Fan of Full Fathom Five? Be sure to check it out at its new home!

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Today I flew to Denver to attend the annual LITA (Library and Information Technology Association) Conference. Appropriately but not intentionally I choose "The World is Flat" by Thomas L. Friedman as my in-flight reading material. "Flat" is in its 3.0 release and it was funny how much I read that at the time he wrote it felt would be shocking, but has already become relatively common knowledge, but certainly not common practice, especially in the museum world. While most of the major corporations and economies are global, pulling and distributing information and products about the globe using world-wide economic and networks of efficiencies, museums and libraries remain geographically fixed, even frozen. For public and Academic Libraries this is almost understandable as their support structure and user base is geographically local, but for special, theme-based museums and libraries whose support structure is not so restricted and whose user base pulls from around the world, its downright backwards, or backwater (to bring in the maritime aspects). Why are we (meaning maritime museums and libraries) not serving our information and resources to the internet when anyone with a laptop can be posting their thoughts? Why are our websites static visitor brochures when anyone can be a wikipedia editor (not to mention, why does wikipedia often have better information on our museums, and vessels then the previously mentioned brochures- check that out). When you’re done with that go to or and search on your favorite maritime museum, chances are you'll find some amazing photos and videos - why aren't the museums posting, or leveraging those. (Forget about the idea that we might want to consider accessioning them). Why are we so far outside this raging flood of information providing and gathering when really, they've got so much to offer?
And we have so much that would pull our special brand of enthusiast in?

Well, that is one of the reason's I'm here at LITA in Denver. I want to connect with the people who are working toward answering how we can do that. For the next few days I'll be blogging on my LITA sessions for LITA. Their blog is at:

I'll also post links here to my own posts here.

(I'm also going to REI and Confluence Park and Oktoberfest and later, Moab- but details on that are posted at

1 comment:

Heather said...

So well said! You raise so many questions--all the right ones. I've been asking myself all morning, how many of our maritime museum & library staff use "2.0" tools in our personal lives, let alone at work? Is our field still dependent on tightly-knit, face-to-face interactions? (And how many of our institutions pay for their staff to belong to professional associations--mine doesn't--let alone travel to FTF conferences?) Keep posting these rants, Kelly! Looking forward to hearing about LITA!