An Accidental Academic (Librarian)

Jun 11

HathiTrust continues string of victories under 'fair use' doctrine in appeals court @insidehighered

May 22

Another College Library Moves the Books to Storage. Save Our Stacks! -

Photo by Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

From Slate:

So I’m of two minds here, because I’m generally in favor of digitization, though I don’t go so far as to think it’s an unmitigated good (no such thing). But the larger issue here is the shortage of spaces to engage in reflection. Churches and other such spaces tend to be good, and I’ll sometimes go sit in one if it’s not being used, but I’m not religious and it feels intrusive. For me, the middle of the woods is best, but can be difficult to arrange when my time is limited.

The students at the library where I work like it in part because it is a place where it is still socially acceptable to ask others to quiet down. The books themselves contribute to this effect; in addition to containing the world’s knowledge, they’re great for muffling noise. Some (many) of those students even prefer dead trees to live electronics. (Studies show that retention is generally better with paper, too.)

I’m in favor of the library as a community space, especially public libraries which often serve communities where such space is at a premium. There’s always something going on at my local branch: toddler storytime or homework help or the librarian helping somebody figure out which of the ten million hits they got is the one that’s actually useful or something. Academia is a community as well, one that prizes—or ought to prize—thoughtful contemplation of ideas. There are few places on most campuses I’ve been to that actually encourage this, especially when the weather’s crappy.

Take the books out if you must, but don’t replace them with offices.

May 15

Abdel Kader Haidara is my new librarian hero. National Geographic relates how he has led an effort to preserve a collection of ancient manuscripts from Timbuktu. Seriously, this story has everything: historically priceless manuscripts, spiriting books away to safe houses through hostile territory, the preservation of an ancient civilization’s knowledge, and one of the most badass librarians ever.
(Photo by Brent Stirton for National Geographic.)

Abdel Kader Haidara is my new librarian hero. National Geographic relates how he has led an effort to preserve a collection of ancient manuscripts from Timbuktu. Seriously, this story has everything: historically priceless manuscripts, spiriting books away to safe houses through hostile territory, the preservation of an ancient civilization’s knowledge, and one of the most badass librarians ever.

(Photo by Brent Stirton for National Geographic.)

Apr 16

A rough guide to spotting bad science — from Compound Interest
If I’ve ever remarked that a particular study was bad science or shouldn’t have been published, chances are it possessed several characteristics from this list.

A rough guide to spotting bad science — from Compound Interest

If I’ve ever remarked that a particular study was bad science or shouldn’t have been published, chances are it possessed several characteristics from this list.

Feb 07

Good job, Berkeley: Faculty win fight to preserve Berkeley libraries

"Close lots of library locations on campus, or close fewer and see services reduced at most of the remaining locations. Faced with those options in light of a budget crunch, the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley aid no to both and set out to find alternative funding sources to save the library — all 25 locations."

Jan 29

Resource: Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States

Online and interactified:

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Jan 21

Someone has made fake London Underground signs, and whoever did it is a ruddy genius.

Someone do this with library signage! Please!

jakbowler:

http://imgur.com/a/lUWTG

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(Source: jakwith0utthec, via prosign)

Jan 04

I would so play the hell out of this game.

I would so play the hell out of this game.

Dec 22

The proliferation of satirical news and commentary sites ensures that I’ll never run out of fodder for workshops on information evaluation and checking your sources.

Dec 21

What to expect from libraries in the 21st century -

It’s good to be reminded sometimes not only how we’re doing what we do, but why.