What keeps you awake at night?

March 24th, 2008 by Merrilee

RLG Programs has launched a new podcast series called “What Keeps You Awake at Night?” We are interviewing movers and shakers from libraries, archives, and museums and asking them what they find exciting or nerve-wracking. We also ask who is doing good work in advancing or combating the issue. But we don’t want you to toss and turn — we are attempting to keep the interviews short. 15 minutes is an ideal, but we can live with 20 minutes or so.

Our first offering is now up, an interview with Mark Dimunation from the Library of Congress. Those of you who know Mark know how passionate and articulate he is. Mark talks about the value of the physical artifact in an increasingly digital world. He also tells a tale of murder in the library.

When we have a feed up for our podcasts, I’ll let you all know.

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2 Responses to “What keeps you awake at night?”

  1. Bill Landis Says:

    I can’t disagree at all with what Mark has to say in this very interesting inaugural interview for the new RLG Programs podcast series. Nonetheless, I can’t help but think that, in addition to an emphasis on preserving and promoting research in the physicality of special collections materials, we also need to be thinking about developing a contemporary special collection for 22nd Century scholars. Much of this stuff is born digital. What’s the equivalent in web space right now to 19th/20th Century broadsides, to cite one example Mark talks about? Are we even beginning to capture *them* as a means of extending our 19th/20th Century collections to include relevant material from the 21st Century. Our conversations in special collectionsland too frequently turn to the issue of surrogates when we talk about the digitial, but it is equally important to talk about developing born-digital special collections material. Is LC doing that? We need to have that conversation as well. Digitization is only half of the conversation!

  2. Merrilee Says:

    Mark does touch on this at about 16:30. Born digital is being dealt with a LC — primarily in other division, but also in Mark’s divisions. It’s not just dealing with print, or dealing just with digital, but also bridging the two. One of the ideas that I find interesting is ensuring that print collections don’t become “moribund” in a digital age.