I’m sure you’ve all heard that our dear Walt Crawford will be free of his job at OCLC at the end of September 2007 (if you don’t recognize the name, you certainly know his excellent monthly publication Cites and Insights or you almost certainly have his MARC for Library Use somewhere in your professional collection at work — our head of tech services has it right by his desk). I’m not sure why the folks at OCLC made the decision that Walt didn’t fit into their vision for the future, only that I think they were dead wrong in their assessment. But we’re never privy to all the machinations behind the scenes in these big
for-profit organizations. Regardless, Walt is on the market, which is a huge boon for libraries and information organizations who can now benefit from his expertise and decades of experience in the field.
Since we both are involved in such different work, I’ll tell you why I would hire Walt (if I were queen of a library). It’s not all of his tech skills or publications or important positions he’s held; although those are certainly impressive, he is more than the sum of his CV. It’s him. He’s got a sharp eye and a good heart. He critically analyzes technologies and will give you the straight dope on it, free of doe-eyed technolust and stick-in-the-mud contrarianism. Walt is unflinchingly honest, doesn’t get swayed by the latest fads, and is always willing to try out new things. He doesn’t tell you just what you want to hear and he isn’t afraid to say something that is contrary to the popular opinion if he really believes it. We’ve disagreed on things in the past, but I respect him immensely and always learn something from our exchanges. He would be a terrific consultant in my opinion.
So check out Walt’s post about what he’s looking for and think about how you could benefit from a Walt Crawford.