I grew up in a family where Saturday morning was chore time. No lying in bed reading, or relaxing after the week. No, it was waking to the call, “Rise and shine, daylight in the swamps!”
The Christensen work crew, my four siblings and I, had about the same spirit as prison inmates in orange jumpsuits, and I rebelled early and often. But I still wake on Saturday mornings with work on my mind, and today it’s all about IT. Information technology is the core of publishing operations today, of course, but it’s also the big question mark in terms of getting our content to the people who need it. What method, what service, what interface?
In our past lives as reference packagers we had a chance to work with virtually all the major companies in this sector of the publishing world. I’ve tried to be a good listener, with the idea that by taking in different perspectives–both in terms of strategies and in terms of personal, emotional reactions to the digital transformation of reference–I might be able to synthesize all this information into something coherent.
In a way, that’s the work I have on my plate on this overcast Saturday, mapping what we know and also sketching some of the things we imagine about the future of reference. Fortunately, I also have sweet peas to plant and vegetable beds to lay out–jobs that are looking awfully attractive, even on this cold and soon to be rainy day!