In the midst of its various upheavals, the Harvard Library system has produced some good perspective on the evolving role of libraries and their changing relationship with content providers. Today the Harvard Innovation Lab released something a little more hopeful, in the form of a sweet note of librarian/developer harmony. Paul Deschner, applications developer at the Lab wrote of good old-fashioned cataloging:
The expertise which catalogers bring to the task of
comprehensive bibliographic description has proven crucial to me as a
reference resource in my work of designing software to harvest and
process bibliographic information. At the Law Library, the catalogers
are a few hallway steps away, and are as crucial to my being able to
create smart software as anyone on my development team.
The solidarity may not serve to change much of the reorganization plan, which includes cuts for technical services teams in the university, but it’s a charming testimony to the innovation and synergy of an interdisciplinary team and an appealing argument for technology in libraries and librarianship in technology.