Re: selection, collection, etc.

From: B.G. Sloan <bgsloan2_at_nyob>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 09:23:20 -0700
To: NGC4LIB_at_LISTSERV.ND.EDU
 
Jim Weinheimer said:
 
"Libraries have always talked a lot about 'cooperating' but they become much less excited about actually doing it. Cooperation involves change, and while many may say they embrace change, when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, it turns out to be far more difficult to carry out than you thought. There are legitimate, and not so legitimate, reasons for this."
 
Maybe I'm just misinterpreting what Jim says, but I come from a library culture where cooperation is the norm, and is taken for granted (see: http://www.carli.illinois.edu/). There are other cooperative library communities as well (see: http://www.library.yale.edu/consortia/).
 
Bernie Sloan

--- On Fri, 9/18/09, Weinheimer Jim <j.weinheimer_at_aur.edu> wrote:


From: Weinheimer Jim <j.weinheimer_at_aur.edu>
Subject: Re: [NGC4LIB] selection, collection, etc.
To: NGC4LIB_at_LISTSERV.ND.EDU
Date: Friday, September 18, 2009, 8:28 AM


Joe Montibello wrote:

> I think that we will have to do it cooperatively.  And we will have to
> do it to a minimum standard of quality (*to* that minimum and not "as
> far above that standard as we can").  Speed is important
> here.  "Just
> good enough" has beaten out "carefully thought out and
> structured" too
> many times.  It would be a big change for some subset of libraries to
> jump out ahead, do this without permission and blessing and the final
> approval of an official representative committee, and produce something
> "just good enough" to get noticed and used.

You make a lot of good points in your post, and you are absolutely right about "speed is important." But "libraries" and "speed" go together like "politics" and "logic." It just doesn't follow. I always say that libraries work more along the lines of "geologic time." I mean, look at me: I'm still saying that keyword searching and relevance ranking are "new." !!!!!!

Libraries have always talked a lot about "cooperating" but they become much less excited about actually doing it. Cooperation involves change, and while many may say they embrace change, when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, it turns out to be far more difficult to carry out than you thought. There are legitimate, and not so legitimate, reasons for this.

Librarians also tend to leave the real development to business interests, the commercial library providers, and occasionally libraries may participate in some project with a computer science department. The open source revolution has not yet touched libraries in a substantial way. That may change rather soon (I hope!).

But events have caught up with us. I still believe that society needs what we do, but it will become increasingly difficult to prove it. You might want to see an interesting post at ACRLog: http://acrlog.org/2009/09/17/a-dozen-newspaper-survival-tips-for-academic-librarians/

Jim Weinheimer
Received on Fri Sep 18 2009 - 12:26:16 UTC