My name is David Cook, and I'm a Systems Librarian at Prosentient Systems in Sydney. I'm originally from Canada, but I have lived and worked in Australia since early 2012. I started working in libraries in 2006, and while I only received my MLIS at the end of 2012, my experiences in libraries have already - quite literally - taken me around the world. Even now, I have daily conversations with librarians and software developers from New Zealand, the USA, Germany, Norway, Argentina, France, England, Finland, Canada, and other countries from every continent except Antarctica. We discuss bug fixes, enhancements, new features, and the future of the open source library management system Koha that we use and collectively develop. We also share a good many laughs, and while we were once strangers, we have become a community of friends. Last year, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to put names to faces when I presented at Kohacon13 in Reno, Nevada in the USA. Spending a week eating, laughing, sharing, and collaborating with developers and librarians from around the globe will always be one of my favourite experiences in librarianship.
For me, being a librarian is about vision. At a high level, this vision ultimately encapsulates connecting people and information, and understanding the myriad issues and practices associated with this mission. At a lower level, it's about actually putting theory into practice. I would enumerate the different practical roles but there are too many to name. In terms of my practice, I believe that library software management and development is a fundamental and increasing part of connecting people and information. Traditionally, we have mastered physical objects in the provision of library services, and now is the time that we master digital objects. I don't know the precise path forward for everyone, but I think librarianship has curiosity, research, and experimentation at its core. We will do whatever we have to do to provide library services to our patrons. Working on software, I'm a step removed from those patrons, but they're always on my mind. My vision is to provide my fellow librarians and patrons with the best software possible to facilitate the connection of people and information. In my experience, that's librarianship.
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