Letter from the Director, August 2012

To The METRO Community:

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the monthly New York Tech Meetup with METRO's new Strategic Initiatives Manager, Jefferson Bailey. The Meetup group boasts over 26,000 members working toward "a sustainable technology industry that drives economic growth, leads innovation, and creates positive, high-impact change for our local communities and the world." Sounds familiar, doesn't it? We have thousands of librarians, archivists, and allied information professionals in the region defending traditional values of access to information in order to, like our colleagues in the tech community, "create positive, high-impact change for our local communities and the world."

The NY Tech Meetup monthly meetings feature short lightning talks featuring new projects, and the enthusiasm was positively contagious. We saw demos from TurboVote (a project aimed at making voting as easy as renting videos from Netflix), Docracy (a service aimed at making sharing and using open legal documents more accessible for entrepreneurs), and Movable Ink (a tool to embed dynamic web content into static media like email campaigns), and more. The audience asked the right difficult questions to presenters, and lauded them for their ingenuity and hard work where warranted. The excitement and constructive criticism were empowering to both the presenters and the attendees, and I left the feeling reaffirmed that we have the same supportive community building potential here in the library, archives, and museum communities in the metropolitan NY region -- and METRO is the perfect organization to help make that a reality. 

Next month we launch a revamped Annual Meeting in the form of a day-long conference. As has been the case in past years, we'll hear from keynote speakers like Renee Hobbs, Professor and Founding Director at Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island, and Deanna Marcum, Managing Director at Ithaka S + R, and we'll have the chance to meet newly appointed Director of Library Services at the NYC Department of Education, Richard Hasenyager. But like the NY Tech Meetup event we attended, the real stars of the conference will be our members -- sharing over two dozen short project briefs about the important work they've been doing over the past year. If you haven't submitted a proposal for consideration in the program, there's still time. Head over to this form to submit your proposal by September 21, 2012. 

Thanks for reading. I hope to see many of you in October!

Jason Kucsma
Executive Director
August 13, 2012