Wow! KS Rocks again!

I had to read Karen Schneider’s recent contribution, Dear Library of Congress, to the ALA TechSource blog twice this evening to fully appreciate the message. Karen packs this one with so many great thoughts and insights that’s worth the time to brew up a fresh pot (my choice is decaf this time of the day) and sit down to read it with a hot cup of java.
“It is both ironic and poignant that librarians are still worrying about “bibliographic control,” after ceding so much of the same to the companies that now rent them journal access per annum at usurious rates, digitize their book collections into DRM obscurity, or sell them ponderous, antiquated “management” systems that on close inspection do little more than serve as storehouses for the metadata specific to the formats of bygone eras, bold days when we saw our central roles as defenders and curators of our cultural heritage...

Naturally, users want easy access to information; I furrowed my brow at the observation in the background paper that “users have come to expect that information should be easy to discover,” as I hope this point is not open to debate. Our old tools are not easy or particularly accessible; our old way of doing things is unjustifiably laborious and expensive (and may have contributed to the pickle we are in, by increasing the temptation to agree to less-than-optimal negotiations with content licensors)…

But in the end, after we conclude that the user is not broken, and that the tools we design must reflect this fact, and before the train pulls away forever... “

Thanks Karen! I'd nominate this as the best read of the week!

No comments: