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.