Saturday, September 12, 2009

Building Academic Library 2.0

The podcast found at addresses the topic of using Web 2.0 in academic libraries. The keynote speaker, Meredith Farkas, is a distance learning librarian at Norwich University, and the conference was sponsored by the Librarians Association of the University of California, Berkeley. Farkas's lecture at the conference touches upon the effects of new technology and multimedia upon data, information, knowledge, cultural production, and scholarship within the context of academic libraries. The podcast has had more than 15,000 hits with very positive reviews. The incorporation of Web 2.0 technology within academic libraries will have enormous benefits for research and, on a macro scale, knowledge for all humankind. This podcast is very enlightening about how that can be accomplished.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Link to Nicholas Baker blog

Nicholas Baker is a renowned journalist who writes about libraries , information technology, and sociology. He has many excellent posts at this blog. In particular, please read the posts concerning his book Double Fold: the Assault on Paper. I read the book for a research paper once, and it is fascinating but equally concerning.

Nicholas Baker's Double Fold

I created this blog because I am concerned about the future of libraries and the storage and retrieval of our national treasure of books and other perishable media. I believe in the liberty of all libraries to pursue complete collections and to fund and manage the storage of some media that may be obsolete. I read Nicholas Baker's excellent book "Double Fold" which entailed the destruction of precious American materials in order to save the overhead of owning and maintaining buildings to house it. The former system of microfiche scanning never worked well to preserve materials, but new techniques may help save the texts if not the books themselves.

The digital age rendered many old systems obsolete, and some believe even librarians. A Catch-22 is evident in regard to the digital age. It heralded much more efficient systems of storage and retreival, as well as the ability to search for very specific information from within a large amount of media. However, library patrons and librarians must adapt to ever-changing technology, and the whole concept of libraries as a "community place" are changing. Many patrons search for information online and through databases without the aid of a librarian. People listen to audiobooks or read e-books on corporate-designed e-book readers. Unfortunately, Digital Rights Management of all this material is unregulated. The books "1984" and "Animal Farm" were recently removed from Kindle e-book devices by staff for unclarified reasons.

For these reasons, I believe it is imperative for librarians to take back their collective power, (pun intended.) We must ensure that the public has full access to any knowledge it seeks, as long as it not intended to be used for malice. Libraries should have the liberty to protect intellectual property rights and preserve information in any way possible. I have not chosen my specific field of interest in library science at this time, but I want to promote the advancement of all libraries because that will promote the advancement of all people.