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Don’t rain on my parade

A sudden desire to delete all my social media accounts manifests itself in me about every two or three days. To be honest, it’s always there. Gnawing away at me. Part of my particular problem is that I’ve so thoroughly mixed my professional and personal persona that in order to disengage from “work” I have to […]

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The danger of academic elitism in libraries

One of the benefits of working for a Jesuit institution is having the opportunity, encouragement, and strategically-justified resources to engage in social justice work, both within the library, within the university, and in my community. However, having also worked within an institution where neoliberal ideals ran rampant, I understand Nisha Mody’s fear: “But now that […]

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What the Harvard letter to the faculty missed

The Faculty Advisory Council for the Libraries at Harvard recently sent out the following call to arms: To: Faculty Members in all Schools, Faculties, and Units RE: Periodical Subscriptions We write to communicate an untenable situation facing the Harvard Library. Many large journal publishers have made the scholarly communication environment fiscally unsustainable and academically restrictive. […]

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The faculty/staff divide: help or hindrance?

Many academic libraries in the United States have two groups of employees: faculty and staff. The dynamics of their relationship may vary from one institution to the next, depending on factors such as: (1) whether faculty have the option of tenure; (2) the disparity of wages; (3) whether faculty can become staff or vice versa […]

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Academic news roundup: assessment, active learning, and online ed

Derek Rodriguez, writing for In the Library with the Lead Pipe, reported on a 2011 study that utilized the Understanding Library Impacts (ULI) protocol, a method of studying and reporting the library’s impact on student learning. Libraries need efficient methods for connecting student use of the library with the learning outcomes that matter most to faculty […]

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All in favor?

“Perhaps in the futility of undergraduate careerism lie the seeds of a new vocational outlook in higher education. It is worth remembering that monasteries were the first institutions in the West that allowed people to explore options beyond the circumstances into which they were born. […] Why not bring together a core group of serious-minded […]

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My favorite blog of 2010

A recent discussion thread on Friendfeed toyed with topics dear to the heart of information literacy enthusiasts. I gave up regularly contributing to FF months ago (so many social networks, so little time), but this particular conversation caught my eye and made me reconsider jumping back into that community. In short, one commenter was lampooning […]

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Personal information management in academia

I’ve been thinking about Personal Information Management (PIM) for the last few weeks as I’ve been wrapping up my semester course work. For my class on Human Information Interactions, I developed a short annotated bibliography for research on how faculty and researchers organize information. I initially had some trouble locating articles that dealt specifically with […]

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Bubble trouble in academia

Always providing high-quality food for thought, Steven Bell writes for  the Library Journal about the “higher education bubble”. The rising cost of tuition, the availability of open education resources, and the economic crisis are widening the divide between the actual cost of education and its perceived value. Though studies continue to show the value of […]

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Browsing the stacks is myth

“Although today’s academic library users may feel that browsing is an ancient scholarly right, the practice is in fact no older than the baby-boomer faculty who so often lead the charge to keep books on campus.” Source: American Libraries