Friday, February 20, 2009

One more down....

First, Armitage reading his poetry, including "Kid". I love the Yorkshire accent.

This might turn into a week of posting! Straight! With actual content (sort of..)!

I spent the evening holed up in the local branch of the local bookstore reading an interminable article from 1996 that called for librarians in the nascent days of the digital age to rebel against the oppression of the big publishing houses by taking back control over the publication and storage of scholarly work. Sadly, we're still paying obscene amounts of money to journal vendors for print and online copies of journals. Digital repositories aren't filling. The author of the article (I'll find the citation when I'm more awake and add it in) argued that libraries who undertook to challenge the presses would have to somehow replicate the prestige and the clout brought by publishing in specific titles. Unfortunately he didn't give a how and I think that's where the field is a bit stuck. It's easy to argue against vanity printing and to point out the success of small digital repositories in very specific fields. But how to suddenly recreate the name and pull of a Big Name Journal? It's not going to happen overnight, but the technology is changing overnight. The underlying basis for the clout, not the clout itself, needs to be challenged... not that I have a great suggestion as to how (which is just as useless as the above argument).

ETA: The article in question: Atkinson, Ross. 1996. Library Functions, Scholarly Communication, and the Foundation of the Digital Library: Laying Claim to the Control Zone. Library Quarterly 66: 239-265.

After finishing the article, I met up with a young woman who has applied to VC. She was lovely - bright, confident, articulate. I look back on myself at that age and can't imagine having that powerful a sense of self. I like to think I'm somewhat together now - note that I had a comfortable conversation with a complete stranger and lived to tell the tale. I just wonder sometimes what I missed out on because of my reticence, my shyness. Silly to wonder, really, but there it is.

No comments: