Digital Culture

The day rolls ’round again…

Well, it’s that day again. I’m avoiding the TV today, just because I don’t really wanna see the footage repeated endlessly, with talking heads telling me that we should “remember.”

I hadn’t even planned to blog, but I started reading Fark, and they had linked to their original discussion thread on the day it happened, and re-reading that made me want to at least say something.

On 9.11.2001 I was at Kinko’s on Glenwood Ave in Raleigh, NC. I had opened that day, and so was there at like 6 or 6:30am. Early morning was slow, so I had various news sites open on the computer in the production area, reading while copiers hummed. Slowly everyone else filtered in for the workday, and we saw a few customers.

Then a customer came in, and said that she heard on the radio as she was pulling in that a plane had hit the WTC. We checked CNN, and sure enough, there were photos of the first tower smoking. There was a small TV in the back room…we all turned it on and crowded around it to find out what happened. I called Betsy at home, and told her to turn on the TV…she did, just about the time that we both watched the second plane hit.

After that, the day got seriously wierd. We were only minutes from Raleigh-Durham International, and on a major road, but the day got very quiet. No traffic, no planes, nothing. Just a lot of us staring at the TV, customers gathered around the counter to watch with us.

The oddest thing for me personally about that day is that I was supposed to fly to Atlanta…had a ticket and everything. My luggage was in the car. I was supposed to take off at 11 something in the morning for management training. Needless to say, I didn’t make it to the airport. I remember Betsy being very worried that I might go, before everything was locked down.

Now, on 9.11.2004, we’re in Sewanee, TN, and I’m appalled at the complete inappropriateness of things like this. Can’t say that I think our country has gotten any better since then. matter of fact, we’ve spiraled into something that I don’t even recognize as the US that I remember. Personal liberties and privacy have been given up for the illusion of security. We’re embroiled in a war in a country that had nothing to do with 9.11. I’m just hoping beyond hope that the upcoming election will result in something, anything that is better than the atrocity of a head of state we have now.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

2 replies on “The day rolls ’round again…”

I was watching LA Law when it happened, and they did NOT break from the show to say the news.

My father called me and asked me what I thought about what was happening. At the time, it was a thrilling courtroom debate going on, so I said that I thought it was quite interesting, and that I didn’t know how it would turn out.

Little did I know that what I said referenced two different things.

I haven’t watched LA Law since.

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