Theory

Now Here's a Really Big Idea

Wired is running This Story on plans to create a human mental map -- a database that would contain a log of every human idea. Darryl Macer, associate professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences at the University of Tsukuba in Japan,formally proposed in the November 14 issue of Nature that researchers from various disciplines, including genetics, sociology and history, meet next year in Japan to discuss the project.

Claude E. Shannon: Founder of Information Theory

I found This One from over at Scientific American quite interesting. They say there\'s a new type of information science in town, and it\'s called \"quantum information science\". They Have a Second Story that explains what that means.
This one is on Claude E. Shannon, who, in a landmark paper written at Bell Labs in 1948, Shannon defined in mathematical terms what information is and how it can be transmitted in the face of noisw, and thus was born \"Classical\" information science .

The Politics of Research

The Politics of Research is an excerpt from: Martin, Brian. "The Politics of Research." Information Liberation. London: Freedom Press, 1998. pp. 123-142. The page says:

"The Minneapolis Community & Technical College Library was the first and only library in the United States to own a copy of this book on Oct. 1, 1999. As of May 16, 2001 seven other U.S. libraries have purchased the book. This demonstrates that just because knowledge is produced and published does not mean that it will be widely distributed. "

Abstract: The work of professional researchers is strongly influenced by funding, disciplines, hierarchy and competition. As a result, it is mainly useful to corporations, governments, professions and researchers themselves. Strategies to challenge this pattern include critical teaching and research, popularisation and community participation in research.

The Internet-only Research Approach: Does the Web Have It All

An Interesting Article over at From Now On takes a look at exclusively relying on the Internet to research. The author,Ken Vesey , says he is not a Luddite and fully embraces technology, but he says it is our responsibility as educators to model sound research behavior, and not cheat students of the opportunity of finding the best information by only leading them to a portion of the resources available.

The Network Society: A Shift in Cognitive Ecologies?

Here\'s the official abstract from this interesting article in the new First Monday:


By examining the psychodynamic effects on human cognition of the adoption of the technology of writing we
can logically assess and contextualize the potential effect of the massification of networked information
systems on our day-to-day thought processes. The identification of congruent, parallel and differential
affect between writing and network technologies demands that their development be considered above and
beyond the dictates and imperatives of consumer capitalism, it demands that the Internet be thought of in
terms of public infrastructure rather than saleable capital.


The article is
The Network Society: A Shift in Cognitive Ecologies? by Mathew Wall-Smith

Keepers of the Flame in a Brave New World

Keepers of the Flame in a Brave New World is James A. Gollata\'s Keynote Address for the Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Annual Conference. Presented at opening luncheon on Wednesday, 17 April 2002.


He makes 9 very interesting predictions, and finished with this:

\"We have all joined the new priesthood of technicians, it seems. We needn\'t be the inventors or the hardware or software specialists, but we certainly can learn to work as best we can with developments as they occur. We can embrace, rather than reject. And we can continue to embrace, as well, the history of the word, and specifically the printed word. It will endure. And WE will endure, in whatever medium. And while preserving the past, we can be creative within this brave new world, and we can continue, ALWAYS -- in whatever manner necessary -- to keep the flame.\"

Defining Information Literacy

Information Highways has an Intersting Piece by Susanne Hasulo who says most people tend to equate information literacy with the mastery of various technologies to access and retrieve information, with less thought to how to evaluate and apply that information. She asks can knowledge workers agree on what information literacy really means, and more importantly, can these crucial skills be learned?

\"We\'re in an era where every client that phones me says \'How can I take more costs out of my business?\' Stop treating everything you do heroically and start treating your process and your [employees\'] knowledge as an asset available for use. Because the more we look at it, the more we realize that the real savings comes from exactly that, from turning data into knowledge.\"

Evidence Based Library Service

Steve Fesenmaier writes \" The following is part of a document I am creating on how to do the annual statistical survey for the State of West Virginia Public Library System -


Evidence Based Library Services by Steve Fesenmaier
During the last twenty years the term \"Information Age\" has become commonplace. Librarians have moved from the periphery to the center of our post-modern age. Whereas we once worked in a world of information scarcity, contemporary citizens work with a constant feeling of \"information anxiety.\" I believe that this requires a new attitude toward public libraries. We must ask ourselves if public libraries need to do the same things that they have been doing for almost a century in West Virginia. -- Read More

The theory behind the Free Library

The theory behind the Free Library is that, certainly in the long run, it benefits an author to have a certain number of free or cheap titles of theirs readily available to the public. By far the main enemy any author faces, except a handful of ones who are famous to the public at large, is simply obscurity. Even well-known SF authors are only read by a small percentage of the potential SF audience. Most readers, even ones who have heard of the author, simply pass them up.
Baen Free Library is an area that Baen Books is now making available — for free — a number of its titles in electronic format.
The theory is a very interesting read.

Data Gaps

The Data Gaps Project is a collaborative effort to address unasked and unanswered questions related to transportation. The project, which is being administered by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), is now in the initial information-gathering phase of identifying critical data gaps and important questions. To view the current list of data gaps, search the database.
What are Data Gaps? planners, policy makers, managers, researchers and other transportation data users don\'t always have the information they need to make the best informed decisions---there are gaps in the data.


While the subject matter of this project isn\'t library related, I think the theory behind this project could easily be applied to Library Science.

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