Although this has been a very tough year for all of us, I’m extremely proud that Naomi Korn Associates has continued to successfully help our clients as well as provided additional support to those working across a wide variety of sectors. The company has also grown, increasing its client base by almost 50% and furthering its reach in the UK, across the EU and internationally. All staff have remained in full-time employment and the wider family of Naomi Korn Associates consultants have been busier than ever.

Now is a chance to look back over the year and to share some of our achievements.

Our response to Covid and supporting our community

We responded quickly to the Covid crisis, digitised all our training and consultancy services and moved to Zoom to enable remote and online delivery. The agility of our response has meant that we could continue to deliver existing client work, including an IPR Audit of arts organisations across the East and West Midlands for Arts Council England, and acting Data Protection Officer roles for several organisations. Our quick adaptation also meant that we could bring new clients on board without delay. 

During the last year, we have run a series of free webinars about the impact of Covid on the arts and cultural heritage sector with valued partners, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Europeana, ICOM UK and Capture. Hundreds of professionals have attended our webinars. Topics have included: online privacy and security, clearing rights for online collections, licensing and digital asset management as well as international copyright. In 2021, we will continue to provide training and help about key topics. These will include copyright essentials, legal compliance and Brexit, “Open Access and Plan S” and orphan works and risk management.

We also responded to the Covid crisis and the needs of staff across the UK to work remotely and deliver their services online, by producing more free, Creative Commons licensed help resources, published on our website as well as syndicated to other free web-based platforms. These have included help guides, tool kits, webinar recordings, top tips and checklists dealing with both Covid and Brexit related issues.

In June 2020, Facet Publishing published: Information Law: Compliance for Librarians, Information Professionals and Knowledge Managers, co-written with Charles Oppenheim and Adrienne Muir.

Expanding the team and building capacity

In March 2020, Maddie Beeson joined Patrick Ibbotson and myself from the Imperial War Museums in the newly created role of Projects and Programmes Officer. Building full-time staff capacity has been invaluable this year and will also help us in the busy year ahead. Projects for 2021 include those for The National Archives, and WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation).

During this year, we have increased our visibility and followers on Linked In, Twitter and doubled our newsletter subscribers. Unique visitors to our website have seen a year on year steady increase and we have also set up our own YouTube channel.

Partnerships and collaborations

In April 2020 and for the tenth consecutive year, I had the pleasure of both building the programme and chairing the annual CILIP Copyright Conference. For the first time, this conference, was run by Zoom and well attended by over a 100 delegates. The successful relationship with CILIP has also extended to online advanced copyright training for librarians and information professionals, with new training dates open for bookings with CILIP in 2021.

Our involvement in the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills Programme (part of the Heritage Digital Project) has further connected our legal compliance expertise to hundreds of staff, volunteers and trustees across the heritage sector. Working with our partners, The Heritage Alliance, Charity Digital and Media Trust, has enabled us to produce resources for heritage organisations, including those about volunteers and copyright. Next year, we will be producing more free help resources, including webinars and guides about the impact of Brexit on GDPR and copyright.

Increasing our reach

Working collaboratively with a range of organisations and professionals has extended our reach in the UK and internationally. Highlights have included:

Brexit and beyond

In 2021 we will continue to monitor the legal compliance landscape generally and within the context of Brexit and add to our free help resources. We will also grow our network of partners to ensure that we can provide more integrated legal compliance services.

With over 17 years experience in face-to-face support and now in online service delivery, we are in a brilliant place to continue growing the business and supporting our clients in whatever way they need.

So, after such a busy year, we are all taking a very well earned break. As ever, we are extremely grateful for the support of all our friends, colleagues, partners and valued customers. Looking forward to seeing you all again in 2021.

Happy New Year!

With my best wishes

Naomi Korn