A new NARA tool, e-books, archives, and stories we tell

This newsletter focuses on the archives and library worlds while noting some recent stories I wrote!

Hello everyone!

I hope you are having a great week so far.

I have a few articles I’d like to share this week. For one, there’s a post by NARA’s Chief Innovation Officer, Pamela Wright, writing about their new Record Group Explorer. She writes that whole the agency’s holdings are vast, this tool allows a way into NARA’s holdngs, able to see holdings within a Record Group and able to easily become a “Citizen Archivist.” I think its worth giving this tool a try.

There were also a host of stories about e-books. Some focused on their role in local libraries and one focused on the King County (WA) Library System no longer purchasing MacMillan e-book titles. This is one of the fraught areas for libraries, as it is something they can control, more than commercial algorithms, as you probably all know. Of course, print books are not going away, but the role and place of e-books is still in contention. As the years go by, libraries will continue to be confronted with this and the role of these e-books (or e-resources), whether they can afford them or not, especially in a time that many of these institutions have strapped budgets.

Speaking of books and stories, I’d like to plug two magical fantasy fictions I wrote in recent days, if you are into that thing. In the first one, “Crystal Gems Under Threat: V.I.L.E.'s Devious Plan and Adora's Unusual Fascination,” I pick up right where my last story (“For the Honor of Etheria”), with my characters facing a new challenge when a mysterious woman wants Steven to come with them and have the challenge of facing “the common enemy of evil” without disagreement or division. In the second one, “Carmen, Pearl, and Adora’s Unexpected Sugary Horror,” my characters go to Japan to investigate a disturbance, learning about themselves, find new friends, but what happens them scars them for life, all part of this tale of discovery, horror, and companionship. I’ll try to incorporate some library and archives elements into future stories, but they don’t seem to be going that direction.

I’d also like to highlight some posts about news in the archives world. Specifically, there was a post by a person leaving their job as an outreach archivist, which they love, and their experiences, and others which are broader. For the latter, there is an interesting discussion of how data counts as a form of collections, the difference between archivists and records managers, updates in the web archiving realm, and a recap of lessons learned from a community web archiving program.

That’s all! Hope you all have a great rest of your week!

- Burkely