Three Questions with Dorothea Salo


Dorothea Salo is faculty associate at the University of Wisconsin–Madison iSchool.



What must change in our field?

Any number of things, of course, but a change I see a lot of worth in is what I’m seeing called the “post-custodial” archives. In my head, that’s a recognition of a pretty important truth: we haven’t collected everything worthwhile, not least because we need to own up to a pretty messed-up sense of what’s “worthwhile.” What’s more, we can’t collect everything worthwhile; there aren’t enough of us. What we can do is make it easier for everyone to preserve and protect what’s important, and I can’t imagine a better mission.

What should endure?

You know, I’ve had loud and public differences with library and archives professional organizations over the years, but even so, I have immense respect and liking for the ALA Code of Ethics. What an amazing document that is. I hope we can live up to it as we ought.

What are you or your colleagues geeking out on lately?

Besides sync generators and the XFR Collective? Well, okay.

I’ve been geeking out half the year on a report from Freedman Consulting called A Pivotal Moment: Developing a New Generation of Technologists for the Public Interest.
Read this and tell me it’s not describing librarians and archivists. It totally is! The people this report claims they need and can’t find, they’re the people I know and work with and teach every day!

No surprise, I agree public-interest technologists are direly needed, and I’m proud of what I do to point people in that direction. Our department chair printed out the report and posted it to the department bulletin board; it’s definitely a direction we’re interested in at the iSchool.

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