Twitter Digest for 2012-02-13

Twitter Digest for 2012-02-12

Twitter Digest for 2012-02-10

What Keeps Me Awake at Night

I had a great conversation with Roy Tennant about “what keeps me awake at night.” He is doing this as a series of podcasts, and he has just posted our talk. I also love that he sped it up to make it faster to hear (and it doesn’t sound odd…I normally talk that fast anyway).

Here’s the link: http://hangingtogether.org/?p=1513

The End of Big Ideas?

Neal Gabler has a great opinion piece in the New York Times on living in a post-idea world:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/opinion/sunday/the-elusive-big-idea.html?pagewanted=all

Aside from some seemingly obligatory swipes at social media, there is a lot to think about there. Has society become so immersed in information we have lost our desire/ability to think deep thoughts? In an area of abundance, are we so overfed with information we loose our ability to seek more depth? This is not The Shallows argument of us becoming stupid, instead it is a cultural question.

Part of the reason I wrote the Atlas of New Librarianship was because of a perceived lack of big ideas in librarianship. As a profession I worry that we have become so enmeshed in processes and functions, we have begun to loose the centrality of why we do things. Librarianship is at its heart a big idea – that knowledge is the path to improving society, and that the knowledge process needs to be facilitated.

People think the Internet is the enemy of libraries. It is in fact a great boon. Not only can librarians do their jobs better, the abundant information on the web makes people curious – a prime motivator of library use.

No the enemies of libraries is the twin dilemma posed by anti-intellectuals on one hand, and the small thinking hipster on the other. One hates big ideas and the other dismisses them if they cannot be easily monetized. We need information to make good decisions sure, but we need big ideas to know what questions to ask.

“School Libraries: What Next?” Ebook Project

This looks like a great project. In light of full disclosure I have been asked to right the forward.

We are delighted to accept submissions for a collection of crowd sourced short essays on the future of school libraries from multiple perspectives, to be published in e-book format to coincide with Treasure Mountain and AASL in October 2011. We believe this e-book is a way for librarians to take the lead as content creators and publishers with custom, community-significant content for patrons. We imagine e-readers as publishing platforms for us, not competition.

Whether you’re an ardent supporter or see the proverbial handwriting on the wall, what do you see as the next 10 or 20 years of school libraries? This book will also tackle an “elephant in the room” question: with the nation’s education systems in an economic depression and many school librarians being pink-slipped, what is the future of school libraries? How might they be reinvented to remain deeply significant – for student learning? Should they? What past practices will we need to jettison? What stalwart beliefs must we hold tightly?

We’re posing a set of essential questions that will encourage you — and us! — to think deeply about the future of school libraries in the areas of:

  • Gaming
  • 21st-Century Learners
  • Who and When Do We Teach?
  • Reading
  • Emerging and Multiple Literacies
  • Networks and Organizations
  • The Physical Library
  • The Virtual Library
  • Collaboration
  • Collection Development
  • Librarian Coursework and Professional Development

You can learn more about our project, the topics we are exploring, and how to submit by visiting the links on the Submissions page. The Submission Guidelines document will let you know more about the length, style, and topics.

Thank you for your interest in our experiment – we hope you will join us! Please visit the project page by clicking here.

Best,

Kristin Fontichiaro

Buffy Hamilton

Great Video by the MIT Libraries

Extremely well done video that talks about libraries as communications and scholarship. At the end see how they celebrate not knowing where we are going…understanding that it is a journey of discovery and invention not blueprints. Is you library about invention and discovery of the future?

MIT Tech TV

Cute as an Atomic Bomb

OK, first you must watch this video. It is at the very least, adorable:

Now, reflect on what you just saw. A kid (10 maybe?) talking about using AutoCAD to make a 3D object. What’s more, talking about using an open source self-replicating 3D printer. Do not simply dismiss this as one extraordinary kid (though I’m sure he is). This technology is coming to your home and your children. We are entering the day when a 10 year old can design the next action figure, lego, or vehicle, and then email it to their friends. Not consumer, not producer, but participant in a creative community.

Imagine your dishwasher breaks and you call the manufacturer. Instead of mailing you the part, they email it to your printer. Are librarians ready for that? Imagine a member walking in to your library with the idea for the next great gadget. You can help them research it, make it, and then build a community around it. This is facilitating knowledge as much as giving them a “how to” book.

Thanks to Stephen Abram for the link, and thanks to Meg Backus who saw this coming years ago.