Most Recent Articles
November 11, 2010
The buzz at the recent Charleston Conference (and practically every other recent conference at which academic librarians have gathered) is a combination of new formats and a new collection development philosophy, shifting from print collections with titles chosen by librarians and faculty to making thousands of e-books available and letting the purchasing choices be made by "patrons"--an old-fashioned term for library users of all stripes, a large contingent of which are undergraduates writing "research papers" that
November 1, 2010
Project Information Literacy has a new report out based on surveys of over 8,000 undergraduate students at 25 campuses, as well as some follow-up interviews. The findings are both cheering and sobering.
October 26, 2010
At the risk of e-mail overload, I still find it useful to belong to some old-fashioned discussion lists that engage different communities in discussion. Sometimes they set up intriguing resonances.
October 21, 2010
As Open Access Week comes to a close, I thought I would share some ideas that bubbled up last year in a weekly column I write for Library Journal's Academic Newswire.
October 10, 2010
I've been following the Georgia State case in which publishers sued the university over e-reserves and am trying to read the tea leaves in the federal district judge's recent ruling on the motions to dismiss filed by each side. It looks like good news for now.
October 3, 2010
Last week, I was involved in a virtual summit on e-books to which I was probably invited to serve as a semi-notorious Curmudgeon-at-Large.
September 30, 2010
I am composing this Babel post without an internet connection, trying to put it together as I airport-hop my way to a conference. It's a curiously disorienting sensation, trying to write without reference to web content, because these posts tend to be a woven from things I've been reading and it feels as wrong to write without linking as it would be write a paper without references. But I'll give it a try and try to add the links in later, when I return to the connected world. Meanwhile, it's remarkably apt to be so disconnected as I write about the disconnected scholar.
September 24, 2010
The publishing industry should give two individuals awards for doing as much as Oprah to promote books: Jon Stewart and Joshua Kim. Stewart not only talks about several serious books a week on The Daily Show, he even gives the impression he's read them. Joshua Kim reads so much he puts this librarian to shame, but I love the fact that he shares his enthusiasm for books and regularly asks what we're reading - and my to-be-read list keeps growing as a result.
September 17, 2010
It has been so long since I posted here, you may think the Babel Fish has gone fishing. In fact, it's just the usual craziness of the semester's start squared. In addition to teaching a first term seminar, serving as department chair, and going AWOL for a few days to attend a family wedding, I've been busy meeting with classes in political science, religion, and gender studies, showing students some of the tools of research. Every librarian involved in this kind of instruction has the occasional crisis of faith. Are the students really getting anything out of this?
September 6, 2010
There was an interesting story in the New York Times Magazine this past Sunday on a simple, inexpensive, and effective means of bringing malnourished children back to health. It’s a gooey fortified peanut butter called “Plumpy’nut,” and if you want to know how to make it, here’s the recipe.