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My Code4Lib Keynote

Of all my training challenges, developing a keynote is always tough. The one I’m trying to develop for Code4Lib for my keynote is giving me conniptions. Do you hear an echo somewhere? That’s my brain.

I’m feeling more self-critical than usual because I feel my keynote in South Africa last fall was weak, largely because I was all tuckered out from presenting the previous day… it was a worthy endeavor, but the first day got most of my energy… and yet I felt it falling flat, and that’s hard.

I’m also speaking with a very technical crowd. I’m not intimidated by this crowd’s acumen; in fact, the real challenge to this presentation will be to get them to see past their code–to reimagine their work from the user’s point of view, and to see that code is simply an ingredient in a much larger recipe.

If you had a chance to speak with a library software developer, what would you say?

What should they know that perhaps they don’t?

What should they know about library users or library staff–two very different groups who both need to use their software, albeit for different purposes?

What can I tell them about talking to non-techies?

How can we challenge our developers?

What should they be proudest of? Most concerned about?

What can they do, as developers and human beings, to help librarianship survive this most tenuous of eras?

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