Friday, April 11, 2008

Good reading

The latest issue of EDUCAUSE Review is out, and there a few good articles that would interest academic librarians:
  • Conference Connections: Rewiring the Circuit. This article discusses "remaking" conferences with Internet technologies and social networking tools. As the technology becomes more reliable and easier to use, conferences can consider moving away from physical gatherings to online events, reducing costs and enabling wider participation. The extraordinary costs (financial, time, environmental, and more) of attending the semiannual conferences of ALA have been a recent issue of conversation in the library blogosphere.
  • E-Books in Higher Education: Nearing the End of the Era of Hype? An update on the status of e-books in higher education. I don't know any librarians who really like the kinds of e-books we have available to us now. (NetLibrary, *cough*.) Incompatible devices, digital rights management, poor accessibility and usability, strange licensing agreements, and lack of choice (both titles we want and the ability to customize large packages) are just some of the issues. However, some shrewd people are making use of the e-books we have available to us, such as graduate students using the books accessible through Google Books. (A historian has another perspective.)
  • Facebook 2.0. The author, Tracy Mitrano, explains three implications of this popular social networking tool. The first is "user education, especially for adolescents and their parents." She provides an anecdote demonstrating the need for this education. In her particular example, it appears that some young adults may not be completely aware of the importance of privacy, which Siva Vaidhyanathan defines as "reputation management." The second implication (and last I will list here) is the possibility of "connecting higher education's missions to the popular site." She highlights perhaps the central concern with such linking (which Siva explicated in the above post): "Privacy and free speech concerns will always be in tension with commercial interests that seek information about users and their preferences."

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Whoa, thanks for the heads-up. I have some interesting reading ahead of me!