I don't need to remind you about the value of standards. Just think about them
the next time you replace a light bulb in your living room lamp.
Technical standards for information services and systems benefit in a number of ways:
They make information systems easier to use and less expensive to operate, and they promote competition which lowers prices.
Another benefit: they make our lives easier. To paraphrase from the National Information Standards Organization, standards achieve "compatibility between equipment, data, practices, and procedures so information can be made easily and universally available."
One standard that has made all of our lives easier is acid-free paper. Established in 1984 by the National Information Standards Organization, Z39.48 set the requirements for the durability and longevity of paper. Paper that complies with this standard will last several hundred years.
What made this standard a reality, particularly the 1992 revision, were joint efforts among paper makers, publishers, printers, and the preservation community.
The UPF is sounding a similar call for cooperation and communication between engineers and archivists.