Monday, October 31, 2011

Back to Work, and Looking Forward to ...

Wow do I have a lot to do!

First, I'm glad to have been invited to participate in the college's Curriculum Committee. I've missed the first several meetings of the semester, and the next one is in December, but I'm looking forward to being a member. 

It sounds like I'll also be more involved with a college-wide information literacy plan, which currently doesn't exist. No doubt it will be a lot of work, and I think there will inevitably be many pieces to it, but it's important and necessary right now. (Even if we only call it "the information literacy plan" internally. It might as well be a code name when it comes to what those words mean to the rest of the college.) In the immediate present I've been focusing on one chunk of the plan, teaching. I have jumped right back into library instruction, which I always find simultaneously invigorating, satisfying, and exhausting. 

Lastly, with the introduction of a new library director we're experimenting with a new service model and layout in the library. The reference desk has been moved & is staffed continuously, reliant on a complicated, ever-changing schedule of librarian availability. The leisure reading area has moved to where the reference area used to be, and we're looking forward to a cafe and new furniture (!) 

Time to roll up the sleeves and jump right in! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All That Glitters

I continue to be on leave but am looking forward to being back soon!

As I've been out of libraryland for the past months, I now see something more clearly in light of my own media consumption habits. Traditional library collections, which are inevitably limited by space, expertise, and resources, are being supplanted by portable personal libraries, and at present this is to the advantage of business but to the disadvantage of the public.

For certain [better-off] individuals, the new collection model is a dream come true -- free from historical constraints, it's within reach to have access to a mind-bogglingly vast personal collection with you at all times. Then again, this collection is probably not free, it can be hard to manage, and time will tell how durable it is.

Even when librarians are savvy about collecting electronic materials, the content may still be invisible due to a lack of awareness of libraries doing this. So the process has to start again -- we have to re-invent the idea of a shared library for a group of people with similar interests. This library will look very different -- heck, it might be almost unrecognizable -- but there is definitely utility and need for it.

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P.S. There is a nice post about e-books and access over at Attempting Elegance that succinctly says what I've tried to in various posts.