Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Minutes from 8/25/06 meeting

I. Administrative
A. Distribute/collect meeting times handout
B. Schedule
1. Sept. – OCLC Student perceptions report
2. Oct. – TIU panel discussion
3. Nov. – Reading
4. Dec. – Technology overview
5. Future – Distance education discussion

II. Friedman overview
10 Flatteners
1. Berlin Wall
2. Netscape
3. Standard protocols for software
4. Uploading – Unix, Wikis, Blogs, etc.
5. Outsourcing – Y2k & India
6. Offshoring – China and WTO
7. Supply-chaining - Walmart
8. Insourcing - UPS
9. Search Engines
10. Digital, mobile, personal, virtual

Triple convergence
1. One machine for multiple tasks
2. Changing habits
3. Globalization

III. Discussion

1. Is there something you read in TWIF that made you excited or scared? What was it and why?

-- Students need to be critical of what they find online. This can be an opportunity for us to teach them critical thinking.

-- More jobs being outsourced from the U.S. - what will that mean for education? What will happen to Americans who lose their jobs? It can be scary for Americans. It can also be looked at as a challenge for America to continue to improve.

-- The ethics of information - the humanities could be neglected as there is more focus on technology. We need the humanities for realizing the ethics related to technology, especially materialism and being too utilitarian.

2. What lessons do you think we at Rolfing should learn from TWIF?

-- Outsourcing of library jobs – need to consider benefits and losses.

-- Privacy – concerns about blogging leading to a loss of privacy. There is so much information about us online that can be used inappropriately. Erroneous information about people can be found online.

-- Loss of vetting in the online world. In wikipedia, what’s correct is decided by what’s popular. With blogging, people will just say whatever they think without thinking about it too much or researching it. There isn’t a reliance on people with credentials. The different levels of vetting in the print world are lost.

-- On the other hand, print publishing can exclude ideas that are outside of the mainstream. There is an accepted orthodoxy in the different disciplines, and publishers usually publish what will sell, not what is important. Ways of vetting blogs are being used, based on factors such as links to the blog and comments on posting. There is a flattening between the author and the reader through email, websites and blogs.

-- Interlibrary loan – tracking the movement of books, giving patrons options for how they want items delivered. Education could be moving more toward distance education online. Too many records for books in WorldCat could be a problem. The possibility of having one national catalog, with WorldCat replacing the local catalog. Individual libraries could lose out by not having their headings. Each library could add to the cataloging record.

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