Theory

C-SPAN: The Digital Future

Anonymous Patron writes "C-SPAN: DIGITAL FUTURE: The Digital Future was a series of discussions hosted by the Library of Congress' John W. Kluge Center. The series examined how the digital age is changing the most basic ways information is organized and classified. The goal is to educate the public on the what the digital age means to their lives. The events included a featured speaker, followed by a panel discussion, and a question and answer session. You can now view the entire series online."

Leadership: The Hidden Cost of Buying Information

An Anonymous Patron writes "HBS Working Knowledge: Leadership: The Hidden Cost of Buying Information We all need good information to make decisions—that is why consulting is an industry that never goes out of style. But paying for information can carry a hidden cost: We may give it more weight in our decision making than it deserves.

That's one of the conclusions made by Francesca Gino, a Harvard Business School post-doctoral fellow in the Technology and Operations Management Unit. She recently published a working paper, "Getting Advice from the Same Source but at a Different Cost: Do We Overweigh Information Just Because We Paid for It?""

Achieving a True Networked Learning Environment: Syllabus

An Anonymous Patron writes "Matthew Pittinsky is chairman and co-founder of Blackboard Inc. has Achieving a True Networked Learning Environment: Syllabus. The Networked Learning Environment is about more than putting courses online; it enables students, teachers and researchers to access any learning resource anytime, anyplace. Whether that resource is a learning object, another educator or student, or a scholarly database or application, it is about an infrastructure and architecture that integrates courses, libraries, labs, other schools, the Web and multiple other resources. Above all, it has the potential of creating infinite educational possibilities for those who are connected."

Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library

Anonymous Patron sends "us this intriguing treatise titled Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library:
How Postmodern Consumer Capitalism Threatens Democracy, Civil Education and the Public Good
" by Ed D'Angelo. Here's a sliver from section 1, "The Crisis of Democracy" to give you an idea of D'Angelo's thesis:

The public library may be like the proverbial canary in the mine -- the first to go when the air is poisoned. It is uniquely positioned to feel the effects of a declining democratic civilization; and it is the first to go when knowledge gets reduced to information and entertainment.

comment from RH:
There's no info about the author on the site, and the link to the bibliography is dead, but there are 12 lengthy sections to read through. I've not had a chance to read it, but am intrigued. I expect book reports from you all!

What librarians, cooks and call centre workers have in common

Anonymous Patron sends "this from "ExplodedLibrary.com Think libraries ever had a monopoly on providing information to people? How did we lose it? What does that mean for the future of how we do our jobs? What does working in a call center have to do with being a librarian?

Our challenge as librarians is to secure our place in the information marketplace. It’s a waste of time for us to try to be all things to all people in what has become something really huge. It is better to do a few things really well.

Are librarians the fast food workers, or the high end chefs of the future?"

Nature Debates: Science must ‘push copyright aside’

Anonymous Patron writes to share "this item from Nature.com by Richard Stallman, "the founder of the GNU project, launched in 1984 to develop the free operating system GNU (an acronym for ‘GNU’s Not Unix’), and thereby give computer users the freedom that most of them have lost. GNU is free software: everyone is free to copy it and redistribute it, as well as to make changes either large or small. The GNU/Linux system, combining the GNU system and the Linux kernel, has an estimated 17 to 20 million users. Stallman was awarded a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 1990.""The US Constitution says that copyright exists "to promote the progress of science". When copyright impedes the progress of science, science must push copyright out of the way."
Writing on copyright issus and scientific publishing, this is a thought-provoking piece. -A.K.

Bias in information

nbruce writes "Bias in information gathering is a fact of life, something we all need to remember when evaluating sources. “A plea for biased information,� by Thomas A. M. Kramer, MD in Medscape General Medicine 6(1), 2004 points out that “Collecting information from pharmaceutical representatives. . .can be enormously useful for both the practitioner and the patient, as long as one understands the inherent biases. Drug reps are paid to talk to doctors about their products, just as car dealership salespeople are paid to talk about their cars. It is my firm belief that pharmaceutical representatives should be made to earn their money. In their interactions with me, I demand that they teach me something. I will tell them what their competitors are saying about their product and listen to them respond to it, and I will ask them why I should prescribe their product instead of their competitors' and listen to what they have to say. More often than not, I learn something useful from this process. Whatever their bias may be, the representative has access to information from the company that can be quite useful.�

Should doctors shut out the drug rep when evaluating drug choices? Should pharmaceutical companies be denied the opportunity to sponsor CME classes for doctors? The author concludes, “. . . we must be involved with the pharmaceutical industry because these people make the drugs. If we don't work with them, not only will we destructively protect our ignorance, we will abdicate any influence on the process of drug development and marketing. The history of the human race is replete with examples of the danger of isolating ourselves from information and institutions because we are frightened of being influenced.�"

The Twilight of Digitization Is Now

The Twilight of Digitization Is Now, by Thomas E. Hecker.
"Contemporary wisdom holds that the scholarly community is in transition from a paper-based knowledge system to an electronically based system. 'Twilight' argues that this transition is not sustainable and that constraints on energy resources and other necessary resources will arrest digitization in the not-distant future. Thus, archives in physical formats, not digitized archives, are essential to preserve the scholarly record. "

How people use electronic resources funded by OCLC

Norma writes "The story, STUDY WILL HELP EXPLAIN HOW PEOPLE USE ELECTRONIC INFORMATION RESOURCES is in the December 2003 e-issue of Ohio State Research News.The $1 million project is a collaboration between Ohio State and the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC). The project will be partially funded with a $480,543 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The remainder of the funding will come from Ohio State and OCLC.

Full story here with links."

Darn it, reading stuff like this makes me wish I hadn't left OSU!

NY Times - Year In Ideas

Steve Fesenmaier points us to the NYTimes The Year in Ideas.

Each December, The New York Times Magazine looks back at the year through an unusual lens: ideas. This issue is not just a compilation of the year's most significant and thought-provoking ideas. It's also a salute to the schemers, oddballs and other unorthodox geniuses toiling away in their labs and libraries, bent on changing the world armed with nothing but a brand-new big idea.

So what were the big ideas in Library & Information Science?

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