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I had a great time today hanging out with the next generation of public, academic and corporate archivists at the Georgia Archives Institute.  I was delighted to be speaking about archival technologies, including archival management software, digital collections management software, and presentation and access software.  The students were welcoming, inquisitive, and engaged, all of which is wonderful to see!  We talked about the exciting opportunities and challenges presented to us in the future of archives and libraries, and it was great to hear their questions and perspectives.

Below you can find my presentation slides from the session.

Thanks again, folks!

Life can be tough some times.Cliff & Momma Landis

A month ago yesterday, my mother died.  She and I were very close.  I always considered her one of my best friends, which was a blessing to me as I grew up.

Mom was staying with us at my house while she recovered from a back injury.  She had a stroke on Saturday, June 16 and died on Sunday, June 17th, 2012.  I have since given the eulogy at her funeral, helped organize her organ donation with my sister, sent a lot of thank-you cards, begun cleaning out her house, made up a spreadsheet of her financial accounts, paid some of her bills, and started closing down all her online accounts.

I have good days where I find old photos and notes, and remember good times from growing up.  I have bad days where I find things that made her cry, or see where sadness and exhaustion took her willpower away from her.  Some days I just feel numb.  I keep getting the impulse to call her and tell her about little things, or to let her know that I made it back up to Atlanta safely.

So yeah, life has been tough.  Work has been tough.  I spend most of my “off” hours sorting through the remains of her life, trying to organize and clean it up to make some sense of everything and to create a lasting memorial of her for the family to share.  I don’t sleep so well any more.  I try to eat well and exercise, but that’s tough too.  I don’t like to whine or gripe, in general — most of you know that I have a tendency to be “solutions focused” — but this is something that has no solution.  I’m going to miss her forever.

But there’s a lot of good memories to comfort me, and a lot of great folks that have been very supportive through everything.  I haven’t been my normal upbeat, hyperactive, do-ALL-the-things self lately, but everyone’s been pretty understanding of that.  I anticipate it’ll be several more months before things start to return to normal for me.

So yeah.  That’s it.  Life can be tough some times.

The last two weeks have been spent going back and forth between Valdosta, Athens and Atlanta, visiting family, friends, and loved ones.  There were a few surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant, and without going into too much detail, here’s what I learned:

  1. Intimacy is much better than fame.
  2. Cultivate your friends carefully — quality is always better than quantity.
  3. There comes a point where we become caretakers to our parents, and our parents become like our children.  It’s terrifying, and yet it allows us to lovingly serve those who helped us become who we are, in a way that truly brings balance to the circle of life.  I hope I have a long, long time to serve my many Mothers (both biological and spiritual) in this way.
  4. We all want the dignity of making our own decisions, without feeling pressured or harassed.
  5. Doctors know a lot about one thing.  But they don’t know everything.
  6. When we’re hurt, scared, and in pain, it’s always best to have an advocate at our side to help.
  7. I am love, and you are too.

Here’s hoping this finds you right where you need to be.  All my love to you and yours!



I just got back last night from the OLC Convention and Expo, where I got to present about changes in technology and education, and their impact on libraries.

This was a great trip, not only because of the awesome crowd at my session, but also because I got to see several friends (including Evan Struble, who helped organize the event, and David Lee King who was delivering the keynote speech).  Big thanks are due to Jamie Mason of Rocky River Public Library for helping make it possible for me to be there.

As a side bonus, I got to hang out with my friend Darrin who I’ve known for ten years, and finally got to meet in person — that’s the power of the internet, people!


The eBook User’s Bill of Rights is a statement of the basic freedoms that should be granted to all eBook users.

The eBook User’s Bill of Rights

Every eBook user should have the following rights:

  • the right to use eBooks under guidelines that favor access over proprietary limitations
  • the right to access eBooks on any technological platform, including the hardware and software the user chooses
  • the right to annotate, quote passages, print, and share eBook content within the spirit of fair use and copyright
  • the right of the first-sale doctrine extended to digital content, allowing the eBook owner the right to retain, archive, share, and re-sell purchased eBooks

I believe in the free market of information and ideas.

I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can flourish when their works are readily available on the widest range of media. I believe that authors, writers, and publishers can thrive when readers are given the maximum amount of freedom to access, annotate, and share with other readers, helping this content find new audiences and markets. I believe that eBook purchasers should enjoy the rights of the first-sale doctrine because eBooks are part of the greater cultural cornerstone of literacy, education, and information access.

Digital Rights Management (DRM), like a tariff, acts as a mechanism to inhibit this free exchange of ideas, literature, and information. Likewise, the current licensing arrangements mean that readers never possess ultimate control over their own personal reading material. These are not acceptable conditions for eBooks.

I am a reader. As a customer, I am entitled to be treated with respect and not as a potential criminal. As a consumer, I am entitled to make my own decisions about the eBooks that I buy or borrow.

I am concerned about the future of access to literature and information in eBooks. I ask readers, authors, publishers, retailers, librarians, software developers, and device manufacturers to support these eBook users’ rights.

These rights are yours. Now it is your turn to take a stand. To help spread the word, copy this entire post, add your own comments, remix it, and distribute it to others. Blog it, Tweet it (#ebookrights), Facebook it, email it, and post it on a telephone pole.

To the extent possible under law, the person who associated CC0 with this work has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work.