cloudy librarian

Two years ago I established my fatalistic cred in a post limning my regional background and how it primed me to prefer print over electronic resources. I do love and use the electronic resources, though. I shall exploit them until they disappear. One of my favorite genres is dystopian fiction, and so imagining a future like Katniss’s Hunger Games isn’t so far-fetched, except that there’d be a librarian and library playing prominent roles in that world.

Oddly enough over the past two or three years our university’s power grid has failed almost quarterly due to storms. This never used to happen. When it does, it plunges the university, and the library into a panic. For one, the lights go out. For two, the computers go blank. And then what do we do? Almost all work ceases because we cannot go on. Students zip up the backpacks and stalk out of the library. And the past month was horrid for thunderstorms. Our forecast through next week promises scattered thunderstorms. Our grid is mercurially undependable nowadays.

Well, those of us who matriculated from a library school and not an iSchool (snarkity snark), who learned (oh, and I’m just blathering on here now because I’m clueless about trends in LIS or iSchool education, so DO put me in my place if you must) to use print reference sources, who know the LC and the Dewey ranges (because my academic library is a strange bird whose collection is split between the two–our re-class project keeps on truckin’ on), and who can,  do direct users where to find information they seek from traditional sources.

So given all of those typical worries about having all our eggs in one basket, here’s another thing to worry about now: The CLOUD. Wake Forest’s library moved almost everything to the cloud, and I say hooray for them. I hope their cloud has a silver lining. You know, their librarians recently received faculty status, too, and I’m pleased as punch for that; they’re a bunch of worker bees who deserve it.

Alas, the cloud. Is cloud-migration a great idea? After reading an article in GalleyCat about the possibility of an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack,(EMP) I’m not so sure.  Jason Boog wrote about ereaders and ebooks and how an EMP attack

could cripple all our electronic devices in a few seconds.

He argued that instead of trusting your writing to the cloud, that you should be sure to always keep a back up. Good advice.

Because an attack of such magnitude wouldn’t only disrupt our devices, but could potential erase all cloud-held data. Back up your Kindle clippings. And what about your cloud-based iTunes account when that goes live? Okay, I’m silly to warn librarians. We’re cautious folks who save, preserve, and back-up. Right?

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