I spent the morning at a neighboring museum’s board meeting, where part of the discussion centered on the American Association of Museums’ Standards and Best Practices document, which proscribes accreditation guidelines for collection control, one of which states that backlog can’t exceed 20% of the collection. While it’s yet to be determined if this is an effective way to eliminate backlog, it’ll be interesting to see if this impacts the way that the museum community does accessions and processing, and if it has any echoes in libraries or archives.
Librarian.net has a post today about outreach and context in new social technology, which pretty much puts together a lot of what I’ve been trying to figure out how to say. (It goes without saying that we have heaps of respect and admiration for Jessamyn.)
What is it about Twitter that’s such a lightning rod? Maybe it’s that it is by far, the most unadulterated social tool to come out- Danah Boyd put this in perspective last month- it’s Myspace bulletins without the calculated effort of profiles. There’s virtually no context building in it, and really not much incentive in lurking. So to take it up, you either have to be pulled in by people who are important to you, or you have to decide that the people or stuff going on on it is important enough to devote energy to. Unless it’s the norm for you, it’s useless.
(I think about my Mom’s reaction to IM: “Am I supposed to make new friends who use this?”)
Which is all really prickly for librarians, who need to balance what context makes information relevant with what’s effective in actually delivering information. And in terms of actually learning from this, facilitating open discussion needs to be a key part of building dynamic professional communities.