Theory

Theory

Sitcoms Die, People Start Thinking Again

An interesting post over at Boing Boing about Clay Shirky and his book Here Comes Everybody. He postulates that the death of the sitcom and the lackluster shows on TV have driven people to other things, including the ability to think again.

Need proof? Look at Wikipedia.

So if you take Wikipedia as a kind of unit, all of Wikipedia, the whole project--every page, every edit, every talk page, every line of code, in every language that Wikipedia exists in--that represents something like the cumulation of 100 million hours of human thought.

Economic downturn could be uplifting for libraries

Alice Says the economic downturn could be uplifting for libraries....
The economic downturn could be just the thing for libraries to use as a springboard to make their case to the American public:
1. We are a vital city service--as important as electricity or clean water.
2. Use us in good times and in bad.
3. We welcome ALL the people of the community here for technology access.
4. Hope lives here, at the library. Hope for improvement.

The Convenient Untruths

Psychologists have long known that humans have a remarkable ability to tune out facts that don't jibe with pre-existing beliefs. Farhad Manjoo, author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society, says the natural draw toward "truthiness" has run amok in the modern media age.

Listen to the full story here.

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Health, Education and Informatics resource - website & blog

Originally created in the UK by Brian E Hodges (Ret.) at Manchester Metropolitan University - Hodges' Health Career - Care Domains - Model [h2cm] http://www.p-jones.demon.co.uk/ - can help map health, social care and OTHER issues, problems and solutions. The model takes a situated and multi-contextual view across four knowledge domains: * Interpersonal; * Sociological; * Empirical; * Political. Our links pages cover each care (knowledge) domain e.g.

Value undeniable; price unknown: Innovate Or Stagnate

Really Interesting Post from John MacColl over at HangingTogether on the price of innovation. He says libraries can sometimes feel as though they know the value of everything but the price of nothing and wonders what is the price of making some major (and scary) changes? In other words, a pricelist is required, and producing it will be complex and challenging, requiring political as well as economic skills.

As a community we know we cannot turn back from this task, but it can seem a huge and frightening one. This is a moment when we require leadership which encourages and supports us to stick with the dynamic of change – more easily faced collaboratively - and continue to reject the stock responses of both cynicism and timidity.

The Icon Speaks: SLA Interview with Peter Drucker From 1992

A posting over on PUBLIB pointed the way to a very quotable Interview With Peter Drucker in 1992 in Information Outlook Online.

IO: If someone told you that all the information she needs is available on the world wide web for free, how would you respond?
But there is another problem with the web. It is not a telephone book. A telephone book has a system. The web is a jumble of data without index. Maybe the search firms that now spring up will substitute for an index, though it is a very poor substitute. A library has an index. But even more important, it has a librarian who can say to me, "If this is what you are looking for, try Section H5." The code and the librarian convert the chaotic and unlimited universe of data into information and no web will ever be able to this, if only because there is no way to classify the universe. You first have to codify it.

IO: What do you love about libraries?
PD: I love nothing about libraries. They are places. I love librarians

How do you build a public library in the age of Google?

Slate Has Posted a slide-show essay about the architecture of libraries.

an Extinction Timeline, predicts that libraries will disappear in 2019. He's probably right as far as the function of the library as a civic monument, or as a public repository for books, is concerned. On the other hand, in its mutating role as urban hangout, meeting place, and arbiter of information, the public library seems far from spent. This has less to do with the digital world—or the digital word—than with the age-old need for human contact.

Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business

Article in Wired.com by Chris Anderson called "Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business". I was initially skeptical about the article but after reading it I found several ideas that librarians should think about. For example Stewart Brand is quoted in the article: "Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive ... That tension will not go away."



How can libraries use the ideas presented by this article? What impact will the ideas in this article have on libraries?

Holodecks in Libraries?

The site Game Couch (a video game and general nerd site) posted a question to some bloggers on how a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodeck">holodeck</a> (really? you don't know what that is? turn in your MLIS right now!) might fit in with libraries. He got responses from <a href="http://www.davidleeking.com/">David Lee King</a> and <a href="http://www.librarian.net/">Jessamyn West</a>.

Chinese Blogger Killed

TechCrunch reports that a Chinese blogger was beaten to death by the Chinese government officials for the crime of....attempting to record a protest on his mobile phone. The Chinese government seems to be acting quickly to detail those involve in the attack.

The Physical Library in the 21st Century?

David Lee King Wonders... How can we get people into the physical library? He says we need to run the library a bit more like a business, and simply offer people something they want (like a good or product that a business offers to a customer). But what do we offer them? He has a good answer...

30 Library Technology Predictions for 2008

30 Library Technology Predictions for 2008: Steven Abram says he rarely does this formally but he was in the mood this year! Here's a few things, in no particular order, that he thinks will happen in 2008 that might/will have an impact on our little library world.

25. Blockbuster will begin its death throes in earnest in 08. Libraries need to discuss why and what they need to learn from this.
26. 2008 will see some cool - almost ready for primetime - uses of integrated e-paper in portable devices, readers, and wireless signs, etc.

My 4 Year Old Told Me To “Google It”

Can you connect This Story By Mat Siltala to libraries?

He turned to me and said: “Why don’t you just Google it Dad, because you use it to find everything else”. I guess he does hear me (more then I realize) say stuff like “find it on Google”, or “look it up on Google” with everyday interactions with my wife, friends or clients! It was so funny, cute and genuine that I was speechless.
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Cowboy Junkies Paradox

Can you connect This Story By Seth Godin to libraries?

Marketers of all stripes face the same challenge. Your current customers want nothing but the old stuff, but the new customers don't know you exist, so they can't speak up.
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Cat teeth: search trumps experience

Can you connect This Story By Stephen Baker to libraries?

Search is replacing the knowledge we gain from experience: the tactile, slightly risky, scratched fingers variety. We can learn more facts this way, but do they mean as much to us?

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What did Jesse say?

Jesse Hauk Shera (1903-1982) was a faculty member at the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago and later dean of the library school at Case Western Reserve University. Shera and his contemporary Margaret Egan are credited for defining and advancing the concept of social epistemology and, in particular, its role as a theoretical foundation for librarianship. (1) They defined the concept as “the study of those processes by which society as a whole seeks to achieve a perceptive or understanding relation to the total environment – physical, psychological and intellectual.”(2) In addition, Shera was also responsible for early research in library and bibliographic automation.(3) In the past decade or so after the beginnings of the ‘digital age’ and ‘information revolution’, I find solace in the fact that it is librarians who are responsible for initially asking the question ‘how do we collectively know things,’ especially in the context of ‘what do we do?’ That such questions emanated from library practitioners indicate, to me, an informed awareness of the dynamic nature of intellectual communication.

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Today's digital information landscape

The main point of Eric Morgan's lecture is to bring home a single idea, namely, the what of library and information science has not changed so much as the how. Libraries are still about the processes of collection, preservation, organization, dissemination, and sometimes evaluation of data and information. While the mediums, environments, and tools have dramatically changed, the problems and services the profession addresses remain the same. If we focus on our broader goals -- see the forest from the trees -- then the profession's future is bright offering us many opportunities. If we focus too much on the particulars, then libraries and librarians will be seen as increasingly irrelevant. The following examples will hopefully make this clear.

The Librarian Paradox

Though I'm sure this isn't something new for many of you, The Librarian Paradox is new to me:

A librarian is wandering round her library one day and comes across a shelf of catalogues. There are catalogues of novels, poems, essays and so on, and some of these catalogues, she discovers, list themselves, while others do not.

In order to simplify the system, the hard-working (and rigorously logical) librarian makes two more catalogues. One lists all those catalogues that list themselves; the other lists all those that don't. Once she has completed this task, she has a problem: should the catalogue which lists all the other catalogues which do not list themselves, be listed in itself? If it is listed, then by definition it should not be listed. However, if it is not listed, then by definition it should be.

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Extinction Timeline: what will disappear from our lives before 2050

Ross Dawson Points The Way to the Extinction Timeline created jointly by What's Next and Future Exploration Network. "When people talk about the future, they usually point to all the new things that will come to pass. However the evolution of human society is as much about old things disappearing as new things appearing. This means it is particularly useful to consider everything in our lives that is likely to become extinct."


The timeline lists libraries as being gone around the same time as Post Offices, just before Blogging and Desk Top Computers, and just after Computer Mice and "Getting Lost."

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CAUTION: Paradigm Shift Ahead

Eric Schnell Is A librarian inclined to think that libraries are at risk, he am one of those open to many of the more radical ideas about how libraries need to change. Several of the other librarians he works with may gravitate towards ideas that support the traditional core values of librarianship and will reject those that involve redefining reference, circulation, and cataloging services. The resulting discussions are very intersting, if not polarizing.

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