In this issue:
Fast Forward • August 18, 2009
Have it your way. At a time when many news outlets are closing their doors or consolidating, NPR is gaining audience numbers and expanding its services. This is a good example of how a large, publicly funded organization planned and executed a major shift in structure through long-term planning, partnering and consensus building.
The Chronicle of Higher Education • August 25, 2009
Open source tagging. This is an interesting take on an old academic ploy — using students to get work done for free. A professor at Dartmouth is creating an online game that allows players to tag images in the library's database with metadata. Players receive points when their tag matches another's. The concept has potential for chaos, but with a little crowd control could be a cost-effective way to improve library search results.
The Wall Street Journal • August 29, 2009
Pulp fiction goes mainstream. This essay touts the emergence of a postmodern fiction that is entertaining, easy to read and is often found on supermarket book racks. Witness Thomas Pynchon's latest work — a detective novel that signals a significant departure from the weighty Gravity's Rainbow. Book critic and author Lev Grossman predicts, "Lyricism is on the wane, and suspense and humor and pacing are shedding their stigmas and taking their place as the core literary technologies of the 21st century."
Wired.com • August 24, 2009
Debunking the illiteracy myth. Stanford professor Andrea Lunsford studied 14,000+ students' writing skills from 2001-2006 and declared, "I think we're in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since Greek civilization." Not only that, but the fact that kids are almost always writing for an audience (texting, blogging, Facebooking) means they're becoming experts on kairos, defined as "assessing their audience and adapting their tone and technique to best get their point across." These are very different results from the dire predictions that term papers would be riddled with texting speak and emoticons.
More Lessons from Childhood: The 5 Whys
Innovation Tools • August 18, 2009
Question everything. Innovation consultant Mike Dalton says businesses need to get in the habit of asking "why" with the persistence of a three-year-old stalling on bedtime. His example of Toyota going beyond the first set of "5 whys" to root out the underlying causes of maintenance neglect is instructive for organizations intent on designing more responsive customer relationships.
Telegraph.co.uk • August 24, 2009
Preserving oral history. Cambridge University's World Oral Literature Project is archiving poetry, folktales, myths, chants and songs from indigenous cultures around the world, giving struggling tribes a way to preserve their history and make it available to younger members when village elders are no longer around. The article notes that of the world's current 6,000 languages, around half will cease to be spoken by the end of this century.
Inside Higher Ed • August 28, 2009
Consolidated effort. The Association of American Publishers and the University of Georgia have developed a database called AccessText that provides a central processing point for university requests to make specialized textbooks available to college students who need them. The system's development was funded through contributions from eight major publishing houses and will be sustained by charging colleges a nominal fee to participate.
- Crowdsourcing Lessons
- The Library Website: A Unified Service?
- What Library Administrators Need to Know About Technology
- Libraries and Publishing: A Couple of Examples
- Metadata Redux
- 2009 RLG Partnership European Meeting at the University of Leeds
18 September 2009
- OCLC Distinguished Seminar Series Presentation—Anne R. Kenney to Speak on Approaching an Entity Crisis: Re-conceiving Research Libraries in a Multi-institutional Context
23 September 2009
- OCLC Distinguished Seminar Series Presentation—Helene Blowers to Speak on Finding the Phoenix: Feathers, Flight and the Future of Libraries
9 October 2009
- 2010 RLG Partnership Annual Meeting and Symposium
9-11 June 2010 in Chicago