Igeek open standards

From LISNews: “Geek the Library is a community-based public awareness campaign designed to highlight the vital role of public libraries for individuals and communities, and raise awareness about the critical funding issues they (we) face.” What do you think about it?

my librarian friend : i’m waiting for you to weigh in on the new OCLC thing that looks pretty but i don’t get.
me : which? OCLC is so barely relevant to me
my librarian friend : ha! http://geekthelibrary.org/
me : did you know that George from Flickr [who was doing the commons stuff] is now running Open Library?
my librarian friend : i did not know that
me : if OCLC has so much money why aren’t they giving grants or donations to smaller libraries so they can truly be a union catalog?
me : that’s how I’d like them to show their support for the library community
my librarian friend : yeah but then they couldn’t sell things to those libraries in the future, silly.
me : “Igeekopen standards”
me : wow, I did not know about this though
my librarian friend : make a badge for your site.
me : is the Igeek thing supposed to be evocative of like iPod?
me : do they know they’re doin it wrong?
my librarian friend : dunno why they decidedtoerasespaces
me : man this is annoying. Slick site, very functional and still this is where BMGF decides to put their cash?
my librarian friend : yeah, i want to like it just because a library “org” actually put out a nice site, but…
my librarian friend : plus? lou reed
me : and geek isn’t a verb, I mean I know that’s pedantic but this is totally advocacy from the outside
my librarian friend : is lou reed the only famous face?
my librarian friend : if so, odd.
me : I assume he’s someone’s friend
me : and where are, you know the ACTUAL LIBRARIES on that site
me : srsly
me : it’s all about bypassing the institutions to get at the readers/users, sort of? awareness capaign of the future libraries while ignoring the current ones?
me : I mean it’s easy to poke fun at
my librarian friend : what i don’t understand is how people declaring their interests on this site will lead to support for libraries.
me : there’s a page that tells you to call your mayor
my librarian friend : yeah
me : I see some more famous people
me : and a survery which is more data for them
my librarian friend : for the next report!
me : yep
me : it’s really graphically appealing

12 Responses to “Igeek open standards”

  1. Radical Patron Says:

    Hi – I’m a patron advocate and believe the Geek site is off to a great start. There so many of us working tirelessly in our own communities, in small groups, just to preserve minimal funding levels for our public library. What we’re doing isn’t efficient or sustainable. The Geek site gives us an organizing principle.

    The challenge will be to keep the campaign concise, current and relevant. I’ve discovered scores of library advocacy sites that started well and quickly began sprouting weeds and tumbleweeds. We can’t let it happen this time, for we’re running out of chances…

  2. eli Says:

    There’s a big difference between outreach to geek communities and branding the entire library user experience as an act of geekery. Come on, the only thing that one can geek is out.

    This campaign is beautifully done and brian dennehy is a pretty great fellow, but marketing the library to people who self-identify as geeks makes as much sense as marketing water to people who self-identify as fish. They’re soaking in it! It’s not lack of support from geeks that imperils libraries. It’s lack of support from the broad base of the service population, the majority of whom would not positively identify on several levels with the phrase “Igeek vampires”. The kicker is that I can’t imagine someone who does self-identify as a geek would have a positive reaction to “Igeek engineering” either.

    I think it will be a big hit with library people because we see so few slick campaigns, so it will look very vibrant and grassroots despite being filled by library employees, and it does set a pretty high bar for advocacy drives in the industry, and frankly it’s a good thing for OCLC to develop as it’s not really appropriate for libraries to use staff time or tax revenue on advocacy campains, and few friends groups would be able to put anything this sophisticated together…. but my gut says it’s a swing and a miss when it comes to expanding support for the library.

    When funding gets tight, making more people love you is more important than making people love you more.

  3. Simon Spero Says:

    Another great way to Geek the Libary: not claiming invalid copyrights on public domain data.

  4. Stephen Michael Kellat Says:

    That site looks pretty but I was left in the end scratching my head wondering what on earth it had to do with libraries. It appears I am not alone?

  5. Vin Says:

    Woah… the “I geek engineering” girl is *beautiful.*

  6. Rachael Says:

    Wow, I kind of hate that site. Artificial advocacy + the needless verbing of nouns.

  7. Geeking The Library « Not All Bits Says:

    [...] have mixed feelings about OCLC’s Geek The Library campaign. Jessamyn has a wonderful post which farily sums up my feelings in general, but there’s something missing. They’ve got [...]

  8. steev Says:

    i won’t say it’s a bad use of money from the bill and melinda gates foundation, but i could think if some better ones–like opening up their technology grants to more libraries. plus the phrase “geek the library” is really really stupid. it’s got the hipness factor of an eggo commercial.

  9. “Geek the Library” Somebody Get Me My Inhaler « The Animated Librarian Says:

    [...] There is fear that declaring ones geekery in a subject cannot translate to library support both Jessamyn West and Sonoran Dragon make good points here and there is ongoing dialog on Library an Information [...]

  10. richard Says:

    it’s more hipster/tattooed/guybrarian- style BS in the form of a very slick and beautiful website. I’m a hip, tattooed guybrarian and I found it sort of embarrassing, but more to the point, OCLCs advocacy model is starting to fade away at the moment it is announced: #saveohiolibraries on twitter is where the action is right now, and a sign of where the direction of advocacy is headed, rather than the corporate, centralized version on display here.

  11. rochelle Says:

    Today was the first time I’d noticed the Geek the Library site. After some head scratching I googled. “geek the library” and stupid. And pparently I’m in good company because it brought me here. It’s a shame because it’s graphically very appealing.

  12. Joe Barry Says:

    i am also not a very big advocate of that site. Good looks does not make up for content. The web is all about content.