Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thief in the Archives

By now I am sure readers of this blog have read the sad and disturbing news about Daniel Lorello, a NY state archivist accused of stealing valuable historical documents from the archives where he worked and attempting to sell them on the online auction website eBay. For those who have not read the story, the gory details are available via the Associated Press (AP).

According to AP, Lorello was earning $71 000 + a year in the state archives. What was he thinking? Blaming his need to pay bills and his daughter's credit card debt, Lorello stole several invaluable items from the state archives, selling them online or at trade shows.

I guess Lorello thought no one would notice, no one would care if a few items went missing. A few documents here, a few documents there; no one would find out the items were gone. No one would notice a few missing papers and artifacts. How else can you explain his actions?

Working in an archives, one either naturally respects or learns to respect the documents in his or her possession. It is as simple as that. Apparently, Lorello lost that respect and somehow figured he could make a profit.

Thankfully, there was someone who did care and respect the value: a history buff who spotted some of the unique items on eBay.

In many ways, I am glad Lorello stole the items and was eventually caught. He must have thought he could have gotten away with these thefts.

His actions, while thoroughly deplorable, unethical, and criminal, shed light, once again, on the need for individuals, communities and governments, local and federal alike, to seriously look into the institutions resposible for preserving the past, lest the past that sustains our present and guides our future vanish - or be stolen by those whom society has tasked with protecting it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Library of Congress and Apple iTouch??

Question: What does the Library of Congress in Washington, DC and Apple's iPod Touch have in common?

Answer: Check out these 3 videos I shot when I recently visited the Library of Congress' "Exploring the Early Americas" exhibit.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Weekend Reading and Contemplation

Where to begin?

Well, for one thing, congratulations are in order to Ed Bilodeau, who recently blogged about his promotion to Director of Knowledge Management at Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) in Ottawa. Way to go, Ed!! I recommend reading his post because he chronicles his path and career decisions from Carleton University to CFC. Very good reading, especially for my readers, since many are on a career path that stirs mainly mixed feelings.

What else?

I have been reluctant to blog about the future of archives or what does the future hold for archives purely because I am feeling less in tune with archives but more connected with other areas, namely web technologies and content development.

Thankfully, ArchivesNext has begun what I believe to be an excellent series: a focus on critical issues facing archives in the coming year(s). By all means, head on over to ArchivesNext to read more.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Librarians in Action?

Oh no! Please let this be a typo or something:

Librarian wins couch potato contest

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Open Letter to 2007

Dear 2007,

Just before you walk out the door, 2007, I would like to tell you a few words. Yes, I see you want to leave and let 2008 fully take over. But I have a few things to say.

What a year you have been. You were full of ups and downs, good times and bad times, like most years, really. But, 2007, you were different in many ways, too.

I found myself in relocation mode in 2007, living and working in a different city, something which I had not even considered until, well, until 2007. The experience has been enriching, perhaps more personally than professionally. I had a hunch that this would have been the case, but I have taken the ride all the same, for the sake of, well, for the sake of second chances, a new start, a new path, perhaps even a new beginning.

But, 2007, a new beginning--those intricate tiny cautious steps down an untraveled road toward an unknown destination--often spans longer than 365 days.

And so that brings me to 2008.

Welcome 2008, you look brand-spanking new. You are a clean slate.

What resolutions should I impose on you? Better blogging habits (a post a day?).

While I think about New Year's resolutions, dear readers, what are yours?

about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.