Tackling the Challenge of Scarce Resources

People often view technology in terms of the personal benefits they derive, such as 24/7 connectivity to family, friends, and co-workers or assistance with navigating unfamiliar terrain. Much less attention is paid to how technology can encourage people to join together to provide others with wider access to information. But in his inaugural “Info Tech” column for Information Outlook, Richard Hulser argues that the “greater good” of global information sharing should make information professionals more receptive to collaborating.

“There is often strength in the sharing of resources, whether they are solid items (such as equipment and money) or soft items (such as people and skills),” he writes. “The key is to understand what makes sense for your situation. Sometimes a lot can be accomplished even when there are few resources.”

Richard cites the Biodiversity Heritage Library and the the California Audiovisual Preservation Project as examples of collaborating to preserve information and make it more accessible. He also comments on advances in computerized tomography (CT) scanning, noting that scientists at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (where he works) are experimenting with micro CT and nano CT scanning and that they “see librarians and information managers as the keys to gathering, organizing, managing, and making authenticated scan files possible.”

To learn more about Richard’s views on the intersection of technology and information professionals, read his column for the March-April 2015 issue of Information Outlook.

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