By Edith Falk, library school lecturer, academic library consultant, and former chief librarian of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. After the massive replacement of print journals by ejournals and the introduction of packages that included the whole range of journals from select publishers (now known as the Big Deal), the age of e-books dawned on […]
As the focus on student success in the first year grows, librarians are being asked to play a critical role in promoting services that will help improve academic performance and strengthen connections between students and their institution. Building information literacy skills, cultivating student engagement, and providing embedded librarianship are all ways librarians can affect newly-arrived students.
The library’s role is constantly evolving. Students expect more, the needs of researchers and faculties continue to change, and budgets always seem to tighten. While these drivers put more pressure on libraries, they also create a huge opportunity for libraries to strengthen their influence and place themselves in the heart of teaching, learning, and research.
It’s hard to believe that when Helene Blowers created her “Learning 2.0: 23 Things” program, the term “Web 2.0” was a novel one. It was 2007, and it earned Blowers a nomination to Library Journal’s “Movers & Shakers” list. The program stands as an early example of web-based social learning. It encourages digital literacy using web-based exercises to expand staff knowledge of blogs, image generators, RSS news readers, etc., and offers rewards to those who complete 23 tasks in a certain time period.
Collection development, the process of gathering and maintaining information resources for libraries has become increasingly complex, with libraries continuing to consider their blend of print volumes to e-books under shrinking budgets and a growing number of acquisition models. Luke Swindler, collection management officer for the University of North Carolina Library, sees collection development at University libraries going in one direction.
The modern fantasy genre includes both the sublime and the subversively ridiculous. Novelist Lloyd Alexander famously said, “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” Philosopher-writer Theodor Geisel also said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy [is] a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.” In her upcoming fantasy novel, The Dragon’s Legacy, Alaska-raised author Deborah Wolf indulges in both.
When asked about writing and the lament of “nothing new under the sun,” George Saunders once said, “You realize that there have always been, and will always be, young artistic people in the world who, being relatively new to the world, are freshly amazed by its beauty.” When so inclined, novelists and their readers can find something extraordinary in well-worn genres like dark fantasy or crime drama. When such genres are combined, however, the potential for such amazement is increased.
James Brogden’s dark fantasy Hekla’s Children offers a heroic, human response to evil and chaos. In his essay, “On Fairy-Stories,” J.R.R. Tolkien posits that a work of fantasy should allow a reader to experience a world that is credible, consistent, and rational—within the framework of its own rules.
What’s the secret to helping your faculty produce academic research that resonates with practitioners, students, policy makers, and other influencers? Think less about theory, and more about practical relevance—that’s the opinion of Thomas W. Kent, Ph.D., professor and chair for the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, School of Business, College of Charleston.
by Tania Fersenheim, Content & Applications Manager at Fenway Libraries Online Are we spending money wisely? Librarians and administrators ask themselves this question in many ways, both big and small, every day. Sometimes it keeps us up at night. It’s inherent in the choices we make between different brands of dry erase marker, different resources […]