This morning I gave the keynote at The Library Network’s Technology Forum at the Bloomfield Township Library here in Michigan. I gave a version of a talk I’ve done a few times before, but with a few tweaks and changes. While I continued to focus on rethinking how we choose our tools in libraries, I wanted to emphasize the idea that the tools we choose to sit between us and our patrons—our OPACs, link resolvers, and even databases—are stand-ins for us. When I first became a cataloger, I learned that records were surrogates for the original item, something that had to be a quality replacement for the original. Our library websites, catalogs, and sundry online tools are now surrogates for us, the flesh and blood folks who make the library run. We need to take care to choose those tools wisely so they reflect the care we put into our work.
You can watch the whole talk here, or check out a bunch of other formats below.
Thank you to Andrew Mutch and the rest of the planning committee for inviting me, and the great audience and cool folks I met today. (I finally got to meet Brad Czerniak in the flesh, if only for 35 seconds.)