Welcome to the 83rd Carnival of the Infosciences. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
From Frugal Panda: 17 Ways to Get Free Books posted at Frugal Panda. Sadly, the library didn’t make the list; the sites are a mix of ebook and swap sites. The Panda concludes that “whether you are interested in ebooks or printed books, the above sites are only the tip of the iceberg. Paperback swapping and digitized literature are increasing in popularity each day, spawning even more sources of free books.”
From Jimmy Atkinson: 101 Web 2.0 Teaching Tools | OEDb posted at OEDb: Online Education Database. OEDb is a database of reviews of programs from accredited online colleges. The list of Web 2.0 teaching tools is from their library of articles about online education and teaching. Many of the tools are well known to librarians, but with 101 items, there’s bound to be more than a few to spark your interest.
From TherapyDoc: Borderline Personality Disorder and the DSM posted at Everyone Needs Therapy. TherapyDoc comments: ” The DSM is a reference book of mental disorders. Infoscience people (librarians?) might want to know how it works, and why it’s so very limited.” We public librarians like to complain that we’re not social workers, but hanging out with them (virtually or in meatspace) can certainly prove enlightening!
From Larry Ferlazzo:Another Library Video Game posted at Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites Of The Day For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL (which looks like a great resource for libraries with ESL programs). I played the video game for a few minutes today. The player is a library worker who has to choose the appropriate resources for each question asked. It took me a moment to get the hang of the actual mechanics of play but once I did, it was strangely addicting (I must like my job, if I’m pretending to do it on a day off). The only frustration is guessing if the patrons want print or electronic resources. I can’t see a way to conduct anything resembling a reference interview and when I picked resources that I knew would have the answer, I was frequently met with the all-too-realistic, “I was hoping for a book/online resource but this will have to do for now.”
Now, onto the more library-oriented submissions.
Del.icio.us user grasshopperlibr (The Vital Library) tagged the pair of posts that have generated the most discussion in the past two weeks. We Know What Library 2.0 Is and Is Not by Michael Casey and Laura Savastinuk and the response from the Annoyed Librarian, We Know What Library Five-0 Is and Is Not. I’m sure I can’t say anything new about these posts. Certainly, as Michael and Laura point out, we have to be careful not to be solutions looking for problems. As the AL points out (in one way or another) in almost every post, it’s easy to confuse solutions with problems and likely every 2.0 librarian has missed the mark at one time or another.
Moving right along to one of my favorite librarians, Stephanie Willen Brown (a.k.a CogSci Librarian):More Library Instruction or Better Database Interfaces? posted at CogSci Librarian. If you’re at all worried about the future of librarianship, check out the smart, interesting discussion Stephanie had with her class about the merits of better library instruction vs. better interfaces. Like Stephanie, I think her student Andrea hit the nail on the head: “‘We’re harder to use but we’re better,’ may not be a great ad campaign in this Google world.”
In a del.icio.us submission from user ijastram (who blogs at Pegasus Librarian), We are the postmodern, or perhaps post-postmodern, librarians. Of necessity we are bricoleurs. We use what tools we can and build where we are able, putting pieces of the information universe haphazardly together for each research project, organizing the chaos where we can, inventing our own strategies in creative and resourceful ways because we no longer have the safety of using only the old, known ways. Despite improving interfaces, my suspicion—neither a fear nor a hope—is that this will be true for a long time to come, until the World Brain digests and organizes all knowledge.”
That’s it for this edition of the Carnival of the Infosciences.