Google Books

I’m nearly done with Steven Levy’s excellent history of Google and it’s got me thinking about Google Book Search/Print/Books and the settlement with the Authors Guild and APA.  I don’t want to get bogged down in the details of Google’s initial effort versus it’s eventual settlement because I think another important element is often […]

5 Myths About the ‘Information Age’ – Robert Darnton – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Not much I can argue with here.  I do think his five points have a bit of the straw man to them, but not dramatically so.  My comments, point by point:

We need better statistics and a few more years perspective, but my guess is the trend go forward will be for less printed […]

Adam Gopnik: How the Internet Gets Inside Us (The New Yorker)

There is, for instance, a simple, spooky sense in which the Internet is just a loud and unlimited library in which we now live—as if one went to sleep every night in the college stacks, surrounded by pamphlets and polemics and possibilities. … To see that that is so is at least to drain […]

Ethics Paper: On Intellectual Freedom

PDF Version

Intellectual Freedom is “[t]he right under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution of any person to read or express views that may be unpopular or offensive to some people, within certain limitations (libel, slander, etc.)” (Reitz, 2010). The other notable legal limit on free speech is obscenity, defined as a work that, taken as a whole, includes offensive sexual content (according to community standards) and lacks serious literary or other merit (Preer, 2008). A few seminal American Library Association (ALA) and Canadian Library Association (CLA) documents define intellectual freedom in libraries. The application of intellectual freedom in libraries has been, and continues to be, a source of tension.

Continue reading Ethics Paper: On Intellectual Freedom

Leftovers from Ethics class

I fell way behind on posting this semester, for reasons you might expect.  Here are some of my comments from the course of the past few months–I need to rescue them before the courseware deletes them forever.

Continue reading Leftovers from Ethics class

The mistake of Progressivism

I was thinking this morning about conflicts between ethical values and how they are resolved within librarianship.  Preer emphatically states that, A, service IS access, and B, the profession completed this profound shift in values around the 1975 Statement on Ethics.  My only problem with Preer’s narrative is the Determinism that underlies it.  After […]

Thoughts on “Ethics and Standards” from Rubin’s Foundations of Library and Information Science

Some of my responses to Rubin’s chapter on ethics.  All quotes from Rubin, R. E. (2004). Foundations of Library and Information Science (2nd ed.). New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

Ethics in Leadership

“Most of the time, librarians do not think consciously about the ethical ramifications of what they do.  As with ethical conduct generally, our […]

The Changing Nature of the Catalog : A Response to Calhoun, Mann, and Yee

The Changing Nature of the Catalog – A Response to Calhoun, Mann, and Yee (PDF)

The central premise of Calhoun’s report is that technology has “created an era of discontinuous change in research libraries—a time when the cumulated assets of the past do not guarantee future success” (2006, p. 5).  Calhoun’s perspective is that this notion applies directly to traditional library cataloging.  Yee argues that traditional cataloging is fundamental to the value of libraries (2007).  Mann makes the case that research libraries’ primary mission is to serve the specific needs of serious scholarship (2006).  Each is right in their own way.  Mann and Yee, though, fail to recognize the changes that the coming of the Information Age has wrought on the world outside libraries.  Far too much valuable information is outside the reach of traditional catalogs.  Libraries must embrace technology to extend the grasp of catalogs beyond local holdings.

Continue reading The Changing Nature of the Catalog: A Response to Calhoun, Mann, and Yee

Karen Calhoun: The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Discovery Tools

Preface:

I found this wonderful quote in the midst of writing the below entry. I think it’s wonderfully apropos to the discussion.

Those who assume hypotheses as first principles of their speculations … may indeed form an ingenious romance, but a romance it will still be. –Roger Cotes, Preface to Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, Second Ed., 1713 (though I found the quote in Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver)

Calhoun, K. (2006). The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Discovery Tools. Prepared for the Library of Congress.

[Technology has] created an era of discontinuous change in research libraries—a time when the cumulated assets of the past do not guarantee future success. …  The catalog is in decline, its processes and structures are unsustainable, and change needs to be swift. … Notwithstanding widespread expansion of digitization projects, ubiquitous e-journals, and a market that seems poised to move to e-books, the role of catalog records in discovery and retrieval of the world’s library collections seems likely to continue for at least a couple of decades and probably longer (p.5).

Continue reading Karen Calhoun: The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Discovery Tools