When Neil Young takes a moment to be photographed holding up the library symbol after using the South by Southwest (SXSW) platform to launch his new high-quality music service, you know libraries are held in high esteem throughout our culture.
How did this happen? Two factors converged at the conference known for convergence – a growing and organized library presence at SXSW, and the fortune of being in the right place at the right time to advocate.
After his presentation on Pono in Austin (within a day his kickstarter fundraising/engagement campaign blew past its modest goals and has now raised millions) Mr. Young briefly signed autographs and shook hands with the crowd rushing the stage. I asked if he would allow me to take a picture of him holding up the library symbol. He studied the symbol for less than a second, nodded, and held it up for the shot.
While this picture is a highlight, it is only one of many amazing outcomes. Watch this space for more on the growing library involvement at the conference through a scrappy volunteer organization that I’ve helped coordinate (along with a handful of other incredible library people) called #sxswLAM – Libraries, Archives, Museums as well as partner organizations such as the American Library Association (ALA), The Public Library Association (PLA), the #ideadrophouse, EveryLibrary, Urban Libraries Unite (ULU), the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and the Digital Library Federation; as well as vendors including Innovative Interfaces Inc., Mobile Beacon, Proquest and others.