Rutgers SC&I Colloquium presents ‘Troubled Times, Tough Choices: Tales from Ferguson and Baltimore’

Great post about why libraries still matter by Carla Harwood (@tribigild) telling the story of public libraries in Ferguson and Baltimore remaining open during the unrest. Carla is my yin/alter ego of sorts since she’s a Brit studying librarianship in the States.

Banked Turns & Boolean

On 14th October 2015, Rutgers School of Communication and Information hosted a colloquium called ‘Troubled Times, Tough Choices: Tales from Ferguson and Baltimore’, with speakers Dr. Carla Hayden, CEO of Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, and Scott Bonner, Director of the Ferguson Municipal Library in Ferguson, Missouri. Both of these libraries are located in places where civil unrest has affected their communities within the last eighteen months; both libraries stayed upon for the duration of the unrest. The theme of the talk was the role of public libraries in the realm of social justice.

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Wrap up of interesting articles

Here’s a wrap up of articles of interest from t’internet I’ve read recently.

Library Trends

A blog post via the International Librarians Network  about trends in libraries piqued my interest. The super-cool sounding DaVinci Institute (an American think tank) has published an article on the future of libraries that is fascinating. One prediction: the days of using keyboards as an interface with technology are numbered.

Another neat trend report on the future of librarianship qualifications (a debate which will keep raging for many more years to come I’m sure). The University of Maryland envisions a degree that trains ‘disruptive’ leaders with a strong emphasis on business/management skills (e.g. project management) and empowering your community.

Visitors and Residents

I’ve been reading about a new model for digital engagement called “visitors and residents”. The visitors and residents model was developed in response to the perceived failings of existing models, namely digital natives / digital immigrants. Basically the model presumes that a digital native is someone born after about 1990 who since they’ve grown up with the Internet is presumed to have an innate understanding of technology. A digital immigrant is the term used to refer to the rest of us who had to learn technologies as adults, therefore we “immigrated” into digital culture rather than being a tech “native”. There are lots of problems with this, mainly that age is no determinant of technological savvy as proven by several studies.[1]

Visitors and residents is understood as a continuum of online engagement where the residents, to a greater or less extent, live online. They engage and interact with others, and leave records of this in the form of tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, comments etc. On the other hand, visitors, view the Internet more like a garden shed, you go in and get the tool you need or complete a task, then leave. Obviously we’ll all shift between these at times, and the point of the continuum is it’s not a fixed label. To learn more about V & R, here is some info with links to the original paper by LeCornu and White (2011)  and here’s a presentation by Ned Potter about V & R in a library context.

New UK Sound Directory for all you audiophiles

The British Library project Save our Sounds recently announced they have published a UK Sound Directory with information about 3,000 collections of sound recordings held all across the country. The wider aim of the project is to digitise historic British sound recordings because otherwise they will be lost in a few decades since many are in fragile formats and the technology used to play them is increasingly rare.

 

[1] See for example the studies by Rowlands et. al on the ‘Google Generation’ (Rowlands, I., Nicholas, D., Williams, P., Huntington, P., Fieldhouse, M., Gunter, B.,Withey, R., Jamali, H.R., Dobrowolski, T. and Tenopir, C. (2008) ‘The Google generation: the information behaviour of the researcher of the future,’ Aslib Proceedings, 60(4), pp. 290–310. Doi: 10.1108/00012530810887953).