LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for CODE4LIB Archives


CODE4LIB Archives

CODE4LIB Archives


CODE4LIB@LISTS.CLIR.ORG


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CODE4LIB Home

CODE4LIB Home

CODE4LIB  February 2006

CODE4LIB February 2006

Subject:

Re: A code4lib journal proposal

From:

Dorothea Salo <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 22 Feb 2006 09:41:37 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (96 lines)

I'm glad for Donna Dinberg's post, as it crystallizes my overnight
thinking about code4lib and its currently-vaporware journal. This message
may turn long and discursive, for which I apologize in advance.

Code4lib started out as and in many ways still *is* a core group of
library tech people, a group with history, in-jokes, and its own fiery
small-group energy. Roughly half of what I see in this discussion boils
down to a desire for code4lib to continue and expand upon its
achievements, while essentially remaining a self-contained group.
(Certainly a group that welcomes new members -- but still, a
self-contained and self-defined group of people.)

*If that is the desire*, then code4lib.org should fulfill the necessary
communication functions admirably. I will go further: if that is the
desire, a journal of any stripe is useless and may be actively
detrimental. A journal (whatever its pretensions) *isn't really for* the
members of an in-group. It's the in-group's vehicle for reaching outside
itself.

And that's what I see in the other half of this discussion, which turns
upon broadening code4lib into a larger phenomenon within the library (and
tech? not sure) world. This has implications for the small group. Like it
or not, a small group that wants to become a movement within a larger one
has to analyze, consider, and play to the larger group's ways of thinking,
behaving, and communicating.

Inevitably, this means some loss to the small-group culture; in-jokes
don't scale. A couple of bumps and bruises that happened on the way to
code4libcon suggest the kind of outer-directedness and circumspection that
code4lib does not yet have, but *will need* if it is to speak out to the
larger professions (both software development and librarianship, but
librarianship especially).

It also means that Muhammad will have to go talk to the mountain. In
librarianship terms, that means conferences (which code4lib has already
pulled off), and a journal or something very like it. For all the violent
"Library 2.0" handwaving, the bulk of my work colleagues barely tolerate
listservs, do not read blogs, think wikis are weird, and are afraid to
tinker with their software preferences. Journals they understand. Journals
have ISSNs, can be catalogued and routed and indexed. Journals have
stability (both actual and semiotic) that blogs often lack. Journals are
an accepted library communications medium.

Now, code4lib's core is, shall I say, hardcore. Real Developers.
Definitely we don't want to lose that in a welter of shiny new IM toys and
the latest hot end-user out-of-the-box app. Code4lib does not want to
become Computers in Libraries, in other words. Nor, I'm fairly sure, does
it want to go the ITAL/JASIST "whee! theory!" route. Nor does it have an
exclusive focus on "digital libraries" -- it's broader than that, it's
about code in libraries *wherever code happens*, and code happens all over
the place in today's libraries.

I agree that quite a bit of code4lib's ordinary output (on the channel and
on member blogs) deserves wider dissemination in the library world. The
question then becomes "which parts of the library world need to listen?"

Donna's post suggests a criminally underserved population, one I think
code4lib could profitably target along with its developer core: the
"accidental" library tech. We are not developers. We have extremely
limited formal training in computers when we have any at all. We tend to
have pretty good technical aptitude, we may have one or two areas of
genuine technical expertise, and we can talk to Real Developers without
(often) sounding like idiots... but we rely on others to do the
major-league coding and to haul us out of the fire when we break
something. Some of us do grow up to be Real Developers, though, and I
believe it behooves code4lib to think about how to make that happen more
often.

Barring Rachel Singer Gordon's excellent book, there is NOTHING out there
for us. Nothing. ITAL and JASIST are too divorced from daily library
practice and problems (aside from the occasional ITAL squib with a good
hack in it). Computers in Libraries (both mag and conference) is too
fluffy, and doesn't usually put us in touch with the Real Developers who
can and are willing to lend us a hand. Library Hi-Tech is pretty good, but
still not quite right (and not OA, either). Blogs are great, and we both
read and write blogs, but blogs have limits, and aren't smiled upon by our
managers and retention/promotion committees. We *do not have* a
library-blessed communications organ.

I frankly don't think such an organ needs to be peer-reviewed, even
considering retention/promotion concerns, because enough of an aura clings
to techie stuff in librarianship that nobody cares that D-Lib and Ariadne
aren't; a publication in either one is still going to impress the
committee.

So. Summary. Code4lib needs to decide if its communications goals are
internally or externally focused. If internally, then code4lib.org should
continue pretty much as is. If externally, code4lib then needs to identify
the populations it wishes to communicate to, and present those
communications in a fashion acceptable to the larger world. Accidental
sysadmins are an underserved population that code4lib could intelligently
and profitably target.

Ite, missa est.

Dorothea

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTS.CLIR.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager