A Sunday Afternoon Potpourri

Yet again, the number of blog posts that I have saved in Bloglines for further review is growing exponentially. Admittedly, I have taken a bit of a break from school work this week (and from blogging), since I didn’t have any assignments due this week. While I have been doing reading for class, I’ve been spending much of my time watching Jane Austen movies and goofing off. It has been wonderful. However, now it is time to get a bit more serious about academic pursuits – and to clear out my saved blog posts.

Laura Cohen wrote about Twenty Things I Want to Ask Our Users over at Library 2.0: An Academic’s Perspective. These are some great questions – and we really need to find out the answers to these questions. Without good answers to these questions, I think it might be impossible to offer the right services in order to keep libraries relevant to today’s patrons.

How Life Has Changed . . .  is a post by Christopher Harris over at Infomancy. Harris discusses big changes which affect libraries that have happened over the past two years and asks how has library school curriculum has changed in relation to these new developments. While I would have to venture to guess that library school course descriptions haven’t changed much over the past two years, I would like to add that we have discussed many of the topics that Christopher details within the confines of several of my classes (MySpace, Library 2.0, the OPAC dilemma, etc.). I would have to conclude that LIS faculty are aware of these types of developments – and that is important. 

Harris’ post also pointed me to Joyce Valenza’s post – Meme: “You’d better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, For the times they are a changin.'” Joyce has a great chart entitled “How life has changed since I left library school – How should practice respond.” In the post, Joyce writes: “I see an urgent need for librarians to retool. We cannot expect to assume a leadership role in information technology and instruction, we cannot claim any credibility with students, faculty, or administrators if we do not recognize and thoughtfully exploit the paradigm shift of the past two years.” Well said!

Rory Litwin has a very important post – The real reason students like Google better than our databases– over at Library Juice. Rory looks beyond that fact that students prefer Google to ask why this is. He comes up with some interesting answers. Rory writes: “The real reason undergrads like Google is that it gives them more reading material that they are actually able to understand.” The reason is that our databases are geared to scholars working in their field rather than undergraduates. If true, what does this say about our database collections at academic libraries? Mr. Litwin suggests that databases have difficult ratings to help students determine appropriate articles. Overall, I don’t think that the reasons students use Google before turning to library resources is this simple. However, Rory brings up an important point that academic librarians need to keep in mind.

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