Open Library Developer's Meeting

Eric Lease Morgan attended an Open Library Developer's Meeting on Friday, February 29, 2008 in San Francisco's Presidio, and this travel log outlines his experiences there. He says, in a sentence, it was one of the more inspiring meetings he's ever attended.

The ultimate idea of Open Library goes far beyond Fred Kilgour's original idea of cooperative catalog and OCLC. Yet, at the same time, the core of Mr. Kilgour's idea is at the heart of Open Library -- a very large, centralized library. I don't believe there will ever will be or ever should be one and only one library for all of humankind because libraries ultimately serve individual constituents, and it is impossible for any single institution (read "library") to be all things to all people. On the other hand the idea of a large, centralized repository of knowledge does have a certain appeal. It can be looked upon as a respected authority and a touchstone for ideas. Considering the exiting institutions who hold and distribute library-based content, Open Library looks like a promising upstart. At the very least I believe it will demonstrate what a loosely federated network of committed individuals with a diverse sets of skills and cooperation can do to solve large problems.

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