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Is this really new?
• Public libraries, historical
societies have long served
as community centers for
local history, historic
preservation & family
• Rootsweb created in 1987
as a listserv.
• Ancestry.com is now a
business because they were
able to provide the online
services this community
How can libraries, archives and museums
translate their deep experience as community
organizers into online spaces?
The importance of flow underlines recurrent themes:
– the library needs to be in the user environment and not
expect the user to find their way to the library
– integration of library resources should not be seen as an
end in itself but as a means to better integration with
the user environment, with workflow.
The message for libraries is clear:
be in the flow.
FRBR User Tasks
IMLS DCC Collections
by Hosting Institution State
Emerging Strengths - Local History
• Push vendors to
• Explore ways to
make metadata &
• It’s not about “one”
system, it’s about
getting in the
• Changes happening outside…fast
• Changes that need to happen inside
– Rethinking what sharing means
– Mapping data across silos & services
• Dealing with abuse of information
• A culture of “permanent beta”
– Managing “brittle” services
• Who pays?
– How to measure public goods.
• Richard J. Urban
– rjurban [at] illinois.edu
Portions of this work supported by:
• Archival Photographic Files, [apf2-05961], Special Collections Research Center,
University of Chicago Library.
• Telephone Exchange, Anthony Hordern & Sons Department Store. Courtesy State
Library of New South Wales
• Crowd listenting to Bryan – Union Sq. Library of Congress
• Taft Speaking in Springfield, Mass. Courtesy Library of Congress
• Antal Dorati conducts. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales.
• Battle of the Alamo Re-enactors. Courtesy Txphotoblog http://www.flickr.com/photos/
• Aerial View of Downtown Springfield. Courtesy Lincoln Library
• Grain Elevators, Caldwell, Idaho. Courtesy Library of Congress
• C & NW RR, a general view of a classification yard at Proviso Yard, Chicago, Ill.
Courtesy Library of Congress
• Wagner Flagging Dawson. Courtesy Library of Congress
• Potted Arabidopsis 3 Courtesy blueridgekitties