We hear a lot about Radical Trust, with the emphasis being on trusting users (of systems, websites, etc.) to guide organizations. I have tried to sound a skeptical note at times, pointing out that something called “groupthink” is the danger when you decide to trust the wisdom of crowds. I’ve always most admired people whose … Read more Interface agents and human control
Category: July 2008
In the current issue of the New York Review of Books there is a review article by Hugh Eakin about the loss of Iraqi antiquities and records in the current war, titled, “The Devastation of Iraq’s Past.” From an historic standpoint, the great loss of Iraq’s cultural record and the inventions of Google will probably … Read more Review article of six books on the loss of Iraqi antiquities
This is a very long post and one that I think some people will wish I had simply sent to the PLG listserv instead of putting it here before the world. I have chosen to post it here because 1) I think that it is a more effective way of getting the issues that I … Read more On the past, present, and future of PLG
From Erik Estep, sent out by email today: Hello Everyone, I’m very pleased to announce the Library Juice Book Club. Here are the details: (1) The first book is Questioning Library Neutrality, edited by Alison Lewis. The anthology covers a lot of ground an will give us much to discuss. If you are at interested … Read more Library Juice Book Club
ALA-APA’s Living Wage Resolution in the context of a global economy, global famine, and U.S. economic decline
I am going to be try to be brief here and state my views on the issue of librarians’ salaries as simply as I can, with reference to things happening right now in ALA-APA and in the world as a whole. At the recent ALA conference in Anaheim, ALA’s sister organization, the American Library Association … Read more ALA-APA’s Living Wage Resolution in the context of a global economy, global famine, and U.S. economic decline
ALA has an important policy, Policy 61, on library services to poor people. This policy was brought about in the mid-90s through the dedicated work of SRRT’s Homelessness, Hunger, and Poverty Task Force (HHPTF), with the leadership of Sandy Berman. The HHPTF is still going strong as one of SRRT’s more active Task Forces, and … Read more Survey report on library services to the poor
My generation is called Generation X, but I’d like to start thinking of us as the Silent Generation 2.0, because the world we found is similar in some ways to what the Silent Generation found, and because we are pretty quiet. We don’t make a lot of noise about what our generation represents and what … Read more Please note: We are not the new generation
Noting an article of interest: “Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship” Science 18 July 2008: Vol. 321. no. 5887, pp. 395 – 399 DOI: 10.1126/science.1150473 James Evans finds that scholars’ access to online journals tends to reduce the breadth of the citations to other articles in their work; that is, articles outside … Read more Electronic journal access found to reduce breadth of citations
Want to know if something is in the public domain or under copyright? Use the ALA OIT’s new digital copyright slider to find out. They’ve had an actual slide-rule like physical one in publication for a few years, and many people have asked for a digital version. I’m pleased to see it.
A favorite debate of pessimistic sophomores, or perhaps sophomoric pessimists, is as to whether our society and its future is more like George Orwell’s 1984 or Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. It’s such a common juxtaposition and so simple to talk about it that I bring it up at the risk of terribly oversimplifying things. … Read more Intellectual Freedom advocacy in a Huxleyan world
If you’d like to purchase Questioning Library Neutrality for your library but need to supply a review from a mainstream source in order to justify it, the answer is here. In the July issue of Library Journal there is a nice review of the book that should do the trick.
ALA Council Report to SRRT, Anaheim, June 2008 ALA met at Disneyland, whoops, I mean Anaheim, June 27th to July 2nd. The ALA and APA Councils passed several resolutions that are particularly important to SRRT concerns. As Council goes, it was a remarkably tranquil meeting and Council III finished its business in record time, adjourning … Read more SRRT Councilor’s Report on ALA Council
In my view, one of the most important documents and position statements that ALA has produced in the last few years was its June 2007 report, “Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions.” This was produced by a subcommittee of the Intellectual Freedom Committee, now dissolved, called the Subcommittee on the Impact of Media … Read more ALA IFC’s Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries, and ALA’s grey literature in general
Critical Pedagogy and Library Instruction: An Edited Collection Critical pedagogy seeks to identify, critique, and disrupt the inequalities of the dominant culture, thus equipping learners to transform oppressive social, cultural, and economic conditions. While many theorists, critics, and practitioners have considered how critical pedagogical strategies and perspectives might be employed in higher education, the academic … Read more Call for papers on critical pedagogy and library instruction
A book of interest: Mark Bauerlein’s The Dumbest Generation. What it says is that the under-30 generation is so removed from books and reading that it is shockingly ignorant, and we should all be worried. Bauerlein blames the internet. The Chicago Tribune published a decent review a few days ago. The students at the university … Read more Book: The Dumbest Generation
Carol Kreck, a librarian, was arrested and removed from a public campaign event for John McCain in Denver yesterday. She was in front of the Denver Center for Performing Arts, and was charged with trespassing. Can you trespass on public property? Here’s the video and some more info…
ALA Councilor James Casey writes an excellent report on Council business after each conference. His report on the conference that just happened in Anaheim has been posted to the ALA Member Blog.
Obituary for Sherrill Cheda, Canadian activist, librarian, and publisher. I wish I had known about her while she was alive…
I’d like to share news about a few forthcoming books. There are others, but these are the ones I’m ready to announce: From Library Juice Press: Information and Liberation: Writings on the Politics of Information and Librarianship, by Shiraz Durrani The Library Takes Up The Case: Generating Library Power by Mikael Böök and Anders Ericson … Read more Forthcoming books