[self-censoring boring rubbish]
I’m inclined to disagree for a number of reasons.
First, I doubt that librarians generally apply the using-a-hammer-as-a-saw approach in order to make the world a better place for users, but rather a better place for librarians having the need to accomodate their traditional concepts in it.
Second, in libraries’ usual data-infrastructures, inter-operativity layers as well as presentation layers are immediately built upon–or more often than not into–the core systems. When we feel the need to abuse the data models and change a data record so that it makes “more sense to users in the discovery layer”, we also change the output that is available via our APIs. It makes much more sense to stick to data models so as to ensure a homogeneous API output and manage (merge, transform, enrich, individualize) the data from our different sources in a pre-presentation or middleware layer. This is what discovery systems claim to do or to be able to do. If they don’t live up to this claim the radicality is not to trash the data models but to discard the discovery system and build a data infrastructure that can do what needs to be done.
Third, standards are conventions that correlate to models of reality. If conventions and reality fall apart, conventions must change. So let’s develop our standards, because taking them for granted in the full intention of abusing them would really be radical–in a bad sense.
To be honest, this piece was vacuous and badly written, It’s wasn’t worth reading. I’m sure your points stand. If others feel like reading the text, it can still be found at https://web.archive.org/web/20151002230717/https://brinxmat.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/radical-technology-librarianship/
I think you did make a point. I like the idea of radicality and in a way your statement was radical in questioning a concept that, buzzwordy though it is, might have become somewhat vacuous itself. And, what’s more, I think the discourse on this topic (radical technology librarianship) really matters. Just yesterday I gave a talk on this – and I did have the impression that it was well received (cf. https://zenodo.org/record/32850#.VjJDQaJ2dpm).
Thank you. I think I am not the right person to debate these things 🙂
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A now-retired collection of thoughts by a former library technologist
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.