Friday, August 31, 2007

Enter the Bibliomancer: A new career for the CodePoet

ZenMondo Wormser of the Library Militant
Photograph by Lady Lavendar Beumont


I try to make it known that I am willing to serve my nation in whatever means possible. Usually this involves me employing my trade as a CodePoet, providing codepoetry for various things around Caledon. If it benefits Caledon, my services have been gratis. It was in this spirit, that JJ Drinkwater approached me with work for the library.

He seemed to be pleased with my work, and offered me a continuing relationship with the Caledon Library by inducting me into the Library Militant. In so doing I have taken my vows of Literacy, Obstinance and Bibliomancy, and received the livery (see photo, above). I will receive my Orders at a later time. My responsibilities will primarily being supporting my current work, taking on more work as needed or consulting on any scripting work that needs to be done. I am happy to do it and my heart soars to serve my community this way.

At the urgings of Mr. Drinkwater, my work for the Caledon Library will all be released open source under a Creative Commons license. I needed a little urging in this direction, as my work is valuable for the most part, and this will prevent me from reselling it to other libraries and interested parties. But Mr. Drinkwater convinced me that it was for the greater good to put GOOD code out there for others to learn from and use. Once the scripts are deployed in the library, I will be posting them to various wikis and the scripting library forum. For doing this, JJ as styled me as an Information Hero, but really I am just doing what I feel is the right thing.

16 comments:

JJ Drinkwater said...

My Dear Sir Zen

The more I think about what you have done for us, the larger it appears to me.

This world of ours is just in it's incunabular stage. The purpose of an institution, such as a library or a school, here, to my mind, is twofold. Imprimus, there is the institution's stated mission: put give access to information, to teach, to solidify the cultural matrix, or what you will. Secundus, there is the duty to help grow the world. The reason I have longed to give away not just materials (our books, our reference collections, our exhibits) but tools, is to help make more of this, our Second Life. Every time we give away an object, or a script, that some tinkerer can play about with, can modify, and make into a better tool for their own research or study, or into a different tool altogether, we help seed knowledge and understanding into our world. This matters crucially now, that we not clutch at the content that promotes the general good. I firmly believe us to be at a point in our world's history where intellectual generosity counts many times more than it will later, when this (or some world like it) is fully realized. I do not enjoin such generosity on the world at large, although I could wish it. But to exemplify it is a library's highest duty.

To allow us to give our patrons not just materials, then, not just research tools they may modify to suit their own needs, but the ability to build their own such tools, is to make us a vastly better, stronger, more honest library.

I say "honest", Sir, because it allows us to fully live up to our ideal of a place that gives unstinting access to whatever is needed for the aquisition of knowledge. It allows us to be, not gatekeepers for information, but generous friends and guides to all who seek to know or to learn.

Merely giving us the scripts you have created, to run our Book Givers and Aetheric Collections and Research Gizmos, would have made you our benefactor. It is because you gave them to us to distribute, and annotated them with explanations that will allow others to understand how they work, that I hail you with my highest accolade, that of Information Hero.

If you feel we have honoured you, Sir Zen, I fear you reverse the relation. It is you, Sir, who honour us, by joining our ranks.

JJ Drinkwater, KCLM

Gabrielle Riel said...

Dear Sir ZenMondo,
Thank you. I selected you as a Knight of the Order of the Nightingale because you are so generous with your time and talent in Caledon. The Caledon Library is, I daresay, the backbone of our community.

Mr. Drinkwater and his team (I apologize for not listing you all here) have created an institution that contributes immeasurably to Caledon. The fact that you are joining in these efforts pleases me greatly.

I am so proud of you my dear Sir Zen. I appreciate everything that you do for the State that I love so much.

In friendship,
The Nightingale

Her Grace, Ms. Gabrielle Riel
The Duchess of Carntaigh

Scandaroon said...

Sir ZenMondo, you have our gratitude and our admiration both. This is the kind of public-sprited, generous support that makes good libraries into great ones.

Amber_Palowakski said...

Well done, Sir Zen! Congratulations on joining the ranks of one of Caledon's finest social institutions!

Eladrienne Laval said...

Congratulations to you Sir Zen! I'm sure your talents will be well utilized.

P. F. Anderson said...

Dear Sir ZenMondo,

I honor your decision to adopt a Creative Commons license for the work you are doing for Caledon.

In the history of copyright, the original function was to create a reciprocal relationship between the creative person and those who value their creations. The evolution of the current market economy and the inclusion of third parties such as publishers has weakened that relationship, and generally undermined the creative spirit.

Decisions such as yours follow in the proud tradition of public libraries and public education to empower those who wish to learn. At the same time it honors the original values of copyright law. In our libraries, we have often seen that making titles available freely in aetheric editions has often served to make the same title more desirable in print. I pray that this generosity will serve to make your skills more widely known and desired. I hope that you hear from many who appreciate your generosity and skill.

Sincerely,

Miss Perplexity Peccable

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