Thursday, April 28, 2005

TCNJ Celebration of Student Achievement

I went to a few poster sessions and talks at our
Celebration of Student Achievement yesterday. One student linked Shakespeare's Pericles with the Coen bros' Big Lebowski by claiming both Pericles and the Dude were passive heroes--characters who are most efficacious when they are least active. I thought it was interesting how he claimed that the Dude avoided what is sometimes called traditional or hegemonic masculinity while still "keeping his johnson" and maintaining a different sense of manhood. The Dude abides.

Easy Kung-Fu!

Kung-Fu librarian humorously karate chops students for the errors they make in their MA and PhD theses. Very attractive design for a librarian blog. Here's a nice piece of advice that could be applied to many kinds of academic writing:

4. But I already have friends...
This is an often overlooked problem: your research is based upon a pool of authors/scholars in the exact same field who all refer to one another. It's called incestuous research and involves the "comfort zone" of people whose writings in some way support your own theory inasmuch as they support each others'. You must go beyond the required and/or suggested readings that your professor gives you. Additionally, it's a good idea if you can identify, confront, explain, and logically be able to refute dissenting opinions.

The Kung-Fu Librarian: Nice to meet you slkwerli

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Becker-Posner Blog: Plagiarism--Posner Post

This analysis of plagiarism by Richard Posner claims that plagiarism by professors is not as serious as plagiarism by students.
The Becker-Posner Blog: Plagiarism--Posner Post

Monday, April 25, 2005

Vaidhyanathanpronounce.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)

How do you pronounce Siva Vaidyanathan?
Vaidhyanathanpronounce.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)

ALA Chicago 2005 Main Page - ALA Chicago Wiki

There's an "unofficial wiki" for ALA Annual in Chicago. ALA Chicago 2005 Main Page - ALA Chicago Wiki

Friday, April 22, 2005

The iPod Goes Collegiate

The iPod in classes phenomena kind of points to the old idea of students being able to build and even carry around their own personal "library." (Microfiche was once promoted by saying students could have the Library of Congress in a shoebox.) Also raised in this article is the issue of copyright. Not mentioned is that you don't need an iPod to make use of iTunes, freely downloadable software that you can put on your computer to organize your music. You can make your files available over the campus network, which allows other people on campus to listen to your music, but not download it. I have done this, and it's kind of neat listening to other people's music.

The Kept-Up Academic Librarian: The iPod Goes Collegiate

For more on "personal repositories" see the April 19th Emerging Technologies post from Library Web Chic:

First, it raises the question of what is the role of libraries as repositories if each user can create their own personal repository. Second, libraries need to recognize that their role is increasing becoming one of assisting users with personal information collections (a role we already play) and management. We need to be prepared to help users sort through the information that users have collect in their “personal digital library” search it, compare it, evaluate it, manage it, and add to it. We also need to recognize that there is a vast variety of formats of information which users are struggling to manage: photos, audio files, video files, text-based files, and many more. Users use all these different types of information today and we need to be able to provide assistant in finding all of types of information not just text-based information.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

What you can do to promote open access

I found this great guide to promoting open access through Peter Scott's Library Blog.

H-Net Discussion Networks - "The Democratization of Cultural Criticism" - An H-Ideas Virtual Symposium

H-Net Discussion Networks - "The Democratization of Cultural Criticism" - An H-Ideas Virtual Symposium: "April 28-29, 2005 Have cultural barbarians vanquished the life of the mind?"

Even though I prefer to be all hip and progressive instead of stuffy and grouchy, I often find myself in moods where I honestly have to answer this question in the affirmative. Perhaps Cotkin can persuade me otherwise.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Chastity Group uses Anscombe's Name

Is this the same Elizabeth Anscombe who was a student of Wittgenstein? Looks like yes.

"The group is named after Elizabeth Anscombe, the Cambridge University Anglo-Catholic whose 1977 essay "Contraception and Chastity" is famous among conservative Roman Catholics for setting out a philosophical defense of the papacy's strictures on sexual behavior. She died in 2001."

The New York Times > Education > A Group at Princeton Where 'No' Means 'Entirely No'

Anscombe Society

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project

Oxyrhynchus Papyri Project

Monday, April 18, 2005

Papyrus fragments discovered in historic dumps outside the Graeco-Egyptian town of Oxyrhynchus

News: "'The Oxyrhynchus collection is of unparalleled importance - especially now that it can be read fully and relatively quickly,' said the Oxford academic directing the research, Dr Dirk Obbink. 'The material will shed light on virtually every aspect of life in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, and, by extension, in the classical world as a whole.'" Academics have hailed it as a development which could lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of great Greek and Roman works in existence. Some are even predicting a "second Renaissance".

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Books for Understanding: The Catholic Pope

The folks who write It's all good were whining recently (April 3 Being Relevant) about how after the pope died libraries weren't as good as Amazon at whipping up instant bibliographies. Here's a bibliography of scholarly books on things pope from Books for Understanding.
Books for Understanding: The Catholic Pope

Information Ethics Roundtable

I'm commenting on a paper at the Information Ethics Roundtable on April 29th. To prepare, I've started philosopher Alvin Goldman's book Pathways to Knowledge. Goldman is an academic philosopher in the analytic tradition. His work has a lot to teach librarians interested in the evaluation of information. Look at the interesting questions he raises:
No single person can possibly attain all the relevant forms of expertise; each of us must rely on others. But on whom, exactly, should we rely? Which experts, or alleged experts, should be trusted? Unfortunately, so-called experts often disagree, and when they do, they cannot all be right. Which one should the novice or layperson trust? Upon hearing two rival experts offer conflicting viewpoints, can the novice justifiably trust either one? How can such justified belief be attained? After all, novices often struggle to get even a bare comprehension of what experts are saying. When they do understand them, how can they appraise the relative merits of their esoteric arguments? This is, I believe, a fundamental problem in social epistemology. Preface, p x.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Muslim shrines in Tajikistan

Today I went to a talk on Muslim shrines in Tajikistan by a professor in our history department. Not much is known about these shrines compared to other shrines in the Muslim world. Most are from the 14th century and are the burial places of Sufi religious leaders. Tajikistan has Turkish and Persian cultural roots.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Google: Friend or Foe?

Richard Sweeney vs. Steve Bell on Google. Both sides make good points, the question is what does it mean for academic libraries? I tend toward a bit toward the Sweeney/Luther view. Inside Higher Ed :: Google: Friend or Foe?

Friday, April 08, 2005

Can you stand the excitement?

Today I'm preparing for the NJLA Annual Conference, taking a tour of our new library scheduled to open in Fall of 05, and sitting at the Reference Desk from 2-5.