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”