Wednesday, 28 August 2013

LIB 121 - Week 1 (August 27, 2013)

Shortly after I learned about the Digitization Skills for Cultural Heritage Institutions at Pasadena City College from Linda Stewart’s presentation at an LA as Subject meeting in June, I signed up. As I continue the job search, I thought that this would be a great credential to add to my resume and give my days a bit more structure. The first class is LIB 121: Introduction to Technology for Digital Collections, we meet Tuesday nights from 6:00 to 9:00 from now until December. Our first class was a discussion on the scope of the course, individual introductions, and the textbook. Following the first class, we were asked to read, “Nobody cares about the Library: How Digital Technology makes the Library Invisible and Visible to Scholars” from Tom Scheinfelt’s blog, “Found History” (http://www.foundhistory.org/2012/02/22/nobody-cares-about-the-library-how-digital-technology-makes-the-library-invisible-and-visible-to-scholars/). The post is about the dichotomy of invisibility versus visibility in the library’s digital environment. The author gives examples like a focus on the institution’s special collections where users should be aware of the original content that the library is making available, to demonstrate the importance of visibility. He also cites “searching” and “social media” as times where the library’s website should be a permeable border that takes users directly to the information that they need. The conclusion was a plea to encourage librarians to adapt to the changing expectations of their users or face obsolescence. I agree with the author’s message and it seems fairly apparent in my recent experiences and readings about the direction of the profession. Librarians and archivists have to meet users where they are at; this is unequivocally a service industry, within the constraints of an institution’s human, financial and technological resources. Reading this article led me to discover what a Wordpress “pingback” is…when a blogger references your blog in his or hers.    

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