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What Kind of Learner Am I Supposed to Be?

8/26/2011
In my previous academic career I was eager but wary to approach my education. I have always loved learning, whether it was a topic that I am quite familiar with or a subject that held my infinite curiosity. While in high school I was able to find a select group of individuals through my advanced learning subset called "Resources for Expanded Learning", however I also learned to temper my excitement as to not attract too much attention with my willingness to discuss a topic that other may have deemed dull or even unnecessary to learn. This continued somewhat through my undergraduate career at KU. I was enrolled in many a large lecture that had an additional discussion class tacked on during the week. While I found most of the topics interesting and insightful I made sure not to participate too much so the other students wouldn't isolate me or, heaven forbid, label me with the dreaded social stigma of the "Teacher's Pet". I believe that this is the issue that is going to be challenging and unfamiliar in my educational journey with the SLIM program. I have constantly been surrounded by dynamics that expect me to temper my excitement and participation. It was not that being smart was "uncool" the issue was that participating fully automatically signed up the rest of the class to match my enthusiasm. It will be a unique situation to be surrounded by a group of individuals that will match or surpass my eagerness to participate in a thoughtful discussion on the topic at hand. Another issue that I will need to work on is the complete overhaul in the manner in which I will be learning on my educational journey. I have been presented with daunting tasks before in my schooling, but these were often based on the sheer volume of the task. SLIM, however, seems like it will be challenging me to effectively relearn the manner in which I learn and approach my assignments. It is an entirely new and daunting dynamic that will take some getting used to.

_____________________________________________________________________ Information Professional 8/27/2011


I personally identified more strongly with Anthony Molaro's article "Who's an Info Activist" rather than Mason's article. I believe that one of our most important duties is not only to remove the barriers between the information and the client but also to be a personal advocate for both sides. Librarians can open up vast worlds by actively campaigning to introduce information in multiple facets to their patrons. It's not enough to simply be the "gate-keepers" of this building that happens to house a myriad of educational tools, we must also offer ourselves as tools to help the public understand. We must help them understand the information presented, but also how they can find this and more information for themselves. We can't just be information retrievers, we must also be information educators. Molaro says that "We have strived to remove barriers between users and information," I believe that now that we have removed so many barriers we should let the information itself assist in breaking down other barriers within the patron's lives. As the popular quotation from Sir Francis Bacon goes: "Knowledge is Power".

_____________________________________________________________________ Issues 9/6/2011


One of the issues highlighted through this week's reading that was of particular interest to me was the controversy of customized information delivery. The two Internet information behemoths examined are

Facebook and Google. Timmins notes "Even more significant, Google quietly announced in late 2009 that they would be rolling out Personalized Search for all users. This means that your Google search results are now tailored to you, based on IP address locations, previous searches, and the results you chose from those searches." Timmins goes on to provide two hypothetical implications of this customization and one that directly applied to her own life regarding the Joplin tornado. Timmins states that she "abhor[s] the idea of my searches being filtered, even through my own perspective. As a librarian, I know the value of balanced information." This is the opinion that closely mirrors my own. In fact, I had previously dug through the depths of my Google account so I could toggle off the Personalized Search options. It took quite a bit of searching, but once I turned them all off I believed that I could search without prejudice. However, as I was reading through a related article linked in Timmins' post, I discovered that even changing all of the preset options in my Google account did not nullify some level of search personalization. The only way to combat this customization is to enter a short code (&pws=0) after each search entry to remove the personalization (jcyber). While this seems like a simple work-around for information professionals, it is a cumbersome addition for the everyday searcher. As Timmins hinted, this is only the beginning of personalized information catering and we must choose to sit back and wait eventual changes or stand up and demand the right to "opt out" in a more simplified manner. Excerpts retrieved from: http://sla-divisions.typepad.com/choa/2011/07/personalized-search-results-their-significance-to-you-andyour-library.html#comments (Timmins) http://www.jcyber.com/search-engine-optimization-tools-un-personalize-google-searches/ (jcyber)

_____________________________________________________________________ Houston Public Library 9/7/2011


One of the most intriguing and reaction provoking stories that was shared during our first face to face class was the article that Gregory Nordyke shared. This article detailed a massive privacy breech that occurred in relation to the Houston Public Library. The article states the newspaper " was able to determine the names of the library's top delinquents from the City of Houston's website, which listed them among tax scofflaws as part of its "Closing the Budget Gap" reports in February. The library administration says those names shouldn't have been public and won't provide the delinquent borrowers' identities now, citing privacy laws." I find it particularly fascinating that while the newspaper included a comment from the library administrators about their opinion on the legality of publishing these "delinquent borrowers" they did not, in fact, release a statement about their own involvement in the publishing of private information. The follow-up discussion on the topic (located on the Blackboard Discussion area) also presented interesting and relevant commentary. A few students related incidents in which "delinquent borrowers" faced steep penalties, some culminating in temporary imprisonment. It is difficult to cement my position on the matter because I understand both sides of the issue . This is highlighted by a excerpt of the Houston Public Library article: "One look at the Houston Public Library's delinquency records is enough to both buoy and sink the hearts of book-lovers: Borrowers seem to like the printed word so much that they've failed to return 243,102 books." On one hand, I understand why drastic measures must be taken, as such excessive failures to return library materials presents barriers in a dual fashion to the library. They are not only unable to present books and other materials to their loyal patrons, but they are also forced to dedicate extra funds to replace these unreturned materials. On the other hand, however, these extreme measures also create barriers between the library and the community. Even though it is the patron that broke the contract of trust, there is sometimes a feeling of unease on behalf of the community that arises when they discover the harsher penalties, thus making them less likely to feel comfortable at the library.

When such an essential aspect of the information sharing process is marred, it is difficult for both sides to succeed. Excerpts from: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Library-thieves-owe-Houston-taxpayers-millions2134855.php

_____________________________________________________________________ What an Information Professional Needs to Know 9/18/2011


I thought one of the journal questions was especially apt for one of the articles that we read for this module. Although Eleanor Jo Rodger's article is not prohibitively lengthy, it does provide many insightful statements about what is important for librarians(particularly public librarians) to understand. One of our journal questions asks "What does an information professional need to know about society," and Rodger tackles this question head on. She urges us to understand the allocation of public funding and not only the allocation, but also the fundamental basis for libraries receiving public money. She gives the reader a quick skimming of the history of public libraries and a basic evolution to the institution we view libraries as today. However, I think the most important piece of information that Rodger highlighted for current and future librarians to understand is her so-called triangle of strategies that help us understand the public value of our libraries. She states that "We must ask whether our organizational purpose (or each service in our portfolio) is 1) publicly valuable, 2) politically and legally supported, and 3) administratively and operationally feasible" to the community. She notes that it is important to evaluate the services from both a qualitative approach as well as a quantitative approach that values analysis and economic effectiveness. The other two sectors that she urges us to understand and value equally are the important factors of understanding and staying connected to the local and state-wide government that often dictate the allocation of funds, she also recommends a better and more thorough understanding of the administrative groundwork and feasibility that dictate the services that you library offers. I think that administrative structures that sustain our institutions are often overlooked by the general public. Libraries are not just free-standing structures that simply shelve books all day. We offer many services and thus me cost-effective to assure that these services are still available. The final important point that Rodger focuses on is the continuing and ongoing merger of new and innovative professionals with the experienced and knowledgeable veterans that have persevered the onslaught of technological and social changes that have fundamentally changed what a library is and what it offers to the public. Rodger explains that "the good news is that our new, younger staff have wonderful sets of skills with technology, marketing and a host of other non-traditional areas ... and they are more diverse! The bad news is that anticipated retirements will create a void of experience in the organization of knowledge, the management of local politics, and personal relationships with community leaders." Why, then, can we not create programs of librarian mentorship, in an effort to bridge the gap before these skills are unavailable to the new generation responsible for fostering our growing institution?

_____________________________________________________________________ Mona Lisa Smile 9/20/2011


The 2003 movie Mona Lisa Smile ambitiously tackles many issues that reflect not only on their own time period, but our own as well. One of the films main overtones is the issue of feminism in the 1950s but lurking beneath the surface is an issue of censorship that is applicable across the board to institutions of higher education.

Throughout the film we get glimpses of the forces of censorship that are slowly lowered around the main character of Katherine who teaches Art History. At first it is in the form of aggressive suggestions from faculty and barely veiled threats from students with influential parents. However, it quickly progresses onto the level of the administration who are pressured by outside forces (mainly parents and alumni) to restrict Katherine's curriculum solely based on the fact that they did not value modern art and the freethinking that Katherine was attempting to instill in these impressionable young women. These pressures and limitations, that ultimately force Katherine to leave her position at the college, are all too common in our supposed modern and "enlightened" era. We have so much access to information, yet there will always be individuals who urge others into censorship to delay the idea of progress. While it is not quite as common to run into issues of censorship at the college level there are plenty of other areas in education that more than overcompensate.

_____________________________________________________________________ Information Professionals, Structures, and Copyright Law 9/20/2011


When an everyday individual comes across the term "information agency" or "infrastructure" I do not believe that they automatically understand the importance and ubiquitous nature of these constructs. However, reading Lawrence Lessig's For the Love of Culture: Google, copyright, and our future exposes the vast presence of information infrastructures, in one of many instance, through the complicated web of copyright issues. Lessig focuses mainly on the application of copyright law in the form of printed and film media. He begins by scrutinizing the issues that are presented through film copyright laws, especially in the case of documentaries, which are essentially an amalgamation of outside sources, each requiring individual permission from the original owners. He contrasts these problems that the film sector of media faces with the traditional format of printed works (books). Copyright is relatively cut-and-dry in regards to books in their original format. Publishers control the copyright until the text ages into the public domain where it becomes accessible to the general public. Lessig makes an important distinction, however, that now that we are entering another revolution of media with new forms to access through the Internet we are reaching new and even more convoluted and complicated problems. He highlights the issue of Google and their efforts to digitize millions of books to be easily accessed on Google. Google quickly ran into massive legal issues which highlighted the need for the United States to overhaul their copyright system to accommodate these new forms of media. I agree with Lessig that we need an immediate and massive overhaul of the copyright system itself. The government is unwilling to undertake the massive restructuring, so I believe it should be moved away from a government system and more toward the information professionals who would be the most apt individuals to handle the complex organizational and even some of the legal issues. However, I also believe that information professionals should also be active advocates in the evolution of copyright law. While many of us are not lawyers many of us have vast exposure to the multitude of the issues that, indeed, dictate the need for change.

_____________________________________________________________________ David Lee King 9/26/2011


I had actually bookmarked this blog before I was enrolled in this class, so it was a pleasant surprise to see it as one of the top 50 library blogs! While I believe that David Lee King is on top of many of the cutting edge issues within librarianship, his blog post titled "Be a Forward-Moving Thinker" really highlights an important distinction in the attitude modern librarians should embrace. He argues that rather

than librarians patting themselves on the back for embracing change, they should actually be ahead of the curve. I agree and believe that it is important to avoid being a passive participant in the world of information and libraries. Librarians should be versed in multiple disciplines but should additionally avoid complacency in their knowledge. Perhaps you are the most knowledgeable individual in your library about technology. That is wonderful but how can you utilize and supplement that knowledge to best serve your patrons? Perhaps you want to implement a specialized class, but discover there is no funding. Instead of accepting defeat, you could research grants that would allow you to bring the high-demand program to the community. Ultimately, this theory relies upon the idea of making change happen, rather than adapting to it when you are ultimately faced with the wave of change. http://www.davidleeking.com/2011/08/12/be-a-forward-moving-thinker/#disqus_thread

_____________________________________________________________________ Libraries at SXSW 9/26/2011


I was perusing The Library of Congress' Blog when I came across an interesting article titled "The Library Heads SXSW." At first, I found this a bit confusing because I was under the impression that South by Southwest was primarily about music. However, through the article, I discovered that there is an entire other aspect to the conference that covers film and interactive technology. Matt Raymond states that The Library of Congress decided to participate because " SXSW brings together creative people engaged in some of the most interesting and innovative work in film, music and the interactive arts (a catchall term that covers emerging technology, gaming and developments on the World Wide Web)." In this light, it makes perfect sense to include influential information professionals to guide and help mold the future of innovations that will ultimately impact libraries and information transfer. Raymond also emphasizes the importance of simultaneously being active in innovation while preserving and recording the past. He underlines this philosophy by asserting The Library of Congress (and libraries in general) should be" [m]ore than a mere observer, the Library can shape the conversation around the creation, distribution, accessibility and preservation of creative works in the digital world." This position, again, aligns with the opinion of myself and many others in maintaining active participation in shaping the world of information. http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2011/03/the-library-heads-sxsw/

_____________________________________________________________________ Start at the Beginning 9/28/2011


When immersed in so much technology, not only in our careers, but also during our home life and down time, it is easy to forget that everyone is not as technologically adept as information professionals (or potential ones). Even though I was born close enough to the "Internet age" to simply adapt to the technological changes, that is not the case for all individuals even those only a generation removed. For example, an instance of differing levels of adaptation can be seen even in my own family. Both of my parents are very successful in their respective fields. My mother was an administrative assistant for years and is on the board of the local sheltered workshop for disabled individuals. My father was a school

administrator for nearly 25 years. Both were required to be connected to the rest of the school district, yet one immersed themselves fully in the litany of connections the Internet can provide while the other decided to opt out. My mother is nearly on par with myself in terms of comfort and capability with the Internet. However, I recently had a somewhat shocking interaction with my father that made me realize his limited understand of what technology and the Internet can provide. Earlier this month, I was visiting at their home when I came to the realization that my father did not know what Google was, much less how to use it. Similarly, last week we discovered that he had never heard of or visited Wikipedia. It forced me to realize that not everyone is ready for me to "skip to step five" when instructing how to best find pertinent information. Some individuals require very basic instruction, and we should never assume a technological aspect is commonplace or familiar.

_____________________________________________________________________ Searching Habits 10/4/2011


As I was reading chapter seven of the Rubin text, I came along an interesting passage about searching behavior. It was noted that research behaviors were clearly delineated between the academic disciplines. Rubin points out that "Scientists, for example, need current information and tend to rely on informal communications with their colleagues, conferences, journal references and articles, and electronic sources. Humanities scholars, on the other hand, like to browse and rely more heavily on references in books, subject catalogs, and printed indexes and bibliographies" (275). While this seems obvious after you have analyzed the users backgrounds and other academic habits, it did slightly surprise me. Rubin's observation highlights the need to tailor our approach and even our results to best suit the patron. Rubin astutely quotes Durrance who interprets that "What people do drives their need for information" (275). Before we tackle the task of understanding what the user needs and wants, we must first understand the user. What academic discipline they have chosen is fundamentally based on their relationship with information. How they interact with, understand, and search for information has led them to their occupation today. As librarians, we must span the divide and understand all disciplines, regardless of our own educational backgrounds. Unless you are planning on only working in a very specialized library for the rest of your life it is essential to be prepared to deal with all backgrounds.

_____________________________________________________________________ Personalizing Research 10/4/2011


In the last 50 or so years, everyone knows that information has been fast tracked by the evolution of technology, particularly advancement in Internet speed and access. It is noted in Rubin that only "3 percent of people with a recent information need identified the library as a possible source for resolving that need. Although people do, in general, prefer other people to institutions as sources of information, popular search engines like Google and Bing" are more popular (277). A large aspect of this quandary is the ease of access that Google and other large search engines provide. At most Google is under five clicks away to the general Internet user. The services that information professionals offer, on the other hand, are often only available in a face to face situation if the user wanted a quick resolution to their needs. One trend I noticed while completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas was the implementation of an Instant Messaging system that allowed an instant and easy connection between the librarians and students. While the system mostly encouraged questions about how to use the services provided, I believe that this system could be utilized to assist individuals with research needs in the general public. It is the best of both systems, an easier outlet to reach information professionals via the Internet and instant messaging built in

with the additional natural trust and assurance that comes with human interaction. More local public libraries should implement a system that reaches out into the public's homes to assist them.

_____________________________________________________________________ Education and Stereotypes 10/6/2011


Most often when individuals mention librarianship and educators in the same sentence, one automatically assumes a professional in a specific education field (e.g., A college professor or an academic librarian). However, we often forget the role that many public librarians frequently play in relation to their patrons. While reading the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics the article noted the average "job also include[d] an instructional role, such as showing users how to find and evaluate information. For example, librarians commonly help users navigate the Internet so they can search for and evaluate information efficiently" (paragraph 2). Even if an information professional does not have the formal label of a "teacher" or "instructor" there is plenty of education they provide to the library users. Whether it is in the form of a technology class presented at the library or one-on-one guidance in how to interpret their own online research an important educational service is being provided but frequently overlooked by the general public. I frequently run into individuals who still maintain the stereotyped image of a librarian as a shushing book-keeper and this is only one example of the myriad of services and roles that they provide that contrasts the stereotype. http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos068.htm

_____________________________________________________________________ Information Access 10/6/2011


While I found numerous intriguing points in Lisbet Rausing's article Toward a New Alexandria: Imagining the future of libraries the topic I want to address in this journal was summed up in this excerpt: Many people think that the great university libraries set out to serve the public. They do not, at least not directly. This matters, because the public today is not the public of 50 years ago. Okies, hillbillies, sharecroppers, and mill workers may not have had the energy or learning to engage with scholars. But todays public is educated and engaged. Indeed, it has proven this by participating in the collective knowledge projects that the technological rupture has enabled (Pg. 2) This is an interesting occurrence because it is slowly, but fundamentally, altering the education system. Previously, common knowledge told the public that if you worked hard and earned your college degree there would be a position for you in the real world. The economic situation and information explosion, however, has rocked this idea. Mass amounts of knowledge have been released to the general public via the Internet and libraries, creating an alternative to the antiquated and expensive format of many college experiences. If you are willing to work a little harder to collect all the needed sources you could replicate many college classes. Simpler access to the information we need and crave has created an opportunity for education equity amongst the classes. Just because you cannot afford the local college does not mean you will never be able to access the information provided in these classes. While it is not a simple and instantaneous process to gather a similar collection of knowledge (like one provided through a college education) it is not nearly impossible as it had been in the past. http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/toward-new-alexandria

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Archiving Questions 10/17/2011


Another aspect of Lisbet Rausing's article Toward a New Alexandria: Imagining the future of libraries that intrigued me was the delineation of what information is deserving of archiving. Rausing contrasted the relative rarity and importance of print materials, using the dead sea scrolls and other ancient text that have been ravaged or lost to time, with the ephemeral quality of instantaneous text that is present in our daily lives (for example receipts). Libraries have been pried away from the original format as dogged protectors of printed texts, advances in technology have eliminated the sense that texts are irreplaceable. Whether it is another copy or an older manuscript that has been digitized, this information will not be lost to time. This raises a new and important question, what information deserves to be archived for future generations. Who has the ultimate say in what text is important enough to be saved, while another is thrown into a pile. Rausing ponders this predicament: In todays era of electronic abundance, how can libraries archive the dreams and experiences of humankind? What do we discard? And if a library can no longer be understood as a warehouse of treasures, a primitively accumulated Schatzkammer, what is it? Rausing is not saying that everything should not be indexed, but is forcing us to think creatively about how this task should be processed. I believe that while this dream of universal archiving of past, current, and future information is a task of upmost importance, we must first build a basic foundation of understanding amongst the many nations of the world. All too often there is a rabid sense of protection that prevents many items from ever seeing the light of day outside of a very limited population. We have moved away from conqueror's spoils and should focus on sharing. While it may seem idealistic, there should be less competition and more collaboration. http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/toward-new-alexandria

_____________________________________________________________________ QR Codes 10/24/2011


I am always interested in the newest technological advances that are often being adopted within many libraries. This was no different when I came across the idea of using QR (Quick Response) Codes in academic and public libraries. We first must review what QR Codes are to understand their potential power and roles in libraries. Wikipedia explains that a QR code "is a type of matrix barcode (or twodimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of the industry due to its fast readability and comparatively large storage capacity. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of any kind of data." As a paradeducator I have been immersed in a variety of classrooms and one of the most intriguing settings is one of my 5th grade classes. The 5th grade classes at the school I work at are technologically rich, meaning that various forms of technology (such as Ipods and smartboards) are utilized in every subject. This technology immersion caused me to reflect upon education applications of the QR code. I did a quick search and found a few links that provided examples of how librarians and educators had implemented this new technology. I found one video that gave a brief overview of how one person envisioned using QR codes in a library setting to offer instant access to reviews: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M6ZqTQWjeo Another video went more in depth in showing how QR codes have already been incorporated throughout their entire school, including their library: http://youtu.be/ayW032sKtj8

My favorite resource for including QR within the library and classroom however is located at a blog called The Daring Librarian: http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2010/12/hot-qr-codes-in-classroom-library.html This blog highlights the many ways that QR codes can be incorporated for learning as well as for enjoyment in a library setting. This librarian, however, highlights the fact that many of the others tend to glaze over; the economic divide. In the second video, the students are shown using their own smartphones. This is not a possibility for a vast majority of students and the librarian who writes at the Daring Librarian blog understands this. She has procured, through her technology fund, ipods that remain in the library for students to use during her QR code "scavenger hunts". I think this a fabulous way to introduce technology into an academic setting that allows the children to become familiar with all the services the library has to offer. Children are so immersed in a multitude of media that educators need to learn to utilize and not fight against it. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code)

_____________________________________________________________________ Reflections on Microlending Libraries and Movements 10/30/2011


During our last face to face class meeting we shared our articles about current events that pertain to the wonderful world of librarianship and one of the more popular articles was one that dealt with the small but powerful lending library that was housed at the center of the Occupy Wall Street movement. It obviously peaked many individuals interests and we spent some time discussing it, but it seemed more like a novelty than something needing in depth analysis. Barbara Fister, however, argued in an article on Library Jounal that we should look past the novelty of the idea. She mused that "it seems natural to me that a social movement that springs up locally and without any centralized organizing body or criteria for membership would create a library. This is an impulse so ingrained in the idea of books that people are creating tiny lending libraries to put in public places as signals that sharing books is an important act, something that creates community" (Paragraph 2). Fister's discussion about how the small library seemed at odds with its anarchistic surroundings also caused me to pause and think about how libraries are often viewed from the outside. Libraries and Librarians often have the best intentions at heart and want to create the most enjoyable opportunities for its users, however, to do this one must install sets of rules. I could see where this causes individuals to view libraries as imposing institutions rather than individuals attempting to open up the world of information to you. I was also intrigued about the idea of "ownership" that was brought up in Fister's article. While a public library is funded by its community, there is some removal from an organic feeling of ownership from the citizens. I believe this is one of the reasons that these small lending libraries that pop up in public areas attract users and bystander's attention. It is a quirky and tangible embodiment of by the people, for the people. http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/892578-264/why_the_occupy_wall_street.html.csp

_____________________________________________________________________ Technology, Education, and Access 10/30/2011


Through a series of links and articles I landed upon an articles from the Digital Shift which highlighted the events that occurred at a recent think tank which focused on the topic of Education and Technology. The event was brought together by Dell and occurred at the Scholastic headquarters. The Digital Shift provided a brief outline of the major topics(http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2011/10/k-12/scenes-from-aneducation-think-tank/ ) that were covered as well as provided links to interactive documents (such as GoogleDocs) and discussions that were occurring via Twitter. One of the most interesting topics that I discovered was covered through the GoogleDoc was the issue of connecting student's technological lives

outside the school to the learning they were trying to provided within. The article noted that "many schools and districts will never be able to afford to provide a 1:1 [technology] environment" for students and it was purposed that educators and administrators instead investigate the possibility of harnessing "the power of recycling devices" while also looking into "the policies for using refreshed devices" and researching "what organization can be the go-between" to potentially provide these devices (2). I believe one of the most intriguing ideas proposed at the think tank was the option to "GET rid of textbooks" to loosen up "allotments [for the] money spent" on these books (2). I can see this movement already making waves with my own experiences with elementary education. While there are some classes that implement the use of text books, educators are relying more and more on technological tools like Smartboards that allow presentations to the entire class and also real time interactivity that allows the educators to explain their lessons in an inclusive and appealing manner. http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2011/10/k-12/scenes-from-an-education-think-tank/ https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ls_p5BMTINLcYgA2URG8tlCdRP8yt6yhhr3_01x6hds/edit?hl=en_ US&pli=1

_____________________________________________________________________ 50 out of 50 Librarians Approve 11/6/11


Just as the nation's schools are trying to regulate standardized testing throughout the nation, libraries are also attempting to equalize the playing field so all states get a chance at providing new materials. Michael Kelley noted that "The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) voted unanimously during a meeting held October 24-26 in Santa Fe, NM, to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Internet Archive (IA) that will essentially make the state librarian in each state a point person for the Open Librarys lending program" (Para 2). This, ultimately, means that all states will have way to provided t he resource of lending e-books in the majority of their libraries. As noted in the article, "40 percent of public libraries, mainly small, rural libraries, have not yet begun to offer download-able E-books" (Para. 7). Since this service will be provided through the state, rural libraries can offer an even more economical service to their patrons. Rural libraries often have patrons spread throughout a wide area who must travel many miles to access the libraries services. The ability to check out E-books will allow the patrons to utilize the libraries services, even when they cannot physically make it to the building. I also thought it was interesting that Kansas was listed as one of the three states that already utilizes the service. It is great to know that Kansas is ahead of the game in the library world! http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2011/11/ebooks/all-50-state-librarians-vote-to-form-alliance-with-internetarchives-open-library/

_____________________________________________________________________ Economics and Cutbacks 11/6/11


In my opinion two of the most important things that all libraries foster are knowledge and creativity. The attitude that so many individuals across the nation, not solely in libraries, are adopting is one of reduction. While it is true that we must be mindful of our reduced funding, that should not reduce our capacity to provide services. Citizens have been forced to be creative in this economic downturn, and so should librarians. Michael Casey & Michael Stephens shared this opinion and provided an example of creative planning to provide resources to the public. They stated "a program called Super Couponingavailable throughout the Chicagoland area at public librariesrecently attracted almost 200 people to the Schaumburg Township District Library, IL" (Para 13).

Libraries and Librarians just need to think outside of the box to maintain interest in the library and offer services that peak the interest of the economically minded patrons. Administrators should focus on alternatives and workarounds instead of having their "No" lined up when propositioned with new services. http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/technology/library20/854260-295/you_cant_afford_not_to.html.csp

_____________________________________________________________________ The New Information Professional 11/13/2011


Jos-Marie Griffiths' article "The New Information Professional" highlights the necessary issues and changes that existing and new librarians need to focus upon to insure their success in the new and constantly updating information society. Griffiths emphasizes the "five characteristics" which "are key to professional success." These five are: the ability to Guide in the face of an uncertain future Collaborate Prioritize and maintain agility and flexibility in the face of changing goals Empower Understand the core capabilities of one's organization, work group and colleagues.

While I believe that I am well practiced in the aspects of guiding other in an uncertain future, Collaboration, and Empowering others through my work in academic and extracurricular programs such as my service sorority and Girl Scouts, I believe the two other aspects are something that I can work on during my continuing education and once I attain a position within the library profession. I think changing my focus and reprioritizing will be the facet I will have to put the most effort into. Griffiths comments that frequently they had to "change our focus yet again, often on a very short timeline" (Para 7). I will ahve to avoid the feelings of leaving osmething incomplete and instead focus upon the the important task at hand. The other aspect (understanding the capabilities of one's organization, etc.) is something that I cannot prepare myself or even attempt to guess about, it is a step that I can only take once I have become familiar with my own position and the library community. http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Feb-98/griffiths.html

_____________________________________________________________________ Mentorship 11/13/11


In the November issue of College & Research Libraries News a group of librarians from the University of Iowa Libraries reminisced about their unique experience with a group of library students who were involved in a special mentor program. The program was funded through the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant and only lasted through two years. The program paired students with mentees who guided the students through rotations of specialized programs, rather than a traditional class method. It was noted that the "students would be assigned to projects throughout their entire library school experience, rotating from one project to another each semester to graduate with a varied collection of real-life digital library experiences" (566). I believe this would be particularly helpful to the library students at any school who are unable to attain personal library experience through a concurrent job or internship. I would personally enjoy this program in addition to my current program as it emphasizes the important of hands-on experience while also assisting students by building relations with current library professionals. The three librarians pointed out that their "goal was to provide fellows with an 'elevated experience.' We were not simply hiring student

employees but providing a professional experience that would become a core component of each students library school career (567). I believe this is the essential point that marks a successful and flourishing librarian and an individual who is focused simply on achieving a degree. http://crln.acrl.org/content/72/10/566.full.pdf+html

_____________________________________________________________________ Amazon Drama 11/20/114


The continuing power struggle amongst authors, publishers, and sellers ramped up recently when Amazon decided to begin "lending" books out for their Kindle with no authorization to do so. The Library Journal's blog, The Digital Shift, follows the increasing drama occurring mostly between the authors and Amazon. The Authors Guild, the established voice representing the authors in this issue, stated "Amazon enrolled many of the second-tier publishers titles in the lending program without permission, according to the Authors Guilda right that the Authors Guild says that Amazon does not have under its boilerplate publisher contracts, which 'specifically contemplate the sale of e-books, not giveaways, subscriptions, or lending'" (Para 5). While I understand that Amazon wants to provide as much material as possible for its avid customer/readers, it must not do so to the detriment of those creating and providing the material to begin with. If they want to influence the literary community to trust them and release their material for sale, strong-arming weaker companies into relenting is not the way to make friends. http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2011/11/ebooks/authors-guild-weighs-in-on-amazon-lending-library/

_____________________________________________________________________ Working Together 11/20/11


In Lisbet Rausing's article Toward a New Alexandria there was a great emphasis on the necessity to work together across nations to preserve our literary treasures. While it may not be a huge step, there was one step that was made recently that moves us toward the idea of working together across the limitationsn of borders and nations. Europeana, which describes itself as "an Internet portal that acts as an interface to millions of books, paintings, films, museum objects and archival records that have been digitized throughout Europe", has connected with the Digital Public Lbrary of America. The Digital Shift site covered the collaboration and reported that "Jill Cousins announced that Europeana and DPLA have reached a mutual agreement to work toward interoperability, and thus potentially expand content access for users of both projects. In her announcement, she stressed the importance of openness specifically, open data and open licensingin digital libraries" (Para 1). This is an important and relatively large step in the direction that I believe libraries world-wide should head, I can't wait to see if this trend continues and other nations jump on the bandwagon.

http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2011/10/ebooks/digital-public-library-of-america-and-europeana-announcecollaboration/

_____________________________________________________________________ Occupy Wall Street People's Library 11/20/11


I know that the Occupy Wall Street People's Library was a popular topic at our last class meeting and ever since then I have been trying to follow its progess every now and then. I was shocked, however, to

hear that the "Occupy Wall Street People's Library, which housed more than 5,500 books, magazines, newspapers, and other materials in New York City's Zuccotti Park" was torn down and its contents seized by the New York Police forces. I can understand if the Police asked the protesters to take the books to another location when the protesters were forcibly evicted, however I do not understand why the Police decided that they needed to seize the books the individuals had worked so hard to accumulate. The School Library Journal has followed the action and noted that the library was forced to go mobile with the books that they retained and reported that many books were actually thrown away by the Police force. I understand that the tension is high in these situations, but it is shameful to throw away a public libraries books without any sort of consent. These sort of situations only end with no winners, dismantling a library and throwing away their books is not good for anyone, the individuals who utilized the library nor the public relations of the Police force. http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/home/892857-312/ala_condemns_seizure_of_occupy.html.csp

_____________________________________________________________________ Underestimating Kids 11/20/11


After working with many different kids through many different venues, all with vastly different developmental abilities, I have found that adults are quick to underestimate children of all ages and abilities. That is why I was intrigued by Jess deCourcy Hinds' Blog post titled "What do the Teens Think" which focused on books that might be judged as too cerebral or not "hip" enough to catch the attention of the younger generation. I love that the blog highlights teens who are not only proving the stereotype of pop culture obsessed individuals wrong, but also highlighting the fact that these teens are serving as advocates for literature that my not receive as much hype in the teen services because it is not the next, coolest thing available. Just because a book is not new, does not mean it does not have something to offer the next generation that rediscovers it.I hope that this type of program influences other teen services in other libraries. http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/adult4teen/2011/11/18/what-do-the-teens-think-2/

_____________________________________________________________________ Online Access and Archiving 11/29/11


Again picking up a topic from Lisbet Rausing's article Toward a New Alexandria, a post on Library of Congress' blog highlights the ongoing efforts of information professionals who are attempting to "identify, describe and contextualize established and emerging digital preservation standards" and "best practices" (para 1). This is important because it is the first step in building a framework which would enable individuals worldwide to digitize and publicize their archived materials in a consistent and simplified manner. The project was discussed at a workshop this summer which was amusingly entitled the I Can Haz Standards workshop. I think one of the most interesting aspects of the project is that they are utilizing the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. The individuals working on the project stated that they would "use the 'Digital Preservation' entry on Wikipedia and conform it to [their] needs" (para 7). While Wikipedia is a useful tool, it is often docked in the academic world so it was surprising to see that these individuals were utilizing it for their project. http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2011/11/we-can-haz-standards-yes-we-can/

_____________________________________________________________________ On the Other Hand... 11/29/11

However, on the other side of the open access issue is the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which was introduced to Congress in October. While the proposition operates under the guise of ending Internet piracy, it goes well beyond those measures. If passed, the law would effect "radical change to how governments and private parties could police Internet content and business innovation in the name of protecting copyrights and trademarks" (para 3). This law acts in opposition to the wishes of those hoping to open the lines of sharing amongst nations across the world. While it does not outright make it impossible to share, it would make it very difficult. Like an earlier example of the individual who was attempting to put together a collection of her fathers documentaries, this law would greatly complicate the efforts of individuals who deal with multimedia archiving. Copyright is already a very muddled affair and this law would complicate things even further. http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrydownes/2011/11/28/the-revolt-against-congresss-new-internet-piracyproposals/

_____________________________________________________________________ Economy and Library Services 12/1/11


I recently came across an interesting article about the New York Public library. The article dealt, obviously, with the economic woes that are affecting nearly all of the libraries across the nation, but it also provided an intriguing look into the somewhat mysterious ongoings of the Central Public Library. While many branch libraries and even beloved subsections of the CPL are being closed, the Central Public Library is completely overhauling a massive portion of its interior. This is being met with much criticism and inquiries for the actual plan. However, the powers that be at the CPL are guarding their information and strongly publicizing that these changes will "democratize" the CPL for the general population. While the powers that be hope that this will reinvigorate the CPL and open it up to the public (at a level, previously unheard of) it is happening to the detriment of other popular but less historic libraries in the area. This raises an important question, what scenario is providing the best service to the community? The massive overhaul of the CPL in efforts to provide a massive amount of information to the general population or the continuing operation of the smaller (but still useful) branch libraries that are interspaced throughout the community? http://www.thenation.com/article/164881/upheaval-new-york-public-library?page=full

_____________________________________________________________________ Those without Aid 12/1/11


The last scenario with New York's Central Public Library was somewhat unique, however, because the CPL not only receives federal funding but is also a magnet of charitable trusts that call NYC home. However, not all libraries are as lucky. Detroit was forced to shut down four of its popular branch libraries. These shutdowns are symptomatic of the economic downturn that has affected so many services. However it is shocking because it is not simply one library shutting down or branches being forced to squeeze their last penny, it is a drastic move that seriously affects the surrounding community. The Detroit library director stated "in many areas, the library is an iconic place for the community, and we recognize that. So, to close any library is a painful thing" (ln 3-5). As it is so often noted, individuals are turning to libraries, now more than ever, as an economical source of entertainment, education, and escape. http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/home/892873-264/detroit_public_library_will_shutter.html.csp

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OWS Update 12/2/11


My last Occupy Wall Street update detailing the raid of The People's Library covered the shocking seizure of nearly the entire collection of literature that had been donated and collected by the volunteers. Nearly all of the 5,000 books that had been collected were promptly disposed of in a large dumpster by a sanitation service. Not only were the books thrown away, but up to four laptops were also thrown away and ultimately smashed beyond repair. After the first raid, a few subsequent smaller raids occurred and The People's Library responded by innovating and finding new ways to bring the books to the people. After the police decreed that tents and tarps were now illegal the library had to find a new method to protect their collection from the elements. A group banded together on the rainy day and began to place the smaller collection, that was being , into ziploc baggies. The next blockade set up to thwart the library was a ruling that any items that resided on the ground were subject to immediate seizure. Thus began the volunteer librarians efforts to mobilize the books into carts and disperse into the crowds. They were also forced to cart the collection back to their residences and return the next day by carrying them with any means possible. I think the part of this story that resonated with me and what I have learned in my classes this semester was the connection between Democracy and libraries. It is obviously one of our most important duties to promote Democracy to those who utilize our library services and I believe that The People's Library is taking this to heart and attempting to embody this ideology fully. This excerpt from William Scott, who is a librarian for The People's Library, in The Nation explains: Although we often shout, This is what democracy looks like! on our marches, its also something we can say every day to those who pay a visit to the OWS library. In fact, its something that the Peoples Library, by its very presencein any location, in any form, with any number of booksis perfectly capable of saying for itself. http://peopleslibrary.wordpress.com/ http://www.thenation.com/article/164766/peoples-library-occupy-wall-street-lives