Back in the saddle again

[Originally posted April 17th, 2006 — No 2 in our recently republished series]

Okay, it’s been a while. I haven’t been avoiding you, I’ve just been super busy.

I’m going to work backwards until I get caught up. I just got back from the Digital Library Federation Spring Forum in Austin, Texas. Some business, and then some fun stuff.

I’ll give some other highlights from DLF soon, but wanted to mention that I was on a panel with Rick Prelinger (Internet ArchiveOpen Content AlliancePrelinger Archive) and Robin Chandler (California Digital Library). Rick gave an introduction to the Open Content Alliance, I went through the various workgroups that will push forward the work agenda, and Robin went through what it means to be a content contribution partner.

Even though UC’s digitization is being covered by external funding, there is still a ton of other work to be done. Robin described the team of people working across the University of California system doing selection, coordination, an amazing array of tasks — right down to having to plan for and install bathrooms for those doing the scanning. Participating in the OCA has meant a lot of work on the part of UC, not paid for by external funding.

So why do this? UC wants to make its collections more broadly accessible for their campus constituents, but also for the community. UC looks forward to drawing from other OCA collections to fill holes in their collections. Robin also pointed out the various ways that OCA participation allows UC to consider new business models.

Our presentations are up on the DLF web site:

On the fun side, for three nights in a row I went to the Congress Avenue Bridge to see the bat flight. This is amazing, and if you are going to be in Austin between now and December, I urge you to go check it out. I’ll be attending the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section preconference to ALA in June, which will also be in Austin, and I plan to be down at the bridge watching the bats head off for a night of eating bugs. More information about Austin’s bat colony can be found here, at the Bat Conservation International website.