This month, meet Margaret Sablatnig who has diligently and skillfully set up and managed the database systems for Khyentse Foundation, Siddhartha’s Intent, and now 84000. It’s not a glamorous job but it is an essential one. Without her as our database director, we would not be here!
In Her Own Words:
I immigrated with my husband Frank and our daughter Eva from Austria to Vancouver Island, BC in 1997. We attended teachings with Rinpoche the very next year, and we’ve been involved with the Khyentse mandala ever since. My job is to manage the database and teach everybody who wants to get involved.
In 2000, when Cangioli asked me to take care of the mailing lists for Khyentse Foundation and Siddhartha’s Intent, I didn’t hesitate, even though I knew nothing about databases. My English wasn’t very good. No problem – I didn’t have to speak to the computer. At that time we had about 500 names on the list. Now we have about 20,000, in the KF, SI, and 84000 databases. (84000 is the new name of the Buddhist Literary Heritage Project.) For 10 years I had all of our information on a Microsoft Access database on my computer. Since we’re growing so fast, in 2009 we switched to an online service. The transition had some difficult moments, but now it’s running smoothly.
Maybe you think that databases are boring. No, it’s exciting to see technology at its best, giving us the ability to communicate instantly with Rinpoche’s friends and supporters all over the world. We send out the KF Communiqué in English, French, Portuguese, and Chinese. In addition to the KF, SI, and 84000 mailing lists, we maintain donation pages in English and Chinese, respond to requests for publications, and much more. We’re very happy that we can now accommodate Chinese characters, so people can sign up in Chinese. Our database and the services we offer are growing all the time.
KF country reps as well as people working on KF, SI, and 84000 projects around the world have access to the database. Having everything in one place, with easy online access, makes our jobs much simpler.
It’s a blessing to serve my teacher, and a thrill to have close contacts with sangha members all over the world.