[Library Media] The Second Age of Reason

Fawn Morgan fawnbmorgan at gmail.com
Wed Oct 1 22:56:42 MDT 2014


Yes, George, I thought that was a creative solution.

Fawn

On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 2:58 PM, <georgeweight at integrity.com> wrote:

> Yes, Michelle has some good ideas. I think I mentioned earlier that when I
> was Library Media Specialist at Juab Middle School, I shelved fiction
> books intermittently with non-fiction (primarily because of a floor and
> shelf space issue). It actually provided an unintended benefit, because
> readers who were normally into fiction--while looking for that "good
> book"--began checking out some of the non-fiction books that aroused their
> curiosity. Michelle's display ideas, I think, would do much the same.
>
> > Love your ideas, Michelle! Anyone else?
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Oct 1, 2014 at 8:43 AM, Michelle Melville <
> > Michelle.Melville at slcschools.org> wrote:
> >
> >> Thank you for bringing this discussion to the list serve.  I agree that
> >> serendipity searching can be a victim of online searching.  That being
> >> said
> >> as librarians we should not feel defeated by this obstacle, but
> >> challenged
> >> to create spaces (physical and online) that induce curiosity and
> >> surprise
> >> to a new way of thinking.
> >>
> >> One way is to avoid the "book warehouse" syndrome and be thoughtfully
> >> selective about collection development and how books are displayed on a
> >> shelf.  Personally I am looking at having every other shelf be angled
> >> for
> >> display to draw information seekers to areas they wouldn't normally seek
> >> out.  I am also looking at having my shelves be no more than 75% full
> >> for
> >> easier browsing.  My goal has always been to display as many books
> >> possible
> >> and I am exploring ways to increase that goal.  Also, we can look at
> >> putting inserts in the inside front cover of books to refer them to
> >> other
> >> books, as well as QR codes to refer them to online resources.
> >>
> >> In addition to improving access to books in the hope of keeping
> >> serendipity alive is to be cautious of self-censorship.  If the purpose
> >> of
> >> serendipity is that information seekers are going to stumble into ideas
> >> that challenge and expose them to dew ideas and ways of thinking, then a
> >> balanced collection free from bias has to be a conscious effort by the
> >> librarian.  My first introduction to consciously avoiding
> >> self-censorship
> >> came from an 2009 article in SLJ "A Dirty Little Secret:
> >> Self-Censorship"
> >> by Debra Lau Whelan (
> >>
> http://www.slj.com/2009/02/censorship/a-dirty-little-secret-self-censorship/#_
> >> ).
> >>
> >>
> >> Michelle Melville
> >> Library Technology Teacher
> >> West High School Librarian
> >> 241 North 300 West
> >> Salt Lake City, UT 84103
> >> 801-578-8500 x271
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: library-media [mailto:library-media-bounces at lists.uen.org] On
> >> Behalf Of georgeweight at integrity.com
> >> Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2014 10:03 PM
> >> To: Fawn Morgan
> >> Cc: library-media at lists.uen.org
> >> Subject: Re: [Library Media] The Second Age of Reason
> >>
> >> My response may not have much to do with the ease of information access
> >> referred to in the quote, but fits one aspect of the "loss of
> >> serendipity"
> >> that technology has brought about.
> >> Since I retired, I've done a lot of substitute teaching. That gives me a
> >> lot of exposure to many students in different schools. Once in awhile,
> >> I'll
> >> ask the question: "Do you think there is any danger in us losing face to
> >> face communication because of cell phones, social media, texting, and
> >> the
> >> like?" Responses are surprising: students will often respond "Yes, there
> >> is
> >> real danger. But I for one still prefer face-to-face talking with my
> >> friends."
> >> Anyone see any parallel to the popularity of the published paper book as
> >> it holds its own to e-books? When I'm filling in for a librarian, hard
> >> copy
> >> is the preference with many students. This in spite of the fact that
> >> e-books can now be read page-by-page, turning as you go rather than
> >> scrolling like the earlier ones.
> >> Students still show up early in the morning to check out a book, and I
> >> can't leave as soon as I can in some other classes because there's a
> >> line
> >> after school wanting a book.
> >> I'll read books the e-way if they're public domain, free, and easily
> >> accessible--but I still pull one off the shelves when a prep period
> >> comes
> >> around and I can relax in a soft chair.
> >>
> >> > The September 8-15 issue of Time Magazine has in it an article, "The
> >> > Answers Issue," a section of which is titled* The Second Age of
> >> Reason:
> >> > Information Overload Will Improve Our Lives*. It describes our current
> >> > age as not the Information Age, but the Age of Answers or the Second
> >> > Age of Reason.
> >> >
> >> > Do you agree with the following quote? I have long been a proponent of
> >> > finding the best information by whatever method or source necessary.
> >> > Serendipity is a search no one takes the time to do anymore, though.
> >> > Browsing? Fat chance! Take the first item on the results hit list and
> >> > move on is more likely.
> >> >
> >> > *"If there's a cost to the age of answers, it's probably our loss of
> >> > serendipity. We've honed our daily news feeds to send us stuff that
> >> > already interests us, so we're less likely to stumble upon a quirky
> >> > story on page B-13. We gravitate toward online cocoons of like-minded
> >> > people who don't challenge our assumptions. Optimizing isn't always
> >> > optimal. *
> >> >
> >> > *"But for the most part, answers are good to know. You just have to
> >> > ask the right questions." *
> >> >
> >> > An argument for our Utah Library Media Core Standards if I've ever
> >> > heard one...
> >> >
> >> > Fawn
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > library-media mailing list
> >> > library-media at lists.uen.org
> >> > https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/library-media
> >> >
> >>
> >>
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>
>
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