Saturday, May 16, 2009

Spring 2009 Digital Library Federation Forum

Since I arrived at the DLF Forum late Tuesday evening, I wasn't really able to attend much of the Forum itself. In addition to noting that David really likes barbecue, I mainly noted the reactions to the DLF merger with CLIR. There is widespread understanding that the current economic climate is having a signficant impact. The number of attendees at this year's Forum was notably lower. Everyone I spoke with agreed that the DLF Forums are a valuable and worthwhile experience. There is an obvious self-selection bias in this case, but it's worth stressing the value of the community that gathers during these forums. Additionally, DLF Forums have been an important venue for launching and nurturing new initiatives and communities. The Project Managers' preconference is the most recent example of a self-organized, motivated group of colleagues who have now found kindred spirits. Sometimes there's no substitute for realizing that others are facing--even struggling--with the same challenges. This type of engagement is critical for our community, especially toward building shared capacity.

I heard about one case of an institution which is a member of DLF, but not a member of CLIR. There are undoubtedly implementation details that need to be resolved with the recent merger. But it was clear to me that they should be because DLF Forums represent an important component of our community's fabric.

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