Rick Anderson's essay on Web 2.0 and libraries. I was interested in his suggestion that we abandon "just in case" thinking for collections.
This is of special interest to me because I have been a government information librarian for 30 years. Since my university is a federal depository we receive government publications "for free." (The quotation marks are intended to indicate that Uncle Sam is not paying my salary, the cost of the indexes, the price of shelves, etc.)
Because we are not paying directly for federal documents it is always tempting to select series "just in case," as opposed to because of clear need. This is exacerbated by the fact that the government sends us less material every year (mostly because they are putting stuff on the web, which is a great thing...as long they keep it up there. Librarians get VERY NERVOUS when the only copy of something is on the web. And we have our reasons).
I am out in the stacks weeding every day, torn between the desire to trim the fat and the urge to keep anything not obviously useless (and even then you know darned well that someone is bound to ask for that EPA coloring book the day after you throw it out).
I think Anderson is right, though. We have to get away from thinking like an archive unless we really are a collection-of-last-resort. But I hope those archives that do exist, paper or electronic, are more reliable than some other parts of our national infrastructure.
Oklahoma storms, as viewed by NASA
6 hours ago