Links of interest: January 21, 2011

Welcome to the return of the links posts! I’ve got an interesting collection again, so here we go:

Talking about tech:

In the aftermath of the news Delicious was closing .. erm, looking for a buyer, Doug Johnson did an interesting post on what it means to write about technology when technology changes so rapidly. (He’s working on a book about instructional technology, which I am looking forward to when it’s available.)

David Lee King looks at another side of the same question: how much trust and reliance do we place on external sites. (I like cloud computing but I’m a lot happier when copies of all the relevant stuff are all under my direct control too, thanks.) I’d add one extra point to his post: I only rely on sites that make it easy for me to get my data out in a format that I can continue to use relatively easily (whether that’s a common format lots of tools read, or whatever.)

Going back to my series of posts on ‘real names’ online, Kirrily Robert has a great post on some of the issues with naming assumptions online. (Another post from her on the topic can be found at Geek Feminism from earlier this year.)

And in terms of talking about education, more than tech, I was reading about a school I was writing a cover letter to (and reading their headmaster’s blog) when I found a great link to something fascinating. This YouTube video is of Sir Ken Robinson, a British expert in education and creativity. The talk itself is interesting, but the presentation, done by RSA, is amazing on both an artistic level and an educational one (in terms of what it brings into play). Recommended viewing, and it’s only about 10 minutes. (They’ve also done a bit of Daniel Pink talking about Drive, among other things.)

[accessibility note: it’s not captioned, yet, but the presentation writes out a lot of the key points, and I think it’s still relatively easy to follow the line of thought even if you can’t hear the narration/speech.]

Living online:

Johnathan Salem Baskin had an interesting post called “The Elecric Corset” arguing that in many ways today’s online interaction is a return to many of the social rules and structure of the Victorian era. I definitely think there’s something to the idea of learning how to navigate both written and unwritten rules and expectations in different digital cultures. (Which is one more thing to add to my list of “things information literacy classes are not really covering yet.”)

But there’s movement on that front. Doug Johnson also shared a section from the book he’s working on, talking about a dozen ways to teach safe and ethical technology use in the classroom. Many of them don’t take a lot of extra time or fuss. Also a post about dealing with feeling overwhelmed by all this new technology stuff.

Library work:

Abigail Goben had a great post early in January about what changes in what libraries are doing might mean in who we need to attract to the profession. There’s some great bits in the comments, too. (The Jen there is me).

Brian Herzog talks about some major material shifting at his library, and about how it’s going to open up space in a wonderful new way, for the ways people are now wanting to use the library. Weeding materials, in particular, is a challenging topic, and I’m always glad when I see people talk about it openly and honestly. I really like their end solutions, too.

Gwyneth Jones has been doing a whole series of comic-strip tutorials for various technology things. The most recent is on QR codes, but there are lots of other great ones.

Carolyn Foote has a great post on how, perhaps, we’re moving from collection development to connection development as librarians – and what that means for how we do things, and where we focus.

Iris had some great thoughts on how ‘compromised questions’ can teach us fascinating things about other kinds of problem solving. (Compromised reference questions are, as she explains in more detail in a footnote, what happens when someone asks a reference question but is trying to avoid burdening you/asking too much. Except that they leave out stuff that would help you answer the question much better.)

Coming shortly: a series of posts about how I do my personal file management.

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Hi, I’m Jen

Librarian, infovore, and general geek, likely to write comments about books, link collections, and other thoughts related to how we find, use, and take joy in information.

I'm the Research Librarian at the Perkins School for the Blind

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