What does South By Southwest (SXSW) have to offer practitioners engaged with libraries and the digital humanities? A recent post by Butch Lazorchak on The Signal (the digital preservation blog from the Library of Congress) argues: “A lot.” Pointing to the growing presence of libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) at the 26th annual SXSW conference, Lazorchak argues that the event broadens and contextualizes issues LAMs care about:
[M]ost of the conference is made up of smaller-scale conversations featuring non-profits, academics, government agencies and the private sector on an incredible range of technical topics. The shared interest in technical innovation helps to break down the silos and provides numerous opportunities for engagement and learning. … SXSW forces LAMs out of that comfort zone and puts them in contact with like-minded people who might not have the exact same perspective as LAMs but have shared interests and are looking to solve some of the same problems.
Panels such as “Why Digital Maps Can Reboot Cultural History” [previewed in a post highlighted on dh+lib last week] and “Citizen Archivists and Cultural Memory” explore this technical innovation in the realm of public humanities and the cultural heritage sector.
For those of us following along from home rather than braving the Austin hordes, keep an eye on Twitter using the hashtag #sxswLAM and check out the schedule and stream of interviews hosted by ER&L’s #ideadrop house.