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The unpleasant truth

He’s talking about academic publishing, and so much more.

“The unpleasant truth is that the phenomenon I’ve been describing isn’t just how academia works, it’s how everything works. People want themselves and their publications to be judged on their inherent qualities, but the overwhelming amount of judgment people receive is based on external factors. Where you live, where you work, what you do, where or if you went to school, how you dress, how you talk, what kind of car you drive, and where or if you publish: the majority of people judge you by these signs regardless of what they reveal about your “true” self and its quality. Sometimes that’s the only thing they can do.”

Source: Academic Librarian

Staying student-centered on campus

From I Plan To Be in the Library. A Lot:

“Staying student-centered on campus takes more than providing one-shot course-related instruction, quiet study rooms, or flexible seating. It will require us to be engaged with more components of the student experience, educate other campus faculty and administrators as to why we should have a seat at the table to influence and affect student programs and services, and talk with students to find out what challenges currently exist.”

On academic privilege

From Aaron Swartz’s Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto:

“Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.

“I agree,” many say, “but what can we do? The companies hold the copyrights, they make enormous amounts of money by charging for access, and it’s perfectly legal—there’s nothing we can do to stop them.” But there is something we can, something that’s already being done: we can fight back.

Those with access to these resources—students, librarians, scientists—you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not—indeed, morally, you cannot—keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world.”

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