As digital repository librarian at the UW-Madison Library, all Dorothea Salo's computer knowledge is self-taught, leading to a "rough and ready" approach to making things work. Steve Lawson, humanities librarian, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, says that Salo's "exhortation to just 'beat things with rocks until they work' has been a source of much inspiration for me."
That same relentlessness extends to Salo's pet cause, open access. "Dorothea is the Cassandra of open access," says Laura Crossett, branch manager, Park County Library System, Meeteetse, WY, "the one speaking powerful, critical truths that most people would rather not hear."
Take for example Salo's seminal and widely cited fall 2008 article for Library Trends, "Innkeeper at the Roach Motel" (roachmotel.notlong.com). "I became the 'Innkeeper at the Roach Motel,'" explains Salo, "when I used the phrase roach motel to explain to a faculty member that the repository didn't have document versioning; documents went in, but they didn't come out to be reworked." The article builds on topics Salo often visits at her blog, Caveat Lector ("let the reader beware"), where she's similarly become known for pulling no punches.
"Open access starts at home," says Salo, who sees the profession as "disastrously timid about supporting experimentation and the business models we think preferable, speaking truth to power, even just modeling the behaviors we want faculty to adopt." Issuing a call to arms, she warns, "We can't just wring our hands about the serials crisis any longer. If we want results, we need to put our market power and our praxis where our mouth is."