Thursday, December 31, 2009

Digitization 101: 2009 Year in Review

New Year's Eve BallKeeping with tradition, here's what stands out to me about this last year...
  • Google: Founded in 1998, it is hard to believe that a company that is still relatively young could have such a huge impact. 10 years later, it is nearly impossible to avoid Google if you're using the Internet. For those of us interested in copyright and digitization, the Google Book Settlement is something we thought would be completed this fall. Now perhaps it'll become a done deal in early 2010. Of course, it may take years for us to full understand it's impact. (posts on Google)
  • The economy: While things maybe getting better, the improvements are slow. The impact on libraries, museums and archives hasn't been pretty. Resources are being cut, including people. Thankfully, agencies that give grants have still been giving grants, and that has been helpful.
  • Such a deal: A down economy does mean that many vendors are giving deals. That's good for their customers. However, times like this remind us about the "survival of the fittest". Hopefully, the fittest (strongest) also have the best products and services.
  • Advocacy: The economic pressure on our cultural heritage institutions has led more of us to become outspoken advocates. In times like this, I'm glad to be a part of the Regents Advisory Council for Libraries and to donate to organizations that work to help libraries. What we need, though, is for every user to become an advocate. We need to make it easy for our users to be our advocates by providing them with postcards, etc., that they can use. (posts specifically for New Yorkers on the Regents Advisory Council for Libraries)
  • Teaching: I've been teaching full-time for a calendar year! I teach three classes each semester, which is really keeping me busy. Thankfully, I enjoy the school I'm in, its faculty and staff, and its students. And the schedule does allow me to continue to consult, which keeps me grounded in the real world.

    By the way, it is likely that you know someone that is attending a university program either on campus or virtually. If so, please reach out to that person with words of encouragement and help. Being in school -- especially a graduate program -- can be difficult and stressful. This past year, I've seen how the stress has impacted our students and it can be devastating. Please be supportive - be unconditionally supportive.

  • Social media: Because of the U.S. Presidential campaign in 2008 and other world events, social media was in the spotlight as 2009 began, and the spotlight is still on it. Social media -- or web 2.0 -- isn't about tools; it's about conversations and connecting with people. If you are not connecting with people online -- and hopefully in places where conversations flow quickly and effortlessly -- then you're missing out personally and professionally. Talk t your colleagues and friends about places online that they are using in order to be part of larger conversations, and then join them. You don't have to be active on a lot of sites or use a wide variety of tools. Start with one or two (e.g., LinkedIn and Facebook) and then experiment with a few more. Use what works for you and drop what doesn't.

    By the way, I do have a second blog on social media that I launched in 2007. Feel free to add it to your RSS reader.

  • Saint Peter's Cathedral
  • Be in the present: 2009 took me to Arlington VA, Washington D.C, Columbus OH, New York City (many times), Geneva CH, Philadelphia PA, Oklahoma City OK, Albany NY, Florida and...? Being on the road, in the classroom and online reminded me that it is important to be present in the moment. It's not helpful to anyone -- and certainly not fun -- the be physically in one place and mentally in some other place. Life is enjoyed when we're in each moment, and neither living in the past or in the future (or in some alternate mental universe).
I'm sure that there are things I should note about the state of digitization, but I'll leave that for another time. This (above) is what's on my mind today at the end of 2009.

You are also on my mind. Thank you for continuing to believe in this blog. Thanks for the comments that you leave, the emails that you send, and the people that you recommend this blog to.

2009 has been a rough year for many people. Let's make 2010 a better year.

Virtual lighterHappy New Year!

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