Stick a microphone in front of a famous person--a makeover victim, a home owner aspiring to an increased selling price, or a washed-up celebrity looking to reclaim former greatness (if only in his own mind)--and it seems they will all invariably announce their concern with “keeping it real.” My (almost) daily ritual of imitating outdoor activity on a machine plugged into the wall of a window-deficient warehouse while watching talking heads has proved to be an education in our cultural obsession with authenticity.
Library culture is not national culture. Libraries keep things real by not being imaginary, and authenticity is not something that is consciously pursued. Library culture has typically been focused on perfection and the willingness to spend time getting there.
But as our resources and users move online, can we afford to ignore the culture of the Internet? The web, moving faster than perfection, has handed everyone a megaphone and authenticity is online currency. Read More »