Here is a video of my closing comments at the ILEADU session in Springfield Illinois (just under 14 minutes). To my international friends, if I messed up details, just let me know so I can post it here.
“Building the Skills of Library and Museum Professionals” Lecture to the Libraries and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture Summit, Salzburg Global Seminar, Salzburg, Austria.
Abstract: This is the world we have asked for, this is the world we have worked for. Why showcase culture if we are not enabling contribution to that culture. Why information if not for informed participation. Why educate if not for advocacy. Why is it when we espouse the values and virtue of empowerment, we are surprised they seek power in shaping our destinies as well?
The time for introspection is done. The time for trivia is done. The time for looking for the future of libraries in catalogs, and strategic plans is done. The needs of our communities is too great, and our promise for improvement too large. Already at this summit we have heard about the need for education, jobs, food, and disaster assistance. Many of us, including myself, are returning to riots and civil unrest. Our appetites for energy are unsustainable, and the very memory of our society is eroding behind walls of commerce, false scarcity, and obsolescence.
A few weeks ago I did the Keynote at NELA and it was received very well, including a very thoughtful blog post by Agnostic, Maybe. I needed to create shorter more pithy version for the iSchools webpage, and so edited it down from an hour to 25 minutes. I thought it might be useful to others, so here it is:
if you want the longer version with more jokes, ums, and New England references you can find it here. Also, due to popular demand I should be able to post a transcript of the original this week.
I’m in an ancient fortress in the mountains overlooking Salzburgh, Austria. Places like this were necessary to defend against invaders and competing neighbors. To keep what was yours you needed to lock it away behind fortified borders.
As nation states evolved, trade and commerce became increasingly important. To thrive was to open up borders and form a sort of protection by mutual benefit. In essence connections became stronger than fortress walls.
In our libraries over the centuries we have also built up many a fortification in architecture, policy, and language. It’s time to realize we don’t need to protect ourselves from our communities but forge strong ties and loose porous borders. So that someday we can thrive and grow beyond our walls.