“The circadian rhythms generated by our internal biological clocks vary from individual to individual; most clocks run slightly longer than 24 hours, while some run slightly shorter.”
“I’m not usually one to step in and try and stop a fight, but there came a time — after one of the fighting men had knocked over a child on the subway and the other had inadvertently knocked off a young woman’s glasses”
Why bother publishing the book? I can’t get my head around this one. Yale Press?
“AMICAL is an international consortium of American-model, liberal arts institutions of higher learning. Our mission is to advance learning, teaching and research through the collaborative development of library and information services and curricular resources at member institutions. “
Archive for the 'intellectual freedom' Category
via ALDirect – It frustrates me when I can’t leave comments. See post: on Democracy, Trust, and Libraries. I also discuss this issue in my Master’s Paper.
“There’s something important in there for the science community, creating an online identity is of growing importance, whether you do it through your lab’s web page, your set of tagged articles on Digg, your blog about your research or personal interests or your photos on Flickr. When people are interested in asking you to give a talk, hiring you, joining your lab, or collaborating with you, they’re going to look you up via Google, and as the Times article points out, there’s a danger in not participating, and thus not controlling your online image”
SmallWorlds project at U. of Leicester: “This project will facilitate the construction of online professional networks using freely available Web 2.0 tools to support the development of early career stage laboratory scientists in the Life and Physical Sciences. We will do this by guiding and encouraging development of clustered small world networks.”
Press release from NIH
“Amid a national debate over the influence of industry money on medical research and practice, two pharmaceutical giants say they will begin publicly reporting payments they make to outside doctors.”
“Dr. Zerhouni was chosen after President Bush announced strict limits on federal financing of stem-cell research, and the White House made clear that Dr. Zerhouni was expected to support this policy. But in 2004 and 2005, Dr. Zerhouni told Congress that the president’s policy was hindering scientific progress.”
CCo is the full realization of “no rights reserved”. CC+ enables users to purchase additional rights beyond those offered by the CC license.
I applaude John’s effort to approach criticism with dialogue and agree with many of his conclusions. As an institution, libraries have a well established history as central repositories of physical, and now digital, collections. In my last post, I pointed out how we need to transition our thoughts of library as place to the digital world. However, John reminds me that the place is only important in so much as it meets the needs of our user communities.
To me, libraries are much more than collections, but instead represent a broader set of ideals related to universal access and intellectual freedom. As far as I am concerned libraries will live on as vital institutions as long as we embrace these ideals. John asks:
I agree on both points, especially with the “Â“Don’Â’t expect kids, seniors, and everyone else to trudge downtown”Â” part. But let me ask you this, is there any reason why a new library initiative couldn’Â’t encompass all those things? Why not subsidize wifi hot-spots around town that default to the library web page when a user first logs on? If you don’t have the money, raise it. Why not have our libraries represented on planning commission boards so that we can push for ubiquitous broadband access? Why the hell are we not the ones spear-heading these efforts?
All of those suggestions appeal to the ideals of universal access that I previously mentioned. Whenever I visit a new town, the first thing I assess about the public library is its location. I ask, “Is it accessible to those who need it most?” Oftentimes the answer is no. Contemporary information technologies offer new opportunities to distribute access points in new and valuable ways. And to answer John’s last question, I sure as heck would rather see librarians leading these initiatives than other interest groups. One of the reasons I entered this profession is so I would have a platform to get on local technology boards, school boards, and the like. I see our profession as a calling to help people connect with the information and knowledge they need to live fulfilling lives. We have a strong history of professional ethics and public service that we need to apply to these new initiatives.
John states, “The problem is that libraries are not typically aggressive beasts.” He then discusses a number of places we need to be aggressive. It seems that traditionally our value has been largely accepted without argument. As defenders of intellectual freedom, we should wonder why that is. Isn’t increasing criticism in many ways due to a more informed public? As defenders of intellectual freedom don’t we recognize the value of looking at both sides of an issue. Even if we are right, it is usually helpful to embrace criticism as an opportunity to reflect and improve. One of the ways we can become aggressive is to meet criticisms head on instead of going on the defense.
All this said, it is also important to attack these particular criticisms head on in the way Michael Stephens and have. In this case, it is clear that many of the points in the original critique were unfair to the Lawrence Public Library.
I look forward to seeing other responses to John’s essay.
One of the primary characteristics of Web 2.0 is that it involves trusting one’s users. As librarians, we have always placed immense trust in our users. As defenders of intellectual freedom we have defended freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to meet, and so on. We have collected the most unpopular and crude materials alongside those that are popular and beautiful. We collect political commentary from all sides of an issue. It has always been my belief that we do this because we trust in our patrons to be curious, intelligent, and compassionate readers. Our democracy is founded on the idea that, given both sides of an argument the majority of people will be able to distinguish what is good and true from what is bad and false. We have always trusted that this majority of our readers will be able to distinguish the good from the bad. Moreover, we have trusted our patrons to use the knowledge they have gained outside of the walls of the library. Like the press, libraries expose people to all ideas and expect them to use this knowledge in political, academic, and social discourse. Towards this mission, we not only collect different points of view, but open our meeting rooms. We let all groups use our meeting rooms, but allow all patrons to attend, whether in support or protest. As librarians we are neutral. At the reference desk, we attempt to give our patrons whatever resources they need to discover the true answer to their problems. We let them decide for themselves. This is extreme trust. How then is Library 2.0 different?
Traditionally, excluding our meeting rooms, we expected our patrons to use the knowledge they gained outside of the library. Eventually ideas would trickle back in through traditional media sources such as newspapers and books. The read/write web has sped this process up. Now it is possible for readers to feed their knowledge back into the system in real-time. Libraries have always been considered places of reading. Library 2.0 is a place of both reading and writing. I would argue that it was always our idea that patrons would write their ideas down and that they would eventually reenter our libraries as part of the historical record. We always trusted that the majority of our writers strive to distinguish that which is good and true. Library 2.0 now requires us to maintain this trust in the majority. We must continue to trust that most readers are curious, intelligent and compassionate. The only difference is that the evidence of this will now be created and stored on our servers. It has always been easier to put hate group propaganda in the stacks than it has been to host hate groups in meeting rooms because the first can be obviously lost among the true and good arguments around it. In fact, it is only noticed when we search for it. In the meeting room or on our blogs, that hate speech is in your face. However, I guarantee that if any such bigotry is posted to a political discussion hosted on our blogs, it will quickly be drowned out by the voices of more responsible patrons. Moreover, those citizens will cite other sources on the web and in our collections. They might even make a compelling enough argument that the minds of a few lurkers are changed. This is what democracy is all about. This is what libraries have always been about. Web 2.0 has just changed the dynamic of how intellectual inquiry and democracy operate. In this way Library 2.0 speaks to some of the best of traditional library values, and, in so doing, defends the library as a cornerstone of democracy in a networked world.
To me Library 2.0 is not revolutionary, but instead evolutionary. As my Academic Library 2.0 Concept Model suggests, I believe the main goal of Library 2.0 is to figure out how to carryout the librariesâ€™ traditional roles in a read/write world.
I was just about to post this and noticed that Barbara Fister has touched upon these ideas in a post titled Gathering Intelligence on the ACRLog. She proposes the following in a discussion of Wikipedia:
Wikipedia could be a useful and familiar metaphor for the collective intelligence in the library – and for the social networking that has gone on for centuries.
I also noticed Learning is essentially a social activity by Judy O’Connell:
Ultimately, it’s not just about skills and competencies in isolation, but about skills and competencies within the greater context of our global society. The reality is that the web environments of social networks are very empowering when utilised to develop ideas, share resources, hone knowledge and empower creativity.
In my next post, I am currently planning to explore how we might use the principles of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Web 2.0 to harness the collective wisdom of our patrons.