Sunday, January 1, 2012

Year End Thoughts, and New Year plans

It seems the thing to do for blog writers to look back on the year that was - so here goes:

My intent for this blog for this year was to read and interact with a bunch of books circling around the topics of "library preservation theory" and "cultural heritage institutions". I feel like I read a lot and it was a good learning experience for me. (I now have a notebook with pages and pages and pages of notes and quotes.) I moved outside my original topics of interest, if only because there just isn't much to read in the area of "library preservation theory" - I wish there was, but no. Moving beyond my original topics of interest has been a rewarding experience as well.

I still have one book response blog post to write - hopefully soon.

I have a new plan/project for this blog for this new year - one that will be a stretch. Rather than focus on the preservation related stuff people have written, I want to focus on the preservation related people themselves. I've said before that I think conservators, and other preservation professionals, are the least studied and least written about part of the preservation world. So, I want to focus on the people who are actively involved in preservation activities, especially library related preservation activities. I want to interview these people about their life in preservation. I'm a bit anxious about this next project because I'm not one who naturally approaches people to ask things of them (I don't like to impose myself upon others) and we are a community of professionals who don't have a tradition of public self-reflection - we reflect on objects and techniques, not on ourselves. I've not yet developed the format this new project will take.

A few other year-end blog related thoughts:
This blog has not been as popular (if page views are a measure of popularity) as my previous blog. I'm not too surprised or disappointed about this as the content and format of this blog are arguably geared at a narrower audience. (Plus I rarely post job ads which always got a lot of traffic on my previous blog.) While I am not speaking to a large crowd, I do hope that some of what has appeared on this blog this past year has been at least a little helpful, informative, or interesting to a few people now and then.

What I am annoyed about, however, is that my former blog, which I killed and took offline, some charlatan managed to partially resurrect (or zombify) and that site still shows up much higher than my current blog on web searches.That just ticks me off.


  1. Kevin,
    I think a focus on the people is a great idea, and something that is often overlooked. I know that in binding circles the Guild of Book Workers commissioned some oral histories in the 90s of which (I think) one was published, Berkeley did the same for binders in the Bay Area. Steve Miller (Alabama) and Susan Mills (NYC) have been doing some really good interviews with people in the field, and there have been some articles on individuals.

    So, I think there is a niche here that could be filled. Perhaps even make the hands that save less invisible.

    Cheers, Peter

  2. Glad you like the idea Peter, because your name is hovering around the top of my mental list of people to interview!