Jon Voss Electrifies Crowd- Archivists Return to Knitting

I have a love/hate relationship with my profession. There are many times when I believe that archivists not only hold the key to preserving our cultural heritage but that they will actually use that key in imaginative and innovative ways.

Today is not one of those days. Jon Voss of Historypin gave a stirring and inspiring-I thought- keynote about LODLAM (linked open data in libraries and museums) that encouraged archivists to connect their data to the larger world through technology. Using still images, maps, audio, and moving image examples, he showed how cultural heritage material could be used re-used and recontextualized by the general public and enthusiasts.

The woman two seats down from me barely looked up from her knitting.

COME ON PEOPLE!  I know we can be better than this, but I don’t usually see it at the SAA annual meeting where I am for the next couple of days. I have to go to digital library conferences to see archivists really engaged in the digital age.  How can we inspire the larger profession to become engaged in things that are vital to our survival as a profession?

I’ll need to think about this…

4 Replies to “Jon Voss Electrifies Crowd- Archivists Return to Knitting”

  1. Being surrounded by that much innovation and collaboration is an amazing opportunity! I would have gladly taken her ticket to the conference!

    1. Thank you! I wish I could send you the money. There are lots of great things going on out there–see my next post–in archivesland. Our challenge is to move us ALL forward together.

  2. You may be misinterpreting the reason your colleague is knitting during the presentation. I’m also a presentation/meeting knitter and I do it because I am a) an auditory learner, and b) slightly ADD. When I knit during meetings and presentations, I am paying attention to the meeting/presentation–the knitting serves to keep me from getting visually distracted by the other things going on in the room. I listen BETTER, when I’m knitting, though I understand that’s not obvious to non-knitting bystanders. Consider this: are the people sitting in front of their laptops reading their email as disrespected by others, or do we assume that they’re all taking notes?

    1. Thanks for the comment. I know that people do all sorts of things during conference presentations, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not listening. I guess the real question is will any of us do anything about what we heard in the keynote whether we were knitting or not? I hope we were all inspired to do something new!

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