Magazine article Online

Moving Offices, Reassessing Technology

Magazine article Online

Moving Offices, Reassessing Technology

Article excerpt

Welcome or not, moving brings many challenges.

First, the facts. The editorial office of ONLINE moved from Park City, Utah, to Indianapolis, Indiana, the beginning of May. This meant physically packing up the office and driving 1,600 miles. Many readers have undergone similar moves, both office and library, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes not. Your employer may decide to move you or you may change jobs and orchestrate the move yourself.

Welcome or not, moving brings many challenges. I've spoken with librarians who lost their entire collections to disasters-earthquakes, floods, fires, terrorist attacks-and had to start over again. This occasions a complete re-think of the nature of a library. How much of the physical collection to replace and how much should migrate to digital form? For corporate libraries in the business and finance area, the decision is a bit easier than for those requiring a significant historical collection. Older books and periodicals necessary to scientific research may not be in electronic form. They may also be out of print and difficult to replace.

When I read about what was lost from the Iraqi national library when it was looted or from the Czech Republic national library when it flooded, I realize that my move is trivial. I haven't lost anything, although I did take the opportunity to discard materials I no longer need. Moving accompanied by weeding is a blessing in disguise.

The move also prompted my reassessment of computer technology. The Internet does not help with physical packing. It will not load a moving truck or my car. Professional movers do not work by library cataloging rules. …

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