Interview: Margaret Vail Anderson of the Digital Librarian

These questions were kind of easy to write, because there seems to be literally no information available on WHY Digital Librarian exists... no 'About' page, no previous interviews, no Web profiles. Tracking down the subject might be difficult, although I believe I found her Facebook page and, I mean, at least we know where she works (kind of). Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Dear Ms. Anderson,

My name is Eric Garneau, and I'm a reporter at Learn.org, the world's largest education and career help desk.

We have a daily blog, the Education Innovation Guide, which promotes unique and interesting technological developments in the worlds of education and literacy. We're impressed with the massive cataloging effort behind your Digital Librarian site and would love to ask you a few questions about its genesis and use so we can better share this tool with our readers.

I've attached a short set of questions that can easily be answered by email in your free time. If you would prefer to conduct the interview by phone, please let me know and we can schedule a conference call.

It would be great if you could return the questions along with a photo of yourself by August 26, 2011. However, this is a flexible deadline - if you can't make it, please just let me know.

A little more about us: Learn.org is a free information source and career helpdesk. We reach over 30,000 daily visitors and have answered over 22,000 questions related to career and education. We're also advancing education innovation by funding technology projects, including over $25,000 in donations in 2010. These are some of our recent interviews:

• University of Washington psychology grad student Teri Kirby, on improving the free information source Wikipedia

Dr. Veronique Izard, on whether mathematics concepts are learned or innate

• Monterey Institute of International Studies graduate student Nelle Sacknoff, who travels the world to see how technological innovation is employed in various countries

We think our readers would really love to hear about your archive.

Thank you for your time,

Eric Garneau

Learn.org


1. Can you tell us a bit about your personal and professional background?

2. What's the idea behind Digital Librarian? Who is this massive resource for, and how does it help them?

3. What gave you the impetus to start this impressive cataloging project?

4. How did you decide to organize the site the way you did (the specific categories, amount of links under each, etc.), and what makes you showcase a specific source? In other words, what qualifies as the 'best of the web?'

5. Do you have any kind of information on your site's users? Have you found that certain types of information are more popular than others, and if so what kinds?

6. How much of a time commitment does this require of you? How often do you update your archives?

7. What are some of your favorite resources from among those you've cataloged so far?

8. Is there any further information you'd like our readers to know about your Digital Librarian project, or anything else?

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