Big-scale collaborations and digital-era collection strategies took center stage at the Association of Research Libraries’ membership meeting, held here last week. The library directors and others who attended heard about ambitious research and preservation projects like the HathiTrust digital repository and the proposed Digital Public Library of America, plans for which are moving ahead.
They also heard from librarians and scholars about how they operate in a hybrid research environment that’s partly but not entirely digital. The meeting was followed by a forum—organized by the association and by the Coalition for Networked Information—that took up the theme of “21st-Century Collections and the Urgency of Collaborative Action.” Think big but don’t overextend yourselves, and work together whenever you can: Those were the takeaways of the collective sessions.
“The truth of the wider history of the personal computer - the chapter in which Jobs’ dots have inscribed a few of the great sentences - is that it has been intricately shaped by policy, and specifically anti-trust policy. Apple failed after 10 years - the failure that Jobs describes in the Stanford speech as crucial to its resurrection and second coming - because Microsoft had won the business desktop market with an inferior product. Microsoft had won that market because IBM,mired in anti-trust litigation, decided to cede the market to what it hoped might be the weaker rival. Microsoft itself became embroiled in anti-monopoly litigation at just the time when the Internet would re-revolutionise the PC landscape. The re-birth of Apple and the rise of Google have brought both of them into the line of fire of the Federal Trade Commission and US anti-trust. The important point is that anti-trust has created an environment - however imperfectly - that limits the operation of the technology companies that have become too big for the health of the wider economy. And the personal history that Jobs describes - one in which it is possible for a driven visionary like him to keep at his work because he “has faith that the dots will join up” - is made virtuous by the institutional setting in which it operates and not because of the rightly dismissed mantras of Western Rando-Bhuddism.”—Joining up the dots: Steve Jobs, Slavoj Žižek and “good capitalism” (via azspot)