ARLIS Dispatch—Day Two

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Day two was distinct from day one in its high concentration of back-to-back scheduled professional development. I sat in on a 9am session Ten Years After: a Decade of Copyright Developments moderated by Roger Lawson of the National Gallery of Art. The session was unique in that neither presenter used .ppt or wore glasses. Speaker Madelyn F. Wessel, Special Advisor at UVa, eloquently noted that she has “never seen a more brilliant group of lawyers than librarians.” Despite this ability to apply copyright principles to daily library practice, Wessel cautioned against librarians contracting away rights that are otherwise afforded by copyright’s fair use provisions through overly restricted licensing agreements.

Power to the People: Social Tagging and Controlled Vocabularies differed from the copyright session in that every presenter had both glasses AND a .ppt. My notes on the session are copious and I can’t even begin to summarize. I did, however, attach to moderator Sherman Clarke‘s observation re: the ways in which tagging “comes and goes in its ways of helpfulness.” I, too, find the quirky results that oft-emerge from browsing tags entertaining, but then had a silent mini freak out when I heard speaker Jenn Riley‘s statement/concern/news that user participation in library catalogs (ala Ann Arbor) might be understood as a way to one-day alleviate the workload of tired catalogers and librarians. This brings up Classic Big Questions regarding labor, the future of cataloging, and the purpose of libraries.


 

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