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LOCKSS, Stock, and Keynote

I’ve uploaded my Code4Lib 2007 Keynote.

Has it really been almost a week? I spent Sunday afternoon listening to podcasts while my old Honda Civic purred its way to Atlanta, depositing me at the Hotel Indigo, which was, indeed, all indigo and crisp white, with delightful staff and a Jack Russell terrier snoozing in a chair behind the front desk. The next day was all plotting and planning and intensity, while Metaarchive, the LOCKSS project MPOW is in, figured out Where To Next, which is basically to hustle its way to sustainability before the last of the Free Beer runs out. Afterwards I had a crazily delightful evening with a colleague well-versed in LOCKSS, in which we first got very lost in Atlanta and then wrung our hands over the state of librarianship in an overly-loud Atlanta hot spot.

Then I found myself in Athens; it might bother me to live in such a rural area, though on such a huge campus, it might take me a while to realize I was not in a big city. My “free beer versus free kittens” slide was the only controversial moment in my talk.

The lack of controversy was not too surprising, given that I told a roomful of library developers they were the very hope of librarianship. No one stood up to shout, “No, we aren’t!” I took the other comments in stride.

At this point I think I am expected to launch into a lengthy defense of Free Beer versus Free Kittens. One the one hand, I really hope the library developer community is swept up in this debate; it would be just a little bit funnier to watch than the LITA-L “my tinfoil hat is bigger than yours” wifi-in-libraries thread, particularly if I am again scolded for making a joke out of Something Very Serious.

On the other hand, if we are indeed discussing Something Very Serious–and I do not know what would bring me to the middle of nowhere to speak to developers than anything that was not–then I hope the people who had an allergic reaction to my “beer” comments can focus on the nexus of my presentation, which is that Evergreen and projects like it are phenomonally crucial, far too important not to be championed by intelligent marketing.

Once upon a time some brainiac in librarianship hit upon the idea of leaving the jackets on library books and covering them with plastic so you could see the purty colors, and that was a big boon; in the same vein, a little savvy in the marketing of products such as Evergreen couldn’t hoit. If I’m right that librarianship is in a state of emergency–and I noticed no one disagreed with that point, either–then we need to clad our message in colorful dust jackets, not the drab brown buckram of developer GranolaSpeak.

On a more personal note, I learned while on the road that Teresa Koltzenberg, the ALA Techsource editor I’ve had the pleasure of working with for a couple of years, is moving on to new opportunities. Teresa has been just amazing, a wonderful, wonderful editor, a supportive person, a champion of my writing both personal and professional, and a real dear. I have worked with such wonderful editors in my day, and Teresa vies for first place. She leaves a huge gap.

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