Barbara Fister

I'm a librarian who works at the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota and and a writer of blog posts, articles, grocery lists, columns, twitter posts, and mysteries

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The content of the Library Babel Fish blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. I'm grateful to Inside Higher Ed for being so open-minded and progressive about these things. Feel free to share, reuse, and remix. Attribution would be appreciated.

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Most Recent Articles

March 17, 2011
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
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
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
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
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.
February 10, 2011
I've been teaching a seminar course for several years now designed for students who may be headed to grad school or who simply want to know more about the ins and outs of research. It meets once a week for a couple of hours and many students can fit it into their schedules without having to sacrifice another course or pay an overload.
February 3, 2011
I know gender inequality hasn't gone away, and that we are not living in a post-sexist society, but I can still be caught by surprise. For example, women buy and read the majority of books, but get the mouse's share of book review coverage. Women have opinions, but some 80% of published op/ed pieces have male names in the bylines.
January 27, 2011
One of my far-flung correspondents (well, not that far-flung; he lives in the Fargo-Moorhead area) sent me an intriguing job announcement today, with editorial comments. The position was at a good university where the librarians are certifiably brilliant, but it's an interesting commentary on collection development today.
January 19, 2011
Sisters in Crime, a mystery writer's organization of which I am a member, has recently released a study of mystery book buyers conducted by the folks at Bowker.
January 11, 2011
Wikipedia will celebrate its tenth birthday at the end of this week. It's one of those anniversaries, like the recent twentieth anniversary of the Internet, that makes you realize how ubiquitous a particular tool has become.

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