February 17, 2018

John Hubbard | Movers & Shakers 2006

Technological Sherpa

‘I like being a technological Sherpa,’ says John Hubbard, whose biggest joy is participating in the online gift economy – and biggest frustration is getting other librarians to contribute. His ‘Librarians: We’re Not What You Think‘ essay, picked up by Slashdot, expresses some of this frustration. ‘The way some prominent figures mouth off against digital projects and formats doesn’t help,’ he says.

‘He gives a lot and asks for nothing,’ says Blake Carver, of LISNews, where Hubbard is an active participant. Hubbard gives us the Library Link of the Day, one daily link for busy librarians without time to monitor multiple online resources. He gives us LISWiki, growing from his commitment to open publication and fascination with the Wikipedia. ‘Librarians treat it as a punching bag. Sure, it can get messy, but the way it empowers everyone has great appeal.’ He gives us ontology, as a meta-editor for the Open Directory Project, which allies him with, as he puts it, ‘ ‘amateur’ ontologists in action.’

And he gives his own library his commitment to technology and usability. As the campus virtual reference administrator and trainer, he has seen usage double each year. As a member of the library Web Steering Committee, he helped lead a site redesign. His work implementing OpenURL and federated searching extends library resources’ usability and accessibility. Though occasionally ‘hampered by the slow evolution of digital librarian job duties (and provenance!),’ Hubbard continues forging a path for us all.


Current Position Electronic Resources Librarian, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Degrees MLIS, Drexel University, 2000
Wiki LISWiki
Fun Fact
His domain comes from the only named Storm Trooper in Star Wars (www.tk421.net)