.  

Fiix is widely known for being a wonderful place to work and for its commitment to social responsibility. In addition, Fiix has also been a great partner for academic researchers. We’re thrilled that they’re taking this new, extra step to make scholarships available for our conference.

Criteria: registration and attendance at the Maintainers III conference (October 6-9, 2019), Kellogg Conference Center, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.

Here’s how you can apply: 

  • Write a brief statement of interest (less than 500 words) with the following information:

    • Your interest in maintenance/infrastructure/repair in relation to one or more of the MIII conference tracks: information, software, transportation

    • Your need for the scholarship

  • Send a copy of your resume or CV

  • Provide one letter of support from a professional or academic reference

Send your statement of interest, resume/CV and letter of support to Donald Westbrook at d.westbrook[at]educopia[dot]org by Tuesday, October 1, 2019

When the award will be announced: Scholarship awards will be announced during one of the opening plenaries at MIII. 

How the award will be issued: The award will be issued to the two recipients as a reimbursement shortly following the conference. 

Thank you to Fiix Software for your support of maintainers everywhere, and for your support of Maintainers III!

Key Dates

  • 20 March 2019 — Save-the-Date and Call for Proposals announced

  • 13 May 2019 — Deadline for all proposal submissions

  • 24 June 2019 — Proposal acceptance notifications sent

  • 24 June 2019 — Conference registration opens

  • 2 August 2019 — Early bird registration deadline

  • 3 August 2019 — Regular registration opens

  • 29 September 2019 — Regular registration closes

  • 6-9th October 2019 — Maintainers III: Practice, Policy, and Care

Planning Committee

MIII programming, logistics, fundraising and overall conference experience are lead by a group of fellow maintainers. Meet the members of the MIII Planning Committee.

Maintenance Tracks

Transportation Maintenance:

The Transportation track will push an intellectual and policy agenda for improvement of transportation infrastructures. We are interested in the perspectives of scholars, workers, practitioners, policy-makers, activists, enthusiasts, and those who straddle the boundaries among any of these categories. We aim to include all transportation modes, from private car usage to air transportation to public transit and non-motorized modes. We are particularly interested in proposals about the economic burden of transportation, and the inequality of this burden; sustainability and environmental debates including degradation and recycling of transportation infrastructures; standards for safety, accessibility, and reliability; and access to transportation, including questions of interactions between transit and the built environment and exclusion of marginalized groups, including disabled people.

Software Maintenance:

Software is a critical element of our information infrastructure, and maintainers ensure it is reliable and secure. However, we currently lack the tools, business models, and cultural forms of recognition that are needed to sustain the work of software maintainers. This track is a space for maintainers to connect, share experiences, and explore sustainable community, governance practices, standards, and business models.

Information Maintenance:

The information track examines reformatting, repair, mending, migration, stabilization, preservation, teaching and storytelling. All of these activities enable the storage, transmission, discovery, use/reuse and reception of information in service of sense-making. We take a broad view of both maintenance and information, and are interested in the perspectives of practitioners as well as theorists of information maintenance. We encourage proposal submissions from librarians, archivists, and records managers; information architects and knowledge managers; people working in information research and policy; UX/UI designers; standards developers and implementors; oral historians and storytellers; and scholars and educators who address the conference themes of practice, policy and care.

General Maintenance:

This track carries the spirit of the first two Maintainers conferences, which were open to any topics. In this track we are eager to feature collaborations across sectors and industries; initiatives that apply insights from research toward practical problems; practices that revise or update theoretical understandings; reflections from the personal experiences of maintainers; and discussions about maintainers in the workforce—those people who do foundational work for our society, yet are not recognized with adequate pay or social status. Preference will be given to proposals that highlight their contributions to the conference themes of practice, policy, and care.


Contact Andy Russell (andy[at]themaintainers[dot]org), Lee Vinsel (lee[at]themaintainers[dot]org), or Jessica Meyerson (jmeyerson[at]themaintainers[dot]org).

Thanks to our sponsors

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation logo