A Career Change Amidst the DLF Forum, Why Not?

Brendan Quinn
Brendan Quinn

This Forum Update was provided by Brendan Quinn, Developer (former Digital Initiatives Librarian), Northwestern University Library.

The DLF Forum took place just a few weeks ago, but it feels like ages since I had the privilege of attending thanks to receiving a DLF Fellowship for New Professionals. This is mostly because I have transitioned from Digital Initiatives Librarian to Developer at Northwestern University Library since the Forum. I interviewed for the job two days before leaving for the Forum, so as I flew to Atlanta, I was a little concerned about being distracted by the excitement and twinge of terror anticipating an imminent career change.

Instead, my experience at the Forum was ideal preparation for the new role I have taken on at NUL. I was truly impressed by the breadth and scope of the presentations, panels and workshops offered during the week. Throughout the Forum, I welcomed the chance to get together with colleagues and make new acquaintances. I was especially glad to meet with the other Fellows, who were so outgoing and open to sharing their experiences with Institutional Repositories, Digital Humanities, Digital Archives and other areas of digital librarianship.

I am currently contributing to one of the two Hydra projects currently under development at NUL, Repository Images, so naturally was interested in attending sessions about other Hydra projects such as Spotlight, Avalon Media System and Fedora 4. I am consistently impressed by the Hydra community and the way the its members invite participation with “Dive into Hydra” installfests and workshops.

I hope to bring my experiences as a librarian to my developer position, and being able to attend the Forum made for an inspirational start. To me, a sign of a good conference (or forum) is when I have difficulty choosing between sessions, and the Forum certainly fit that criterion. I hope to be able to attend next year’s Forum in Vancouver and the years to follow as well.