You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2009.

That’s right. The young ones are now dubbed the facebook generation. How does one get these bright young souls and what do we do with them to maximize the $$ generating power. Well, here’s the answer..

Among the paradigm shifts from generation F, we get the idea that, are you ready for this,

8. Power comes from sharing information, not hoarding it. The Web is also a gift economy. To gain influence and status, you have to give away your expertise and content. [snip] Online, there are a lot of incentives to share, and few incentives to hoard.

Great idea, huh?

Well, spring break is over for me. It was some good times, a nice little vacation with the opportunity to ignore looming deadlines.

Speaking of deadlines. With my week o’ slack at an end, it’s back to the student life. I’ve been reading a backlog of articles on born digital works and the preservation thereof. Libraries are not taking the lead on this as they should. Can’t say I’m too surprised. With budgets tight as always, why waste time on something out there in the nebulous internet world. More specifically, though, I think libraries feel no need to protect this stuff because, well, they don’t own it. Print costs money. And as most economist will point out, people feel more responsibility for things they’ve invested money (and time to earn that money) into.

But just because that is why we do what we do doesn’t mean it’s a right. Instead, as I love to point out, we should be concerned with patron needs. In the not so distant future, it is highly likely that born digital content will be an important aspect of research. This includes obvious things like government publications and e-journals, but it also includes the less obvious such as blogs, social networking sites, etc. Remember how much those historians love their civil war journals or correspondence. Guess what? That’s all here. WIth the exception of the internet archive no one is trying to hold onto any of it. And the archive is not as concerned with blogs and such.

So though we’ve yet to invest $$ into preservation, I’d say the burden of responsibility still lies with us. It is our job to anticipate and fulfill patron needs. This one’s a no brainer.

I’ve been reading two very good books by the Sociologist Richard Sennett. The first is called the The Crafstman the second is The Culture of New Capitalism . Sennett writes a lot about labor, work. How it has changed. How it conflicts with our life, our identity.

In short, I caught myself thinking on a section in The Culture of New Capitalism where he discusses how people find meaning through work. His example involved new immigrants in the UK working menial jobs, cleaning perhaps. Those that worked for a government run hospital took much more pride in their work, more satisfaction. They felt that they were supporting a valuable institution and that made them proud.

Now I’m sure you see where this is going. I know most of us work in libraries because, well, we love the place. I wonder for myself which I enjoy more, the work or the place. I do enjoy a lot of the tasks I perform in a library environment (helping answer questions, create access to information, develop technology to share culture and information) but I do think that in the end, it’s the place that is most important to me. If someone enjoyed a lot of these tasks (as, presumably many computer savvy people might) but don’t love the place, well, I don’t think they could last. It’s nice to be part of something.

I have to say this is great. A bunch of people are trading academic work on bit torrent. And who says the internet is only for entertainment.

Bravo to the Ubiquitous Librarian.