June 30, 2011

Julia Skinner reviews Critical Library Instruction

Julia Skinner has posted a thoughtful review of Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods to her blog. Her review will give readers a good sense of whether the books is for them.

June 29, 2011

University of Alberta PLG on McMaster University Librarian Jeff Trzeciak’s rather open comments

McMaster University Librarian Jeff Trzeciak’s recently revealed in a talk at Penn State that he plans not to hire librarians in the future at his library, setting off a firestorm in Canada. (He said that he plans not to hire MLS holding librarians for professional positions but people with PhD’s in other fields instead.) The University of Alberta’s PLG Student Chapter has issued an insightful response to Trzeciak’s comments, summarizing them and putting them in the context of labor-management conflict. This management trend has been in the air for a while, but Trzeciak’s statement seems notable for laying the cards on the table. I have to say that I appreciate his candor in highlighting this issue before the library community in a way that may enable some further intelligent responses and strategy (though it was surely not what he intended to do). Thanks to Sam Trosow for posting the statement.

June 10, 2011

Sue Halpern on People and Machines

Sue Halpern has a review essay in the new issue of the New York Review of Books titled “Mind Control & the Internet, in which she reviews You Are Not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier, The Filter Bubble, by Eli Parser, and World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet, by Michael Chorost. These books on somewhat disparate aspects of our use of computers are linked in Halpern’s focus on the way that humanity is integrating itself with its digital machines.

Articles on Canadian Media Studies

Just sharing this link to a nice-sized collection of articles on media studies and media ecology, most with a Canadian-theory slant. These articles are not heavy reading, and provide a good intro to a number of topics that you may be curious about.

June 8, 2011

Ron Day’s introduction to The Culture of the Internet and the Internet as Cult

We have just posted Ron Day’s introduction to Philippe Breton’s book, The Culture of the Internet and the Internet as Cult: Social Fears and Religious Fantasies to the Litwin Books website. We posted translator David Bade’s introduction to the author’s work here back in April.

I have come to realize what an important author on contemporary communication topics Philippe Breton is, not only in France but in other parts of the world. With this book we are doing the kind of thing that has often given publishers a sense of pride: being the first to bring an important thinker’s work into English translation. I am proud to be the publisher of this book for another reason as well: it has insights in it that I found useful for my own thinking, and reading it was a pleasure. Breton writes with a mix of intellectual insight and passion that is unusual for scholarly writer; David Bade’s translation does justice to both of these aspects of the book. Read these two introductions to get a sense of what the book is about.

June 5, 2011

Call for Papers: Genre in Theory, Practice and Research (Archival Science)

Genre in Theory, Practice and Research

Call for Papers: Archival Science

Genre can be defined as a pattern of communication that conforms to community norms. Genres are not fixed, but are constantly evolving and emerging. Examples of familiar genres range from speech utterances to publications, from text messages to databases, from blogs to formal reports. Genre studies is a multi-disciplinary area, which has the potential to yield much of relevance to the archival community.

Accordingly, a special issue of Archival Science will be devoted to the theme of “Genre in Theory, Practice and Research”, guest edited by Wendy Duff, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto (wendy.duff@utoronto.ca) and Gillian Oliver, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington (Gillian.oliver@vuw.ac.nz).

Suggested topics for papers may include:

· The role of genre in digital curation activities

· The implicit and explicit meanings conveyed by genre

· Use of genre in information retrieval

· Genre as a tool in archival appraisal

· Contribution of genre to arrangement and description

· Finding aids from a genre perspective

· Relationship of the concept of genre system to recordkeeping

· Theorizing genre types and genre systems

Key Dates
Proposals for papers (500-1000 words) should be sent to the Guest Editors not later than 1 September 2011. Authors will be notified by 30 September as to the status of their proposal.
Submission Deadline for completed papers : December 1 2011

Review Decisions will be made by: March 1 2012

Final Versions Due: May 1 2012

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Submissions should be made online via the Editorial Manager: http://www.editorialmanager.com/arcs/