November 19, 2017

Paul Hagon | Movers & Shakers 2010 – Tech Leaders

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Paul Hagon, Mover & Shaker

Mashup Master

During his three and a half years as a web developer at the National Library of Australia (NLA), Paul Hagon has focused on redesigning user interfaces for accessing the library’s holdings. Most notably, he is concerned with important national collections such as Music Australia and Picture Australia, two of the eight free “national online discovery services” the NLA has since consolidated into a single service called the Trove—the prototype of which Hagon had a hand in, too. Now he’s investigating innovative ways to present publicly available content by creating mashups from material found at Creative Commons, an online repository of work that is freely available to the public for legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing.

“Paul uses his skills as a web developer to mash together digitized images from libraries, museums, and archives around the world, helping to expose some real treasures from library collections in beautiful, useful, and interesting ways,” says Warren Cheetham, the coordinator of information and digital services for CityLibraries Townsville, on Australia’s northeast coast. (For just one example, see New York then and now [www.paulhagon.com/thenandnow/nypl]).

“I come from a design background, not a library background,” Hagon says. “I think this gives me a different outlook on things. I like the problem-solving element of making information available in relevant and interesting ways.”

He shares his work online and at library and IT conferences in Australia. By doing so, “Paul helps to open our eyes as to what can be done with the rich collections in our libraries, as well as how to make library collections accessible and attractive to a wider audience,” says Cheetham.

“I’m lucky to work in an environment that allows a bit of my time to be spent learning and experimenting with new technologies and ideas,” many of which originate outside the “library sphere,” Hagon says. “Libraries need to embrace other professions—ideas can come from anywhere.”

Vitals

Paul Hagon, National Library of Australia

CURRENT POSITION Web Developer

DEGREE Bachelor’s in Industrial Design, University of Canberra, Australia, 1992

WEB SITE Paulhagon.com

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