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Jason Griffey's picture

Peter Brantley's latest Publishers Weekly post

For those that haven't seen it, there is some interesting talk about LITA:

http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/PWxyz/2013/01/02/united-steps-big-impact/

The highlights for me were:

While it is possible for LITA – ALA’s sponsored Library Information and Technology Association – to direct and guide a growing charge of active digital, networked initiatives, it is at least equally likely that it will not. LITA is governed by a knowledgeable board of directors with a committed executive group, but it has all of the encumbrances of a long-lived organization sheltered by ALA, with extensive committees, its own bylaws, interest groups, task forces, strategic planning, and budget oversight. This is not the kind of lightweight, engineering-focused organization to chart and provide solutions, although it may be a superb place to discuss and help prioritize them.

I encourage the public library community to form a C4L-equivalent formal organization. Such an effort could be catalyzed by ALA and LITA, but membership should be self-organizing and coalesce around activities such as Make @ ALA Midwinter. Rather than see library director-led engagement with DPLA, an independent design and engineering group should “own” public library participation in national, and increasingly international, development contexts. It could also take a lead in soliciting involvement from technology companies ranging from platform providers like Google and Apple, to startups like Smashwords, Vook, or Aerbook that could provide new forms of publishing services to communities. This new organization should not be captured by ALA but remain external to it, although possibly linked, and obviously seeking common ground.

The idea of LITA as a more lightweight, do-it focused organization (in modern management speak, project over process) isn't something that should be a new idea, especially to anyone I've talked to in the last 5 years. :-) 

Food for discussion!