Nicolas Morin — résumé

I initially trained in History and Library & Information Sciences.

I spent most of my career managing IT projects and services at University Libraries, but I’ve also worked as a consultant in the sector.

I co-founded a company, BibLibre, which provided IT services to libraries using Open Source software.

In 2013 I also worked on several projects for enhanced books for tablets.

The backbone of my work life has been that I can go back and forth between “tech people” and other stakeholders, understand their requirements and translate the ideas of those groups to each other.

I’ve always tried to write about what I do, speak at conferences, and teach.

In the past 15 years, I’ve also managed to keep at least one, usually two side-projects running at any one time: they are a great way to learn new tools, acquire new skills, meet people with different backgrounds or abilities, and generally go outside of my comfort zone.

Some things come naturally to me:

  • adapting to new situations and learning new skills
  • quickly grasping the big picture
  • listening and understanding someone else’s ideas or issues

Some things require me to make a conscious effort:

  • tying up all the loose ends
  • staying strongly motivated when project XY reaches week #52

In Isaiah Berlin’s classification, I’m obviously a fox, not a hedgehog.

 
I did a Master’s as an Exchange Student at the University of Bristol (U.K.). I wrote a paper about the U.K. applications to the then European Economic Community in the 1960s, specifically how The Guardian and The Times of London treated the subject over the decade.
 
I enrolled at the French National School for Librarianship, graduating in 2001 with a paper about the state of web site management in libraries at the time.
 
I started at the Sorbonne Library in Paris in 1999, and currently manage IT services for the 8 University Libraries at the French University of the West Indies, as well as the South-American territory of French Guiana.
These and previous similar positions mean that I know what it’s like to manage a legacy system. I know about standards and formats. I know about integrating disparate systems. I also know about online scholarly publishing.
 
The most significant consulting gig I did was in 2012-2013 at the EPFL University in Switzerland: it was a seven-months, in-house, full-time work to assess their library IT, reorganize the service and propose a two-years program going forward.
 
Co-founded with 2 developers in late 2007, BibLibre was the first and the main European company built around the Open Source Library Management System KOHA.
We developed the software and sold services around it, from the installation to new developments to training, data transfer from older systems, maintenance, etc. BibLibre had 12 employees when I left in mid-2010.
Running this bootstrapped, fast-growing company was a great experience, as was the involvement in the Koha Open Source community.
 
As a small team of 3, we produced enhanced books for iPad and Android tablets. We created all the contents for 4 “proof-of-concept” books and provided services to content-holders to help them publish enhanced books for tablets.
You can get an idea of what we did by looking at a few screenshots.
I learned a lot doing this: marketing, design, content creation (sound, video, copy) and Android development in particular.
 
In early 2003 I started the first French-speaking library-related blog, where I wrote at least three times a week until 2007. I now write a weekly newsletter (in French) about tech.
 
I’ve spoken at conferences in France many times, but also in the UK, in Norway, and elsewhere in Europe, and I’m comfortable presenting in English as well as in French.
 
I did a lot of software-related training when implementing the Koha Library System, but in the Academic Year 2007-2008 I also taught a whole curriculum about IT for librarians at the French National LIS School.
 
Side projects are fun and a great way to get better at one’s craft.
Currently, I’m learning the Go programming language and drawing svg icons for books.
I published a collection of short stories in 2012, but also wrote 7 short fictions that live within Google Maps.
I keep a public list of ideas for side-projects.

 
My current set of tools:
  • Web development & mobile technologies: Some Javascript/JQuery, SQL, Java, Golang and some Python, trace amounts of Perl. I use Sublime Text, Android Studio and GitHub.
  • Design and wireframing: I use Sketchapp and Invision
  • Project management tools: Trello & GitHub are what I use these days
 

Trying @nicomo on twitter or emailing me at nicolas.morin@gmail.com are the most efficient ways to contact me.