Through the insanely efficient collaboration between NYPL Labs and METRO Libraries, a group of confused, curious, and enthusiastic archivists, librarians, and computer folks came together yesterday to celebrate the amazing possibilities of online linked data.
The morning began with a Planery that included presentations by representatives from NYU, LoC, FreeYourMetadata.org, and Tagasauris. As I sat, waiting for the morning to begin, I looked around at a sea of faces. I was apprehensive–how many people here had experience with using linked online data for their repositories and institutions? Was I alone in my relative unease and beginner’s knowledge of this system? I mean, this is what we’re dealing with, people:
Fast forward a few minutes. Presentations begin, people start posing questions, ideas, and jokes. I smile and take notes, because believe it or not, whether I fully understand the tech aspects of implementing these digital connections or not, I believe that they are important-nay, essential to the future of information sharing and retrieval. And that makes me a member of this group, no matter how new or inexperienced. It’s that first step that’s the most important.
The afternoon session was set up a little differently, as the attendees were split up into conference-table groups intent on getting a hands-on experience with the new technologies we were exposed to in the morning hours. The groups were mixed with folks that have been digital archivists for years, ones that are just hackers, and those of us, who have been trained with print for so long that a community setting is the perfect place to make mistakes and ask questions before going back to work. And mistakes were made. But it was okay. Playing with data sets, learning software, understanding that with every fall, there’s a lesson to be learned and more knowledge to be acquired–that’s really what matters.
No matter the skill level, the moderators of the all-day event were encouraging, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable; three facets that are essential in promoting the importance and actuality of successfully integrating data for universal use.
Bring on the coding! I’m ready.
If you’d like to see the video of the morning’s planery, you can find it here, on the Internet Archive.
Looking for some Twitter feeds to follow where you can ask questions? Review the #lodlam chat from yesterday!