carnival and other readings

Carnival of the Infosciences #34 is up at Library Stuff with the usual goodies. Next week it moves north to Blog Without a Library.

Looking for more to read? Here’s a wonderful and inspiring story from the Guardian about a library in the UK that decided to work with teens rather than against them.

And finally, back in the US, the latest recommended reading list is out from the Dominican University Rosary College of Arts and Sciences faculty. They’ve been putting these together for the past few years; sometimes the recommendations come from faculty, sometimes from graduating seniors. You can see all the lists on the library home page.

goodbye ivory tower, almost

I stopped by Dominican last week to take care of some paperwork and retrieve the lock from my locker, and it occurred to me that, quite possibly, I might never set foot on campus again. Dominican is slated to start offering online courses in the summer (I can’t find any documentation on this using their crumby Google search, but I have it on good authority), and so I’ll be finishing up my degree remotely. I had never contemplated distance education, and I’m still not sure how I’ll like it (though the possiblity of not commuting, finding a parking place, and finding my green Honda Civic amidst the masses of green Honda Civics–thankfully, I at least still have Iowa plates–does seem appealing). Perhaps I shall come to like the university of anywhere.

But I think I’ll make at least one last stop at the bricks and mortar institution. From my Dominican e-mail today:

Michael Stephens is interviewing for a faculty position in GSLIS
Mr. Stephens is an adjunct faculty member of both GSLIS at Dominican, currently teaching LIS 753/Internet Fundamentals and Design, and at Indiana University for the School of Library and Information Science; and also works at the St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, Indiana where he is the Special Projects Librarian. He is a candidate for the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Information Science at the University of North Texas in Denton.

He will be giving the following presentation:
WEBLOGS & LIBRARIES: An Introduction
February 8, 2006
10:45-11:45 AM
Crown LIB 310A
A question and answer session will follow the presentation.
The presentations of faculty candidates are open to all GSLIS students – you are invited and encouraged to participate in this process.

You think they might have mentioned that he also runs this little site called Tame The Web. . . . Anyway, I plan to be there.

only connect. . .

According to yesterday’s newsflash, the Dominican web site is Webby worthy. The Webby Awards are, as you might imagine, kind of like the Tonys, but for web sites. This year, in addition to the winning nominees, the judges picked about 20% of the over 4000 entries as “Webby Worthy.”

According to the judging criteria,

The Academy evaluates Web sites based on six criteria: content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, interactivity, and overall experience.

One can only assume that they were awed by the little rotating pictures of happy Dominican students and grads and that their monitors were large enough (unlike, say, most of the monitors at Dominican) that the menus all fit on to the screen. And, for that matter, one assumes they did not happen upon the infamous GSLIS Information Center.

If you have a high-speed connection and plenty of plug-ins, the Webby winners can make for some good browsing. In February 2004, the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported that

  • 34% of all adult Americans have access to high-speed Internet connections either at home or on the job
  • 24% of all adult Americans have high-speed access at home

That means that 66% of Americans don’t have high-speed access at home. The study further notes that “[o]nly 10% of rural Americans go online from home with high-speed connections, about one-third the rate for non-rural Americans.” [Here’s the full report from the Pew people.]

(And remember, none of those statistics indicate the number of Americans who don’t have internet access at all. Interestingly, the only report I’ve been able to pull up about that so far–with, I must admit, only a modicum of searching–is six years old.)

scheduling and grumbling

I just registered for fall classes at Dominican, or at least I sort of registered. I’m registered for

  • LIS 763 Readers Advisory Services with Roberta Johnson
  • LIS 722 Library Materials for Young Adults with Jeanne Triner

I’m waitlisted for

  • LIS 745 Searching Electronic Databases with Marilyn Lester
  • LIS 748 Collection Management with Karen Brown

Course descriptions are here. I need to end up with three courses, for financial and health insurance reasons. (Oddly enough, I’d also like to take 743, Reference Sources in Business and Economics, but that woud entail dropping one of the other evening classes and driving to Schaumburg. . . anyone want to tell me it’s worth it?)

If this schedule seems a bit schizophrenic, there’s a reason: I’m trying to strike a balance between things that I think would be useful (e.g. Searching Electronic Databases, which I’d just like to know how to do better) and things that I think might be good to have on my transcript (e.g. Library Materials for Young Adults, since I’m considering the whole teen librarianship thing as well as the reference librarian thing).

I wandered over to the LISSA [Library and Information Science Student Association] Blackboard, where a few people have posted requests for information about classes and professors, and one astute reader of the schedule has noted that there are only 5 morning classes (as opposed to 41 evening classes, 8 afternoon classes, and 7 weekend/all day classes) and that two of these are core classes and the other three meet on the same day at the same time. As the writer points out, evening and weekend classes are great for those who work 9-5, but those of us who work evenings and weekends are kind of screwed. I’m lucky in that I only work a few nights a week and that my place of work is understanding and flexible about my schedule. Not everyone, I assume, has that luxury.

Also of note on the LISSA Blackboard is the “LISSA and GSLIS Request and Suggestion Forum”:

LISSA and the GSLIS administration want your suggestions and questions. Please help us make our school better. We can’t do everything you may want, but we would sure like to try, or at least help you make a difference. Students, faculty and administration are welcome to read and post.

Not surprisingly, there are no messages in said forum. LISSA is supposed to be a student forum and an advocate for students: by opening their forums to faculty and administration, they’ve pretty much guaranteed that students aren’t going to feel welcome. It’s often hard to make honest criticisms and suggestions when you know that the people in charge of evaluating you are, or could be, reading.

fall schedule, finally!

The fall schedule of courses is finally available (special bonus: spring 2006 is also up).* Registration hasn’t started, and I haven’t been able to retrieve my pin (and, interestingly, Firefox gave me a number of warnings about entering an insecure site), but at least one can now begin to plan one’s schedule.
I checked the LISSA Blackboard and people are starting to look for information on courses/professors/etc., so head on over there. Alternatively, if you e-mail questions to me, I’ll post them here (minus your name, if you wish) and people can leave comments.

In other GSLIS news, there are still no new announcements at the GSLIS Information Center. If by any chance you’re reading this because you’re thinking about coming to Dominican, there is a GSLIS Information Session on Tuesday, July 19. [Thanks, Events at DU RSS feed!]

* Update 7/11/05 at 4:08 pm : Spring 2006 is listed as an option when you pick semesters, but if you try searching for LIS classes, nothing shows up. Thanks to David (see comment below) for pointing out my lapse.