SXSW and Libraries

When Neil Young takes a moment to be photographed  holding up the library symbol after using the South by Southwest (SXSW) platform to launch his new high-quality music service, you know libraries are held in high esteem throughout our culture.

Neil Young holding the library symbol at SXSW

How did this happen?  Two factors converged at the conference known for convergence – a growing and organized library presence at SXSW,  and the fortune of being in the right place at the right time  to advocate.

After his presentation on Pono in Austin (within a day his kickstarter fundraising/engagement campaign blew past its modest goals and has now raised millions) Mr. Young briefly signed autographs and shook hands with the crowd rushing the stage.  I asked if he would allow me to take a picture of him holding up the library symbol.  He studied the symbol for less than a second, nodded, and held it up for the shot.

While this picture is a highlight, it is only one of many amazing outcomes.  Watch this space for more on the growing library involvement at the conference through a scrappy volunteer organization that I’ve helped coordinate (along with a handful of other incredible library people) called #sxswLAM – Libraries, Archives, Museums as well as partner organizations such as the American Library Association (ALA), The Public Library Association (PLA),  the #ideadrophouse, EveryLibrary, Urban Libraries Unite (ULU), the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and the Digital Library Federation;  as well as vendors including Innovative Interfaces Inc., Mobile Beacon, Proquest and others.

Full size image:Neil Young holds library symbol at SXSW