Backup from the field

Well, I guess the readership of my blog has now extended beyond the Phillippines. Interesting!

I just thought I’d add a note of support I got regarding my last post from a former colleague of mine who’s been in the librarianship biz for at least half as long as I’ve been alive (and who is now probably shaking his head in bemused chagrin):

Just read your post and, boy, you are so right. I’m afraid I don’t trust my colleagues or the community of librarians _at all_ to do what Google is doing. I also believe we can succeed in turning Google evil if we all think bad thoughts towards Google hard enough. We do so much better taking advantage of the deep thinkers at Mellon and the doers at Google than creating a kind of librarians’ soviet to administer all solutions to our needs and to extract taxes and tithes from library budgets to do it. I’d pay a $10,000 JSTOR invoice _any_ day rather than give $10,000 towards some pie-in-the-sky cause hepped by a bunch of my peers.

I love the image of a “librarians’ soviet.” And he makes a great point: if there are resources out there that we can draw on in the present, to help further the cause of the library now, it bears thinking about. Corporations have been in the business of creating goods and services used by libraries for just about as long as libraries have existed (publishing springs readily to mind, along with amorphous corporations like ProQuest and Thomson, to whom we “outsource” the creation of myriad materials and systems). This is not all good, but neither is it all bad. There is more nuance here than I typically see in the arguments of some regarding GBS.


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