Life Imitates Comedy

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I realize I have not been the most faithful blogger since I joined OCLC, but there are two posts per year I have never missed--Christmas and April Fool's Day.  Both traditions started in 2007 and both peaked early.  Bob Murphy (OCLC's Senior Public Relations Specialist) and I still chuckle at the flurry of phone calls caused by my [pre-OCLC tenure] maiden April 1 joke that Google had acquired OCLC.  I didn't think I was going to be able to ever top that one, which  was well coordinated with the talented bloggers at ALA Techsource.  

Leave it to the Federal Government to step in and make this year's attempt at humor either pathetically ironic or ironically pathetic, depending on your point of view.

I happened to be on vacation at the time that I wrote the post and was not feeling especially creative.  One of my colleagues had suggested several good ideas that would have required more energy than I could muster to really pull them off, so I settled on something simple--wouldn't it be funny if libraries got involved in trying to preserve Twitter posts, especially if they tried to do it with MARC records.

Then two weeks after the day for fooln' comes this bomb-shell from the Library of Congress:

I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.  Library Journal has a nice report on the mixed reactions--ranging from a "thanks, LC" to "a waste of tax-payer dollars."  My favorite is Andy Borowitz's tweet:  "Library of Congress to Acquire Entire Twitter Archive; Will Rename Itself 'Museum of Crap.'"  I can't wait to look for that one in the LC Archive.

I first learned of LC's plans on Gretchen Kolderup's blog when she linked the real story to my April 1st post.  I like to think that perhaps I have preemptively distorted the historical record, now that my joke is being linked to the real story behind LC's plans.  

Good luck LC.  If I've somehow started a trend, I think next year's April 1 blog post will be something about a $1B grant award to yours truly.

About the Author

Andrew K. Pace

I am Executive Director for Networked Library Services at OCLC. I am also a past President of LITA. On occasion, I am known for pontificating "on stage, in writing, and via the web" on a variety of issues important to libraries.

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