There’s a mind-boggling amount of publicly funded information out there — much of it useful, and most of it collected, organized, and made available by our government and its corps of dedicated information professionals. Yet most people don’t even stop to think about it, let alone take advantage.
An opportunity to work with the late Miriam “Mimi” Drake and her co-editor Don Hawkins on Public Knowledge: Access and Benefits brought the topic home. This is a timely and useful new book that, among other things, reminds us that all this information is ours. I could say more about the book but I’d rather use this space to talk about Mimi. She was a special person who disarmed me, memorably, with kindness, curiosity, and laughter the first time we met.
Within days of receiving the worst news a person can get, Mimi called to calmly explain the situation and express her determination that the book would be published with or without her. Her commitment and vision was an inspiration to me and Don Hawkins, to whom we (smartly) turned in our hour of need. Public Knowledge reflects Mimi’s lifelong passion for connecting people with information and I feel honored to have helped get it done.
It’s a shame Mimi did not live to see the book published, but I’m grateful we have it to remember her by. She was the best.