Q&A after screening of Blindspotting

I am back in my Houston office this week after spending the past week in Austin attending the South By South West (SXSW) event. I have to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a conference more than I enjoyed SXSW. I’ve always resisted going because I always thought that it was just about the music, and I couldn’t imagine paying $900-$1300* for a music conferenceā€¦ especially since you could catch some of the bands playing non-SXSW clubs for free during the week. After attending, I have to admit that I was way too narrow on what SXSW is, and I think I’m going to go again next year because it is a total experience of education and experience.

Continue Reading South By South West Was So Much More Than Music

Very interesting article written by Phoebe Connelly at the Atlantic on “SXSW 2011: The Year of the Librarian” where she discusses the librarian micro-track at SXSWi where the discussion didn’t focus on tech for the sake of tech, but “rather, it was about processing data with a purpose; data for a greater good.”

Whether it was the work conducted in search of open government standards, rural librarians and lack of Internet access in American homes, or the effects of data visualization on how to manage the vast amounts of raw data that is hammering our society right now, it is librarians that are out in front of these issues to discuss what the can be done with these topics. As she quotes Justin Grimes, “Librarians are the boots on the ground. We don’t care what the tech is, we care about what the user actually needs. That’s our mandate.”

So, thank you Phoebe for helping spread the message that librarians are out there working between tech and the needs of the users and helping both sides find each other in a way that makes a difference.