I'm late to this discussion, but I spent some time last year trying to find presentations from the earliest days of Code4Lib conferences, and found that not all are still there--certainly those that exist on external servers. In some cases, those are presentations about projects that have disappeared since then. In that case, clearly no one cared about the topic at all, either to save the project or the presentation. The fact that the material is missing tells us something in itself.
Digital Services Librarian
Loyola University Chicago
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kyle Banerjee
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:22 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] curating code4lib
On Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 1:28 PM, Jonathan Rochkind <[log in to unmask]>
> > Generally speaking, if you have to wonder about the value of
> > something,
> already have the answer.... ;)
> Kyle, I honestly am not sure which answer you are suggesting is the
> right one in cases where you have to wonder!
What I was thinking was that it doesn't make sense to permanently commit resources without a specific reason -- i.e. if in doubt, throw it out :)
> By temperament, most of us library professionals are inclined to want
> to err on the side of "preservation" -- shouldn't we preserve it _just
> in case_, because once gone it will be too late if someone needs it later?
Not necessarily. The only thing that distinguishes the Smithsonian Institution from a landfill is selection, organization, and presentation -- both are filled with old junk.
The value libraries contribute is selecting and presenting things within meaningful contexts. If we just start keeping stuff, we're effectively a digital landfill filled with random junk -- and any good stuff we might have becomes much harder or even impossible to use.