Code4Lib 2009 Keynote Address

Sebastian Hammer presented a keynote address at this year’s Code4Lib conference in which he discusses the challenges facing libraries and librarianship from the Internet itself and from ‘competing’ services. A video of the whole talk can be seen here, courtesy of the hosts, Brown University.

The talk has been described as a ‘call to arms’ and it constitutes part of a continuing dialog that we have with our partners and colleagues, in which we urge librarians and information professionals to not passively accept the direction that market forces and isolated innovation set for the Internet (and hence for the way that most of us access and use information), but to actively engage the process and seek to influence events. Such influence can be sought in any number of ways, from lobbying through standardization to legal means, directly or through membership organizations and consortia. But it is very much also a question of placing demands on the technical options made available by information and software vendors, and of thinking actively about how technology can be leveraged to ease access to information and content.

Library organizations at every level must engage actively in this process, and we try to do our part: To be a supporter and sounding board to technologically engaged organizations within our area of expertise.