Celebrating Library Innovation and Resilience
by Dick Kaser
This issue of Computers in Libraries completes our 40th year of publication, and now it’s officially our 40th anniversary. Since the days when we were known as Small Computers in Libraries, we’ve been covering strategies for librarians to keep up with technology. Remember CD-ROM databases?
Knowing that this day was inevitably coming, we always planned for this issue to be about librarians looking forward. At the time, we had no idea that we would all be straining to see some light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
It’s no coincidence that the edition focuses on strategies that have also gotten us through this year: digitization, digital media, and virtual reality. The latter has taken on a double meaning in our pandemic-stricken world.
Connecting the past with the present and seeing great potential for the future, staffers from the Chemical Information Center at ExxonMobil describe the workflow they used to digitize proprietary research stored on deteriorating microfiche in order to aid in the rediscovery of abandoned efforts that are now technologically feasible.
Library staff members from the National Gallery of Art Library describe their work to increase access to high-quality digital content by employing standards and using APIs with Ex Libris products.
In recent issues, many librarians have described how they leveraged technology that’s already in place to achieve current goals. In this issue, Lorette Weldon describes her use of SharePoint to create knowledgebases for project teams and researchers.
The edition also includes passionate strategic vision statements by Brian Pichman and Mark Roquet.
I suspect that anything reported in 2020 will forever have an asterisk by it, noting some pandemic caveat. But as Pichman writes, “[p]roblems drive innovation and create opportunity.” In its 40 years of publication, CIL has always strived to do the same.
Here’s to 2021.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor