Issue 9, 2010-03-22

Editorial Introduction – Moving Forward

Welcoming new editors, and reflecting on the sustainability factor.

By Carol Bean
Coordinating Editor, Issue 9

In the constantly changing landscape we are all familiar with in the technology world, the issue of sustainability surrounds us. It bubbles up in several of the articles in this issue. Dr. Mitchell speaks of it as an evaluative factor in Using Cloud Services for Library IT Infrastructure. The issue hovers in the background of Querying OCLC Web Services for Name, Subject, and ISBN, which describes using pilot services at OCLC. Will what we have today be here next year? Both Creating an Institutional Repository for State Government Digital Publications and A Principled Approach to Online Publication Listings and Scientific Resource Sharing are about those libraries’ efforts to establish sustainable and accessible respositories of digital content. Wrangling Electronic Resources: A Few Good Tools evaluates some tools for discovering evidence of no longer sustained resources, otherwise known as link rot. And Sibyl Schaefer confronts the issue head on in Challenges in Sustainable Open Source: A Case Study.

Sustainability haunts us as we seek to keep up with the rapidly changing technology environment. Yet, the reaching for sustainability is also a magnet that draws us to Code4Lib, and the glue that holds us together. We share, join in, and participate, seeking to make things work. The Code4Lib Conference grew from a tentative start in 2006 to a wildly successful annual event, despite, or perhaps because of, its unorthodox format (see Conference Reviews from this year’s scholarship recipients). The Conference has reached sustainability without any organizational governance. Clearly, the continuing success in this case is directly related to the Code4Lib community’s participation.

Issue 8 marked the second anniversary for the Code4Lib Journal, which itself began on little more than enthusiasm and several Code4Libbers’ willingness to try to make it work. We have successfully navigated startup, made it over the initial adjustment hump, lost some editors, and added new ones. In response to our most recent call for new editors, we had an astounding response from a large number of very qualified applicants. We must be doing something right. But can we sustain it? We have sought to embrace the ideals of Code4Lib: openness, transparency, sharing, communication. But like many of the projects which have been written about in this Journal, we face the challenge of sustainability in the face of changes, as we continue to find what works, what doesn’t, who our audience is and what they want, and what our place is in the larger world around us.

With this issue, we are reluctantly waving goodbye to Jodi Schneider, one of the founding editors and a perpetually moving force in Code4Lib and on the Editorial Committee. With this issue we also welcome MJ Suhonos, Tim McGeary, Tim Lepczyk, Tod Olson, and Gabriel Farrell to the Code4Lib Editorial Committee. They bring to the Journal fresh views, ideas, and, especially, renewing energy as we move forward. What will you bring to the Journal?

We have a stellar editorial committee. We continue to receive excellent articles. Tom Keays, in his editorial introduction to Issue 7, noted the breadth of our readership. But sustainability in this world of technology requires more than one-way communication. We need input from our community. This is your cue to contribute to the Journal with comments and feedback; to continue the communication; to move us forward.

Openness, transparency, sharing, communication. With your participation, we will be sustainable. Thanks, on behalf of the Editorial Committee.

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