Finally a beginning….

Yes I am still enrolled in the minor research project. Yes, I have begun doing some reading on my GLAMS topic. So far I have done enough background reading to get an idea of the main ideas and themes in and around GLAMS (or LAMS as it seems to be called in much of the literature).
Here’s what I’ve discovered in terms of potential points that could be developed into a research project:
1. There is a lot of commentary, research, analysis around the need for a specific LAMs/GLAMs curriculum in higher education of information professionals. The most important point that seems to come through here is that while the convergence of Libraries, Archives and Museums is vital in the digital world of WEb 2.0 there must also be a way of maintaining the distinctive qualities of these institutions.

2. There is also writing on cultural policies (national, international, cross-institutional) regarding the possibilities for LAM institutions into the future. This is particularly interesting at the moment with regard to the Australian government’s production of a cultural policy…something that is currently in process. Feeding into this is the need to understand government resourcing of these institutions, particularly with the move to digital access. How is this to be funded? What importance is placed on it by the government and by the institutions themselves?

3. There is writing on the technical issues that spring up when LAM institutions start to collaborate. Lots of issues around metadata and information systems. While this is clearly vitally important it is WAY outside of the scope of a 12 credit pt unit for me as I am a technical dunce in this regard.

4. Any research project on LAMs needs to set itself against the contemporary background/contextual issues of Web 2.0 – for it is this that enables the possibilities of LAMs (GLAMs) as a disciplinary area.

5. The question of “collaboration” as a concept – theoretical and practical – pops up all over the place. Some writers are developing theories of collaboration. This is interesting too but I don’t know if it is a complete research project in itself.

6. A number of bits and pieces I have read highlight the need for clarity around the various concepts – like digital archiving vs digital curation vs digital preservation etc. They emphasise the importance of not collapsing these concepts into each other. This relates back to the first point I have here.

At this stage I think I am going to focus on the cultural policy issue with a specific focus on Australia. More reading and planning to come over the next week.

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