The South By Southwest conference is has become pretty big on the tech circuit and has garnered a reputation as a place where new technologies are launched. There’s an egalitarian spirit to the event (read; sprawling) that encourages anyone to attend and participate.
The “anyone” increasingly includes information professionals in libraries, archives and museums (LAMs). LAMS see SXSW as an opportunity to evangelize on core community issues such as open access, copyright and digital stewardship to a receptive tech community.
The thing is, SXSW has become so large that the jockeying for presentation slots now commences 8 months before the conference. The process of choosing panels includes a crowd-sourced aspect called the Panelpicker that engages the public to vote on panels they’d be interested in attending at the conference.
The panel voting for SXSW 2013 extends from August 13-31, 2012. To vote for a session you need to visit the Panelpicker site and create an account. After that it’s just a matter of browsing through the 3,519 entries and picking the ones you like.
Who has time to browse through 3,519 panels? Don’t fret! Here’s a small sampling of some of the panels of interest to LAMs to give you an idea of the creativity going on in the community:
- Title: Citizen Archivists and Cultural Memory
Description: A panel featuring Ken Shipley of the Numero Group, Ben Blackwell from Jack White’s label Third Man Records, Spott Philpott, “employee #2” at Merge Records and “technical referee” Jimi Jones from the Library of Congress will share compelling stories that demonstrate the value of preserving musical memories. (Full disclosure: we submitted this.)
- Title: Why Digital Maps Can Reboot Cultural History
Description: Panelists from Stamen Design, Azavea, the University of Virginia Scholar’s Lab and the New York Public Library talk about the importance of preserving digital geographic cultural heritage for the long-term benefit of commerce, entertainment and history. (Full disclosure: we also submitted this.)
- Title: It Takes a Village to Archive the Federal Web
Description: Panelists from the Library of Congress and the Internet Archive describe the ongoing collaborative efforts to create and sustain an End of Term Web Archive of born digital, federal government resources. (Full disclosure: we submitted this one as well!)
- Title: Overloaded: Tackling the Data Tsunami
Description: Panelists from the Digital Beyond, Microsoft Research and ibiblio consider the value of managing and making sense of abundant data and ponder how society can design systems to support curation and deletion yet promote collaboration and cooperation.
- Title: Libraries: The Ultimate Playground
Description: A collaborative conversation to get librarians and tech entrepreneurs together to brainstorm convergent ideas. Organizer Andrea Davis is the body behind the @sxswLAM twitter feed.
- Title: Culture Hack: Libraries & Museums Open For Making
Description: An international panel will explore the ways in which cultural heritage institutions are sharing content and explore some of the thornier issues of open access across borders and institutions. Organizer Rachel Frick leads the Digital Library Federation.
- Title: Poetry in Motion: Sound Culture and Data Mining
Description: Hundreds of thousands of spoken text audio files remain untapped in archives throughout the world. Panelists will talk about data mining tools that help visualize sound culture such as the High Performance Sound Technologies for Analysis and Scholarship (HiPSTAS) at the University of Texas iSchool.
- Title: Black Twitter Activism, Bigger Than Hip Hop
Description: This panel will examine ways that information professionals can guide users toward responsible practices that respect the unique coding and cultural perspectives of black and other minority communities in their use of social media. What can archived Tweets tell us about micro-organizing in marginalized communities?
- Title: Pop Up Archive: Build an Archive and Make it Count
Description: A workshop for media creators and digital humanists to walk through taking archival content from the shelf (or local file) to the web. They’ll instruct participants on how to install Omeka; how to create or import records; organize their collections; seamlessly upload files to services like the Internet Archive and SoundCloud; and create web expositions of their content.
- Title: How Libraries will Save the World + Your Business
Description: Panelists will talk about how 3 diverse companies—a tech giant, an online start-up and a social reading site—all found new value by adding libraries to their apps.
This barely touches the surface of what’s being proposed. The @sxswLAM folks maintain a longer list of LAM proposals. Any other ideas on how LAMs can effectively engage with the tech community?