Programmers, analysts, and vendors want to be paid!

I appreciate the fact that Blake approved this story for posting. (I submitted a comment on to LITA-L, and it seems to have dropped into the bit bucket...)

As for the headline Blake gave it...well, sure, free information is wonderful, and I take pride in being a contributor to the gift economy. And I hope RLG (my employer) does find additional grant funding to keep ArchiveGrid free beyond the end of May. (We get pretty much zero operational grant funding, which goes along with our zero government subsidy.)

If that doesn't happen...well, note the subject line on this post. I support what RLG does, but I'm not ready to donate my 30 hours a week (cut back from 40 because of funding issues)--and I don't think Sun or our disk farm vendors or our landlord are ready to donate their goods and services either. I believe adds significant value to the raw data, in addition to the value added by harvesting finding aids and, over the past 25+ years, making it possible for libraries and archives to catalog the sometimes very large and complex records (up to 30K in length, although now there's no upper limit) that characterize archival materials.

But we certainly all hope that ways to keep it free (while keeping RLG viable) will be found, and I know people are doing what they can to make that happen. Funny thing: Those people expect to be paid, also.


I rarely, if ever, change titles of submissions, this one was no different. It made me chuckle, but I didn't write it.

I apologized to Blake offline. It was one of my colleagues at RLG who provided the title. She hadn't seen the early "how dare you consider eventually charging?" blog entries, so thought it was a nice play on words. So it goes.

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