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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Reframing library space

“Further, the library must be willing to allow dedicated time for what happens after exploration. The “serve ‘em and send ‘em along” model is no longer serving a patronage whose information needs include planning, building and executing projects that utilize the strengths of librarianship (information organization and broad contextualization). Reframing the library as a productive place, a creative place engaged in producing and creating something – whether that be digital scholarly works or something else entirely – will open the door to allow the library into the life of the user.”

Source: Micah Vandegrift and Stewart Varner, “Evolving in Common: Creating Mutually Supportive Relationships Between Libraries and the Digital Humanities.”

Evolving toward a studio model

VA Tech is one of my models for what academic libraries should be in the 21st century. Even though I risk my UVA-degreed soul when I say that.

“At Virginia Tech we’re positioning ourselves to not only provide content, but to support content production. We think of this as not only about access to information, but also about enabling the creation of new knowledge. We’re evolving from a warehouse model toward a studio model.”

Source: Brian Matthews, ITERATE OR DIE: Reflecting on Blockbuster & Atari

One student’s pledge to publish open access

This is brave. I fully support this:

Source: What I Must Do

I have come to the conclusion that my knowledge should and will be accessible. Therefore, I will only publish openly.

  • I will only publish in open access journals.
  • I will only review for open access publications.
  • I will only sign book and chapter contracts that share copies of the text online (whether licensed through Creative Commons or made available in some other, free form).
  • I will only attend conferences that make any related publications accessible for free.
  • I will also only contribute to open-access publications that do not charge authors for publishing. […]

Change begins when we as a community move forward together. However, absolute change can only come about with absolute decisions.

It’s the new normal

“Every minute a new impossible thing is uploaded to the internet and that improbable event becomes just one of hundreds of extraordinary events that we’ll see or hear about today. The internet is like a lens which focuses the extraordinary into a beam, and that beam has become our illumination. It compresses the unlikely into a small viewable band of everyday-ness. As long as we are online – which is almost all day many days – we are illuminated by this compressed extraordinariness. It is the new normal.”

Source: The Technium

When in doubt, go to the library

‎”Harry — I think I’ve just understood something! I’ve got to go to the library!”

And she sprinted away, up the stairs.

“What does she understand?” said Harry distractedly, still looking around, trying to tell where the voice had come from.

“Loads more than I do,” said Ron, shaking his head.

“But why’s she got to go to the library?”

“Because that’s what Hermione does,” said Ron, shrugging. “When in doubt, go to the library.”

— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Thinking more broadly about scholarship

Dan Cohen on Wired, “To Make Open Access Work, We Need to Do More Than Liberate Journal Articles“:

“We need a sensible shift towards an acceptable form of post-publication, rather than traditional pre-publication peer review. This is especially true given the growing numbers of digital genres and options for scholarly publishing directly to the web — multimedia scholarly sites, sophisticated digital collections, vast online paper repositories, long-form academic blogs, and the like.”

Faculty status and librarians

From the AAUP, Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians (Jan. 11, 2013):

“As the primary means through which students and faculty gain access to the storehouse of organized knowledge, the college and university library performs a unique and indispensable function in the educational process. This function will grow in importance as students assume greater responsibility for their own intellectual and social development. Indeed, all members of the academic community are likely to become increasingly dependent on skilled professional guidance in the acquisition and use of library resources as the forms and numbers of these resources multiply, scholarly materials appear in more languages, bibliographical systems become more complicated, and library technology grows increasingly sophisticated. The librarian who provides such guidance plays a major role in the learning process…”

Source: ACRL

Watch your language, Skynet

Apparently, the machines that will take us over one day have filthy mouths.

“Watson couldn’t distinguish between polite language and profanity – which the Urban Dictionary is full of. Watson picked up some bad habits from reading Wikipedia as well. In tests it even used the word “bullshit” in an answer to a researcher’s query.”

Source: The Atlantic