Stephen Francoeur's Commonplace Book

Mar 20

Eric Phetteplace, "Start-Up Thinking Is Inappropriate for Libraries," PataMetaData -

Pull quote: “It’s unfathomably, eye-rollingly ironic that Mathews starts his white paper with doomsaying about the sustainability of academic libraries and then offers transient organizations as a model for survival. I can’t even.”

Barbara Fister, "Books are for (Re)Use," Inside Higher Ed -

Pull quote: “I have been a bit bemused by the maker space movement in libraries. It’s great but … haven’t libraries always been maker spaces? Aren’t they places that encourage people to make meaning? I think the way we have allowed publishers to lay claim to ownership of the ‘property’ intellectuals create in order to share ideas and advance knowledge and the vain attempts we’ve made to enable access in a manner as close to the Google search experience as possible has turned libraries into consumer spaces. The more we remember that they are places where ideas can be born, the better.”

Mar 19

Steven Bell, "Employers Want Workplace-Ready Grads, But Can Higher Ed Deliver?" From the Bell Tower -

Pull quote: “While what we academic librarians like to refer to as “lifelong learning” skills means more than just knowing how to search databases and produce the research that employers expect, we need to start somewhere in contributing to our student’s preparation for the workplace. Perhaps we ought to follow the lead of the companies offering job preparation boot camps and offer seniors an intensive “research skills for the workplace” learning experience. Between what we can learn from Project Information Literacy, studies of employer expectations, and conversations with employers, we could help students make up for what they missed when they were short on attention during those library instruction sessions.”

Megan Garber, "'One of the Greatest Discoveries in the History of Science' Hasn't Been Peer-Reviewed—Does It Matter?" The Atlantic -

Pull quote: The end result of all this, McCray says, are scientific institutions that are ‘much more diverse in serving a whole range of audiences than you would have had 100 years ago.’ Which brings us back, again, to the Big Bang. And to the particular channels that are introduced a new understanding of it, this week, to the public at large. What they may sacrifice in terms of top-down control—of research, of messaging, of the stories we tell about the world we live in—those institutions are trying to compensate for in terms of public participation and interest. They’re buying popularity with a little bit of provisionality. They’re attempting to Cosmos our sense of the cosmos. And they’re finding, in the process, a new way to codify knowledge—one YouTube video at a time.”

Mar 18

Kevin Smith, "More than meets the eye," Scholarly Communications @ Duke -

Pull quote: “To me, this case is an object lesson in why scholarship should not be treated as a commodity around which commercial value, and the disputes that accompany such value, accrues. The radical distinction between the “gift economy” in which individual scholars work, giving away their most precious intellectual assets to publishers without remuneration for the sake of the scholarly mission, and the commercial economy in which publishers work, and to which some societies aspire, was never more clear. Whoever wins this case, the scholars who donate their labor as authors, editors and reviewers for this journal will be the long-term losers. And the only way to change that situation is to radically rethink they way scholarship is supported and disseminated. We need new business models, focused on open access and better ways to support the scholarly mission, while all this dispute offers us is a fight over the way the same old traditional pie of subscription money is sliced.”

Emily Singley, "Discovery systems – testing known item searching," usable libraries -

Pull quote: “This test, while cursory, does suggest that library discovery systems continue to have problems with known item searching. Our users come to these systems with expectations formed by Google: they expect to be able to search by author/title keyword, ISBN, and to be able to copy and paste formatted citations. And we are failing to meet those expectations.”

Mar 17

Scottt W. H. Young, "Measuring the Value of Social Media Buttons," Scott W. H. Young -

Pull quote: “A more interesting line of investigation might instead center on the pageview, or more specifically, the experience of the pageview. From this point of view we can begin to ask a number of UX questions, “What do our users expect to find on our pages? Do they want to see social media buttons? How do our users feel when they see social media buttons? How are our users’ perceptions of us shaped when they see social media buttons?” By taking a longer view at the experience of library users, we can start to understand the more subtle but complete effects of social media buttons. Users might not be clicking on our social media buttons very often, but could the buttons be serving a purpose in a different way?”

Mar 11

Vimala Pasupathi, "The Commonplace Book Assignment," Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy -

Pull quote: “I wanted a new assignment that would require similar kinds of analysis, but would force them to read Shakespeare and talk about his works in ways that were fresh—to them, but also to me. More substantively, I wanted an assignment that would allow me to emphasize the technologies of textual dissemination that literally were bound up through the media of paper-transmission and print, and that remediated texts by binding them together with others and shaped their meanings anew.”

Junior Tidal, "Vinyl still circulates," -

Pull quote: “Out of the numerous audio formats that we have, including audio cassettes and CDs, the vinyl is what circulates the most. There have been no requests for audio cassettes, so last year we weeded the collection. The CDs have not circulated in over 6 years, as students turn more towards MP3 formats and streaming media. Along with the vinyl collection, these materials could be loaned for a period of a week. However, what leaves the library doors is the vinyl.”

John Naughton, "25 Things You Might Not Know About the Web on Its 25th Birthday," Technology | The Observer -

Pull quote: “The thing that is most extraordinary about the internet is the way it enables permissionless innovation. This stems from two epoch-making design decisions made by its creators in the early 1970s: that there would be no central ownership or control; and that the network would not be optimised for any particular application: all it would do is take in data-packets from an application at one end, and do its best to deliver those packets to their destination. It was entirely agnostic about the contents of those packets. If you had an idea for an application that could be realised using data-packets (and were smart enough to write the necessary software) then the network would do it for you with no questions asked. This had the effect of dramatically lowering the bar for innovation, and it resulted in an explosion of creativity. What the designers of the internet created, in effect, was a global machine for springing surprises.”

Mar 10

Danya Perez-Hernandez, "New Repository Offers a Home for Data That Aren’t Numbers," Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education -

Pull quote: “In the quantitative-research world, where data come as numbers that can be collected and stored in an organized way, the answer has been to share the data. But for qualitative and multi-method researchers, whose data might come in the form of lengthy interview transcripts, field notes, or even recordings, the most common practice is to discard it. That’s mainly because data collected using less-structured techniques can be difficult to organize and share.”

Mar 07

Jim Groom, "How the Web was Ghettoized for Teaching and Learning in Higher Ed?" bavatuesdays -

Pull quote: “The blackbox for online publishing that was and is the learning management system (LMS). Like the pinetree deodorizers hanging from rearview mirrors, you could find one in every college and university. And as the world of Web 2.0 came around in the early 2000s the LMS became the rationale for dismissing blogs, wikis, and social media out of hand, while at the same time systematically discontinuing these personal web spaces provided on campuses without replacing them with anything else. The last relic of campus publishing spaces that tried, however pathetically at that late stage, to empower students and faculty alike were gone. So as we’re waking up from the hangover of a decade of innvoation lost at the hands of the LMS we are greeted with the corporate MOOC.”

Mar 04

Andy Burkhardt, "Threshold Concepts In Practice: An Example From The Classroom," Information Tyrannosaur -

Pull quote: “Using these threshold concepts may not work for everyone, but I can see them being exceedingly helpful to frame lessons and curricula. They help you focus on what is really important as opposed to getting stuck in what you think you are supposed to be teaching. Instead of just teaching a lesson about doing ethnographic research I taught a lesson about inquiry and asking increasingly sophisticated questions. An ethnography is just one lens and one method for doing that.”

Feb 27

Wayne Bivens-Tatum, "On Extremists," Peer to Peer Review -

Pull quote: “Since we can’t have such certainty in debates about publishing, perhaps a political analogy would work better. Just because the French Revolution radicalized and turned violent doesn’t mean the Ancien Regime was worth preserving.”

Feb 26

Katie Sherwin, "The Magnifying-Glass Icon in Search Design: Pros and Cons," NN/g Nielsen Norman Group -

Pull quote: “Users recognize a magnifying-glass icon as meaning ‘search’ even without a textual label. The downside is that icon-only search is harder for users to find.”