Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U features a post today from Tracy Mitrano summarizing points made by Susan Perry and Jay Schafer about the future of academic libraries. It joins so many other prognistications echoing about the blogosphere, but is interesting for its technology focus (not surprising, given the source).
- Purchasing and cataloging functions are changing rapidly and the need for traditional technical services staff is shrinking.
Licensing, rather than purchasing, material is prevalent.
- The Open Source movement is making many learning materials and computer applications freely available. However, maintenance of the applications requires staff. It is a trade-off between purchased applications with support and open source applications that you have to support yourself.
- Digital asset management and production is becoming the name of the game. Continue reading
Being caught up lately in thinking and reading about library collections in the age of delicious, RSS, etc., and ongoing interest in the Fate of Journalism made this Kent Anderson post on Scholarly Kitchen jump out, Is Print an Elite Medium? Or a Medium of Elitists?
[A]side from being important to long-term career success, editorial work in the networked world may be vital to solving our much talked-about “filter failure” problem. The author [Paul Ford] observes that “[t]he Semantic Web is basically the edited web, for some very nerdy take on editing. Which implies editors,” and then argues that this layer of filtering, shaping, and contextualizing is what will keep the Web useful.
Only now reading Clay Shirky’s Ontology Is Overrated. Feeling late into the game. Morsel #1 (my emphasis):
One reason Google was adopted so quickly when it came along is that Google understood there is no shelf, and that there is no file system [like there had been in Yahoo]. Google can decide what goes with what after hearing from the user, rather than trying to predict in advance what it is you need to know.
Two points are of especial interest in this statement. Continue reading
Was it coincidental timing? Two reports came out this week on the future of higher education, one from librarians at the Association for College and Research Libraries (reported by Inside Higher Ed) and another from speakers at a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars panel discussion (reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education).