Miskatonic University Press

After Launching Search and Discovery, Who Is Mission Control?

Posted: 19 October 2010

Last Friday, 15 October 2010, Adam Taves and I gave a talk called “After Launching Search and Discovery, Who Is Mission Control?” at Access in Winnipeg. Here’s the abstract:

Reference librarians are whiny and demanding.

Systems librarians are arrogant and rude.

Users are clueless and uninformed.

A new discovery layer means that they need to collaborate to build it and then — the next step — integrate it into teaching and learning. How should we (reference librarians, systems people, and users) work together to better exploit the possibilities of open source systems so we can focus on discovery and understanding instead of the mechanics of searching?

The talk turned into a play, and we gave it a subtitle: “A Tragicomedy in 8 or 9 Acts.” We performed a staged reading. I recorded it, and the audio and assorted other files are online:

I recommend listening to the MP3, and then watching the Quicktime movie if you want more.

Adam (who played “Adam”, while I played “Bill”) managed the multimedia, and embedded into the slides video clips from librarians Cameron Hoffman (Concordia), Sheril Hook (University of Toronto Mississauga), and Caroline Stewart (University of Guelph-Humber), plus an audio clip of Seymour Lubetzky and a voiceover by Adam himself. Because these were all external files, they’re not in the PowerPoint slides. If you watch the Quicktime movie you’ll see them all (including closed captions on the video clips, which make it clear what the people are saying) but there are no slide breaks.

I had a good time at Access, as always. There were good talks, and I enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting some new people. The Hackfest was very productive and I’ll post about that next!

Bill (left, in Code4Lib t-shirt) and Adam disagree

Updated: 19 October 2010