Library Babel Fish

Library Babel Fish

A college librarian's take on technology

April 19, 2011 - 8:30pm
I’ve been mulling over a couple of documents that have generated a lot of chatter in my online circles in the past couple of weeks.
April 12, 2011 - 9:30pm
I recently returned from a brief encounter with some fascinating ideas at “4Cs” – the annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication.
April 7, 2011 - 12:45am
My friend Steve Lawson made an interesting discovery the other day as he did the kind of research one naturally does when working as a librarian at a liberal arts college.
March 28, 2011 - 9:15pm
I am a huge fan of open government and of the Freedom of Information Act. The right of the people to request information from public officials is an important tool for journalism, research, and activism. That’s why, as I read responses to a political group’s request for e-mail correspondence from a state employee, my knee does not begin to jerk convulsively. I don’t think, “e-mail!? That’s outrageous!
March 23, 2011 - 4:30am
When Google launched what Jeffrey Toobin called "Google's Moon Shot" - its audacious move to digitize the holdings of research libraries in order to make them searchable, Google argued that they were indexing books, not sharing copies of them, so it wasn't infringement. That argument never made it to court. As Toobin predicted in 2007, Google would settle out of court. And, as Patricia Schroeder, then president of the Association of American Publishers, told Toobin, it wouldn't be a settlement designed for the public good. “This is basically a business deal," she said.
March 17, 2011 - 10:00pm
I have a soft spot for hard news. Every year, at around this time, I have students read the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics, which starts with this stirring preamble.
March 10, 2011 - 11:00pm
The Association of American University Presses has just released a report, Sustaining Scholarly Publishing: New Business Models for University Presses. It’s an interesting document because in many ways it’s forward looking. It bears a Creative Commons license, it is open for comments at MediaCommons, and it imagines a future that is open access.
February 28, 2011 - 9:45pm
I've been mulling over the bizarre new move by a major publisher to get more blood out of a turnip - or rather, to try and get more money out public libraries at a time when their budgets are being slashed.
February 22, 2011 - 9:00pm
One of the things we hope students will learn by seeking out information in the library and online is the value of using evidence in the formulation of ideas. We tend to focus on students' most immediate need: completing an assignment that is due in the next few weeks.
February 15, 2011 - 4:00am
As I mentioned in a post late last week, I have been thinking about which technical tools are ones that are particularly helpful for students, ones that I should include in library sessions for advanced students and in a seminar course that I teach every spring.

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