Posts Tagged ‘ technology ’

Children of the Mind

Again, as I am reading the conclusion of Orson Scott Card’s Ender series Children of the Mind, I find another delightful quote:

It [is] better…to be able to select from the whole menu of human achievements than to be bound within one narrow range.

I feel that this means that we should not cast away any tools or ideas we have used and valued in the past culturally, spiritually, or techonologically and we should not shun any new, exciting, frightening advances we are making and will make in the present and future.

You see the range reflected in many poeople. There are still native human tribes that haven’t been exposed to the rest of the world. There are those who draw from the past and reflect it in the present. There are those who are just in love with what the future will bring and do not care at all about what has happened or is currently happening to the world we live in/on. Choosing to focus on any specific range blinds one to the beauty of each individual part and the whole.  But, if we consider it all under the mantle of human creativity we can see and possibly understand what it could all mean and what purpose we serve in our place in this universe.

Pulling back from my philosophical ranting, I’d rather live in a world where we are who we want to be and not what we expect us to be. We will remeber who we are as we change ourselves into something…one wants to say better, but I will say…different.

Expanding Library Services

This morning was spent in a very interesting meeting with the Dean. I didn’t know how well the NIU Libraries were preparing to adopt for the changing environment and expectations of academic libraries. And trust me the main library needs some major renovation and opening up of its resources. Just this past semester we added a small cafe (Founders Café) to the basement and wifi has been slightly upgraded in parts of the library. Necessary steps I think.

But a list of things that may be in the near future for Founders Memorial Library (main NIU Library) is:

the expansion of projects for the digitization lab, Open Access of Scholarly material (produced at NIU I believe) to the world, updating/improving study rooms, having media centered rooms, enhancing wifi access, working with diverse programs university wide aka getting involved, and e-learning.

I liked that the theme was “making the library a place to come.” I think these are all steps in a forward looking direction, especially with e-learning. Instead of considering the library as a bank of knowledge and written word, it needs to become a place where people can learn to participate in the growing and socializing world of technology and the need to expand information literary. As technology puts us in a position to become more social, the library can accommodate patrons desire to communicate with one another and the library itself. The library also needs to take advantage of inside and outside sources that already have a deep understanding and connection with this new information soaked era.

In fact I believe most if not all institutions need to be aware that they would actually function better and protect their interests more closely if they would consider opening up the way they operate to the social forum. The more you give the more you receive. The masse need not take over or replace the functions of institutions, but the institution should end up providing a purposeful and workable non-restricting service for the masse instead of trying to control and direct it and its own development into the future.

Catch the proverbial social bug.