Against Regulation

The ALA has joined with the American Council on Education and other organizations in filing suit against FCC regulations that could cost college billions of dollars to make eavesdropping slightly more convenient. The plaintiffs argue that the changes are not necessary and that law enforcement needs can be served (when warrants are properly served) without these expensive changes. There’s more coverage of this story in The New York Times, the Chroncle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.

I happened to be reading about this news at the same time an Australian friend send me an article about a speech given by Nobel Prize-winning novelist J.M. Coetzee (author of Waiting for the Barbarians among other novels) at the National Library of Australia. His reminder that terrorism as a threat was used to argue in favor of apartheid has caused some controversy as the Australian PM pushes legislation to expand police powers in the name of national security.

Seems ironic that an FBI that can’t get their own computer systems to work wants us to fine tune ours at great cost for their benefit. I guess “Kafkaesque” is a good word for it. Or is “Coetzeean” a word?

Academic Libraries As A Source Of Dynamic Stability

Dynamic stability was the theme of Karen Holbrook’s, OSU President, keynote address this morning at EDUCAUSE. She emphasized that as IHEs grow more sophisticated in their technology they must retain and be guided by their core values. I think academic librarians have heard that message before in our own literature and conferences. In many ways the talk was complimentary in many ways of academic libraries – without specifically mentioning them. There were many examples of ways in which the academic library can contribute to and further the realization of core values on every campus. However, at the end of her talk, Holbrook became direct about the enduring value of libraries. She finished her talk with a great tribute to the OSU libraries and OhioLink. It was great for all of the IT folks to hear librarians be described as “leaders in creating a digital future.” But Holbrook pointed out its about much more than digital assets. She mentioned that OSU is renovating their library and said, “We want our library to be a place that pays tribute to books and the pursuit of human knowledge – and we still need books. We want a library that brings people together. Libraries are the best example of dynamic stability – constantly changing but always a stable source of help within our institutions.” (note – I had to get that quote quickly so it may not be quite exact – but it’s close). What a great way to start the day!

“Every Campus Library Is At Risk To Google” Says McNealy

I attended the first keynote address at EDUCAUSE this morning. Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, had some interesting things to say. His themes illustrated how interconnected the higher education and computing industries are, and that globally these two can advance education. He said we have moved from the information age to the participation age. It’s no longer about retrieving information on the net, but about everyone and everything happening in a participative community. He said “It’s about contributing via social networks.” This resonated with me because I’ve been thinking that academic libraries need to figure out where we fit into this participation age. Sure, we’re blogging at our libraries, but how do we create communities in which our faculty and students participate. For the most part, I doubt they even read academic library blogs or contribute to them. We need to get integrated into the blogging and wiki activity that is happening in the classroom. We are already doing this to some extent within courseware, but we need to explore these frontiers further. What didn’t resonate with me was McNealy’s statement that “every library on every campus is at risk to Google. The digital natives are on Google so fast that they don’t even know there is a library.” I wish I could have handed him a copy of the Chronicle’s special report on libraries from a few weeks ago – they are giving them out at the Chronicle booth in the exhibit hall. Like many IT experts, I don’t think he has a real clue about what’s happening in academic libraries – but let’s not deceive ourselves that we have no competition. My favorite – his top ten list of excuses for not handing in homework in the digital age. It included, “My cut and paste keys on the keyboard are worn out” and “I plan on open sourcing my homework from the kid next to me” – good stuff. If you want to follow more of what is happening at EDUCAUSE (beyond my occasional posts) there is lots of conference blogging and podasting to be found on the EDUCAUSE site.

The Ed.D. Still Makes Sense For Us

This week’s Chronicle of Higher Education features a story about Arthur Levine, President wordpress???????! of the Columbia University Teacher’s College, and a somewhat controversial report he wrote back in March 2005. The report focuses on the education of school leaders. Levine’s suggestion to eliminate the Ed.D. degree caused a particularly strong reaction from education schools. cheap MLB jerseys Many academic librarians, certainly those in administration, are themselves holders of the Ed.D. While I think Levine’s argument for some sort of M.B.A. in education curriculum for those who want to be K-12 administrators makes sense, I would argue that the Ed.D. should continue on as a valuable degree for wholesale mlb jerseys higher education administrators. For one thing, most Ed.D. programs will have a track in higher education administration that offer a good mix of theoretical (e.g., governance, history) and practical (strategic planning, statistics, law) cheap jerseys courses that will enable a library administrator to have a far better understanding of higher education institutions. But is writing a dissertation of much value? How does that help an academic librarian? The other good thing about the Ed.D cheap mlb jerseys (and perhaps as opposed to the Ph.D.) is that the dissertation project can focus on a practical administrative topic. The research could involve quantitative or qualitative methods, or both. That alone does a better job of preparing academic librarians to conduct research and write it up. I think anyone who perseveres through the dissertation process will be far more confident when tackling research for publication and presentation. While I doubt Levine’s report will bring an end to the Ed.D, for K-12 or academic administrators, I hope those who read the report or the Chronicle article Of will remember that the Ed.D isn’t just Eveniment for K-12 principals. It’s a degree with merit for academic librarians who want to pursue administrative opportunties – or who just wish to be better students Boilers of higher education.