Thursday, May 29, 2008


I'm on quite a few listservs. The bulk of my email every day comes from listservs. I like them, in fact. They're like little snippets of the world outside of my office. But I have to say, I'm getting kind of tired of the archivists' listservs.
How many times can we rehash the same old argument about how digitizing something does not count as "preservation"? I mean, come ON. It happens like every other week--someone writes something about using digitization as a preservation method, and then 10 people jump on that person and tell them that it's not a viable preservation strategy.
I have two problems with the above scenario. One, the person who still thinks that digitization is going to solve their crumbling paper problem. Sit down and read something, anything, about preservation that was written in the past 3 years and you will read that digitization is not a miracle cure. In fact, it's more like giving up the common cold in favor of getting tuberculosis. Sure, your stuffy sinuses will clear up, but you'll have a hacking cough for the next 10 years, and end up in a sanitarium in Colorado.
The other problem I have is the 10 other people. Seriously, one person's response is enough. Do we all need to jump on the bandwagon and let everyone else know that we know what we are doing? As some very smart person said, "Don't ever miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut." I don't want those 10 self-congratulatory emails in my inbox. I don't really need even one of those emails, but I suppose someone has to tell the person who is considering contracting TB that they're about to get really sick.

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"Wicked people never have time for reading. It's one of the reasons for their wickedness." —Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril.