Thursday, June 09, 2005

Insider Higher Ed

Today, two interesting articles about libraries appeared in the RSS feed to Inside Higher Ed, the delightful new competitor to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The first article, The Joy of the Stacks, discusses the University of Chicago's library expansion plan. The vision is to keep as much of the collection under one roof as possible. This is a notable step in the other direction in the academic library community, since remote storage facilities are all the rage these days. Those interviewed in the article talked about the somewhat romantic notion of serendipitous discovery in the stacks, which often isn't possible or allowed in remote storage facilities. (For more on one type of remote storage facility--known as the print repository--here.)

The author of the other article, Silence in the Stacks, bemoans the lack of lengthy discourse in the academic library blogosphere. Where are the voices, he asks, expounding upon the issues of the day? It is true, there are many blogs about librarianship, but the few that are most well known are generally technology-related (e.g., Library Stuff [which should be renamed RSS Stuff] and The Shifted Librarian). There don't seem to be blogs in which lively debates over intellectual freedom or classification are raging, specifically in a college or university context. Steven Bell, one of the people interviewed, reacts to the article here.

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