Topic: The 'Bullshit' comment .....

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Thought I should explain my thinking behind the above comment which I indiscretely bellowed from the presenters table at the 2006 NDF.

I have had a wee niggle in my brain for a few weeks now, over something Pascal had been pondering in his research about web 2.0 and library 2.0 and the ramifications and risks for library administrators. He wondered why Librarians are so anxious to get myspace accounts and such like, and wondered if they were perhaps "grumpy librarians gate-crashing a party". I was sitting there at the table on the stage listening to the question and answer time which was rapidly building into a big angst-fest about how to assign descriptors from an approved taxonomy to user created content … and I realised I was watching grumpy librarians in action! People have left our ‘gig’ (to use Penny Carnaby’s oh-so-appropriate phrase) and have started their own one - with its own rules. We don’t like it. I think that if we choose to gatecrash these other gigs then surely it is only polite to play by the new rules. User created content is by the people, for the people. This is the salient point. The people at this new gig like user tags and keywords and plain English and improper English and slang and will choose unorthodox and decidedly odd ways to describe material. As librarians I do not think we can stomp in and colonize these new gigs with our highly structured and formal nomenclatures. We can do what we like in our own spaces, with our own material, our own rules and for our own purpose. If we choose to import material from these new gigs and apply our traditional taxonomies fine, but if we choose to gatecrash this new gig we have to let go.

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The 'Bullshit' comment ..... by Jo Ransom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License