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…