I’m a firm believer in the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. In part, it comes from my father, who spent his life as an educator; in particular, he specialized in the history and philosophy of education. But my own experiences bear out the general truth of it – different people are intelligent in different ways. The world can make perfect sense to one person in a way that makes no sense at all to someone else. This doesn’t make either person wrong, and it doesn’t mean that either sense of things is invalid. Our traditional understanding of intelligence recognizes only a very narrow scope of potential human intelligence that has been historically valued by one particular culture.
This fact lies at the heart of almost everything I’ve ever done. I’ve worked an incredible variety of jobs in my life and all of them required some understanding of how other people (co-workers, customers, etc.) see the world.
As a librarian, I’m especially aware of this reality. Our job is to help people access and use information. Success in this endeavor is entirely dependent on being able to relate information to an individual’s personal paradigm – or, in some cases, helping someone to open their mind to other paradigms entirely.
Continue reading “Multiple Intelligence – Part I”
I’ve developed a passion for UX and I do my best to keep up with the professional literature on the subject. There’s one blog in particular that I keep coming back to: A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design by Bret Victor. It’s almost a year old at this point, but I think the critiques it offers are universally relevant.
This post encourages me to think deeply about the future, and more generally about how we approach technology. I think Mr. Victor is absolutely correct – both in his critique of the currently popular vision of the future, but also, and more essentially, in his argument that our technological future isn’t something that just happens. It isn’t inevitable. We can choose where we want our technology to go – what we want to design and build and pursue.
Continue reading “Thoughts on the Future of Technology”
I love this video from RMIT University in Australia! It’s such a fun and engaging way to promote this library service!
So – what can the rest of us do to promote our library services?
(via the Online Education Database blog @ iLibrarian: http://oedb.org/blogs/ilibrarian/2012/what-is-a-library-database/)
Every time news breaks about a library getting its budget slashed, or a system under threat of being shut down, we see authors from all over the world eager to publicly proclaim their love of libraries. On blogs, on social media, in articles and print, they speak of the irreducible importance of libraries in their careers, their lives, and their communities. They argue passionately for the societal value of the free access to information that only libraries provide.
Such declarations of library love from our favorite authors are not only incredibly heart-warming – they’re essential in our efforts to maintain library service and support in our communities.
In the current struggle between libraries and publishers over ebook lending, I’ve often wondered what would happen if all these authors were to jump into the debate with the same level of library love they show when our budgets are threatened.
Continue reading “Hey Authors! Where’s the Library Love When it Comes to Ebooks?”
Inspired by this blog post, I started to think about my secret identities. I, too, tend to sing a lot – but only when no one is around to hear it. Since sometime around third grade, I began to see myself as a physicist at heart – or, more accurately, a cosmologist – and I still do. On the other hand, I also see myself as a philosopher. And an anthropologist.
I do realize that I’m none of those things. While I’ve read extensively in popular science titles, I’ve had no formal education in any hard sciences beyond high school. I did study quite a bit of philosophy in college and took a few classes in anthropology. But I’ve never done any of the real work that’s essential to actually being a cosmologist or philosopher or anthropologist. To claim that I am is an insult to those people who really are.
But this is about my secret identities. The ways in my heart-of-hearts that I’m the hero of the movie of my own life.
Continue reading “Towards a New Literary Culture, with a Note on Secret Identities”
In library school, we spent a lot of time discussing the nature of data and information, debating the differences and relationships between them. This may seem frivolous to some, but remember that the essence of librarianship is to curate and provide access to quality information in a community. While there are many competing definitions of information, most people are willing to accept some version of this:
Information is data put into context.
It’s the “put into context” part that’s important here – raw data doesn’t really tell us anything in-and-of itself; it must be placed into meaningful context in order to be useful.
Context is everything.
Continue reading “Context Matters!”
I want to share this article. Given the irreducible importance of the role that libraries play in education and the promotion of open discussion in our society, I think the points elucidated here apply to us, as well.
Charles Negy, Professor, Says Students Showed ‘Religious Arrogance And Bigotry’ In A Letter Later Posted On Reddit (The Huffington Post, posted online on August 16, 2012)
While I may not be entirely comfortable with the professor’s focus on Christians and intolerance (I know many, many Christians who despise intolerance and close-mindedness; likewise, I know many close-minded and intolerant people from other religions) I deeply appreciate what he has to say about the absolute importance of open debate and critical thought.
Continue reading “Education & the Importance of Open Discussion”