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Event Report: May 15 Spring Lunch featuring Jason Puckett

Even before working at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, I was aware of the expression, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” or in today’s texting vernacular – TNSTAAFL. After googling the phrase, I learned from Wikipedia that it referred “to the once-common tradition of American saloons to provide a free lunch to patrons who ordered at least one drink.” Because their meals were intentionally salty (such as ham, cheese and salted crackers), they tended to drink more than they otherwise would. So, the drinks purchased more than compensated for the cost of the meal. Pretty smart, eh?

On Wednesday, May 15, twenty SLA Georgia Chapter members gathered at LPC (formerly La Pietra Cucina) to hear Jason Puckett, Communication Librarian at Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta. Named a Library Journal Mover and Shaker in 2010, he is the author of Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers and Educators. Jason spoke on “The Value of Free,” in the context of today’s computing environment. My key highlights from his talk were:

1)      Even if there is little to no need for technology in one’s information environment, Jason advised us to BE AWARE of open source software such Zotero which automatically senses content and allows users to add it to his/her personal library.

2)      “Technology is a social issue.” Today, more content than ever is available to a wider audience. Given greater access to vast amounts of content, it’s not surprising that the following issues are major topics of debate: Net neutrality, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), open access and DRM (digital rights management).

Jason described each issue and responded to concerns about using open source software.  At a time when identify theft, data breaches and hacking attacks are common (I heard on NPR – National Public Radio – recently that Chinese hackers acquired schematic designs for the newest American defense weapons!), I tread very carefully when considering the use of open source content or software. Nonetheless, it’s good to keep up with such developments and I’m grateful to Jason for sharing with us.

For those interested, this link points to the Open Source Initiative that Jason mentioned: http://opensource.org/

And if you contact Jason, he might still be willing sell his book to you for $20! (It retails at Amazon for $32.40.)

In other Chapter news, President Sarah Mauldin introduced our 2013 Chapter Board and reminded us that SLA Georgia has an active social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Flickr. In fact, this link takes you to photos from our lunch: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sla-ga/sets/72157633879952008/

Thanks to those of you who attended the program. Since lunch wasn’t free, we hope that it was worth your time and money spent. If not, please let me know so that future programs better meet your expectations.

Looking forward to seeing you at our next Chapter event!

Ernie Evangelista
Director, Vendor Relations
SLA Georgia Chapter
ernie.m.evangelista@atl.frb.org

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