SXSW Interactive 2014

Libraries: Saving the Net Means No Exit Strategy

The internet is in trouble. Every startup seems to be about disrupting disruption (& taking our memories with them when they get bought out), governments are watching our public & private communication, & there's still no app for preserving app-based digital culture. At the front line of fighting for digital preservation, internet privacy, & the Internet as a public commons: Libraries?! Between backing up the public internet & saving dying websites, fighting National Security Letters, & making the wealth of our cultural heritage available to all, libraries are becoming the de-facto public platforms for making web work in our public interest again. Learn how libraries are creating the Internet's future, giving away everything we know about everything, making the web more connected through Linked Open Data (aka Semantic Web: The Good Parts), & how library hackers have realized that the Sisyphean task of preserving the free & open internet is the sweetest, most creative gig anywhere.

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  1. Aren’t libraries dead yet? Why hasn’t Amazon/Google killed you all yet? (to be answered in the first 45 seconds, followed by an uproarious applause from the audience, so we can move on to more important matters)
  2. What's the future of the internet going to be like and why is everyone who was working on copyright and the future of the internet in the early 2000's working in or closely with libraries now? What do they know that the rest of us don't? And if they know something awesome - how can we build cool stuff with them?
  3. What’s in it for me? If the public libraries are public platforms how can the public get involved in building this better internet? Will this cultural heritage metadata thing actually make a difference if the assets aren't there? What can I build if I hack the library?
  4. The internet has become a collection of Privately Owned Public Spaces - how can libraries make it more publicly accountable? Why not make money off preserving the internet? Wouldn't that be more sustainable? How can libraries fight for our privacy in that kind of environment?
  5. Ok - we get it, you're not just about books anymore, you're also about data. But how are you going to get data from all that old stuff you have? What's the future of historical data? WHy do historical data sets matter? And how does making the past accessible as data contribute to making a better Internet today?



David Riordan, Product Manager - NYPL Labs, The New York Public Library - NYPL Labs

Meta Information:

  • Tags: libraries, future, history
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Policy and Civic Engagement
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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