Higher Education Webinars

Library Babel Fish

A college librarian's take on technology

October 26, 2010 - 8:45pm
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 - 10:01pm
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 - 8:45pm
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 - 9:00pm
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 - 2:45pm
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 - 10:00am
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 - 4:30am
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 - 10:00pm
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.
August 31, 2010 - 4:15am
Okay, I know it's a naive question, but why did universities decide that their presses should be profit centers, or should at the very least make enough revenue to cover their expenses? Libraries aren't asked to make enough money to pay for themselves. Libraries and university presses both exist to further knowledge - so why the difference? Why do universities accept the idea that libraries cost money, but assume that disseminating research and sharing knowledge should pay for itself or even be profitable?
August 26, 2010 - 9:15pm
Before I say anything else, I want to praise you for responding so quickly to concerns raised by librarians about the new interface that was just rolled out. You folks grasped the issues, you didn't whitewash the problems, and you laid out a plan to solve them, providing a realistic assessment of how long it will take to make the necessary changes. Bravo.But ... honestly, what was that all about?

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