Category Archives: Uncategorized

April 12, 2011, 12:26 pm

From Idea to Innovation to Implementation: An Open Challenge for ACRL

I’m been working with a committee to put together the ACRL President’s Program for this summer’s ALA in New Orleans. This will be my first time in the Big Easy and I’m looking forward to it.


The theme we were given by ACRL President Lisa Hinchliffe was innovation with nod toward Fast Company. My partner in this endeavor Steven Bell (a candidate for ACRL President-Elect, go vote!) and I kicked around this theme for several months. Our conversation always seemed to center around the notion that coming up with ideas was easy, but transforming them into reality was the real challenge. There can often be a variety of barriers, setbacks, or stumbling blocks that prevent things from happening. I’ve noticed this in my own work where there is a grand vision that ends up being scaled back along the way.


Fast–forward eighteen months and we have our program:


From Idea to…

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March 7, 2011, 2:32 pm

Taking A Short Hiatus: doing my part to prove Mark Bauerlein wrong


My son Leo was born a week ago. So far so good. I'm really looking forward to his social and academic development. Hopefully Dr. Bauerlein will have to eat his words and realize that kids can be both intellectual AND fluent with social media. I'm starting with the basics, the classics– old school 5th century classics– straight up Aeschylus & Euripides! 

That said… I'm going to be stepping away from this blog and probably won't be checking my email much over the month of March.

But it will be back to business in April. Lots of exciting changes in my library. We are officially kicking off the promotion (bundled with design thinking and user experience metrics) of a library addition and sizeable renovation set to break ground in Jan 2012. This project has been eight years in the making and I'm happy to come in at the end and support the effort. There are about six new zones to be…

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March 4, 2010, 4:15 pm

Speaking Up Against Hate In the Library

Interesting day. Lots of protests and whatnot going down today.

I caught some of the conversation & demonstration during my lunch break. Very passionate opinions were expressed. I’ve been to a few of these now and I’m fascinated in them from an event planning point of view. The thought, planning, and organization that goes into these rallies is immense… especially two weeks before finals. (The message is good too.)

Also in the news is the “noose” down in San Diego. When I first heard this I thought it was connected to the “death of the UC” theme that was very visible around these parts last Fall.

Death_uc1 Death_uc2

Coincidentally we have a ‘Speak Up Against Hate’ display on the wall right now. It was planned over a month ago, but it is suddenly very timely with all that is going down regarding racism at UCSD, Irvine, and Davis. This project was a partnership with the Office of…

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February 20, 2010, 9:49 pm

The Facebook Learning Commons (a real place)

I was flipping through the current issue of Fast Co and I stumbled upon this photo of the Facebook workspace:


Watch the video here and pay attention to the physical workspace. It seems strangely familiar… like something I have seen before:


And here too:


Maybe Facebook learned something from the evolution of academic libraries? 

Collaborative workstations. Comfortable sitting areas. Cafe. Inspiring environment. Watch the video, it reminds me a lot of Georgia Tech. Same tone, energy, and clientele.  Their spaces look a lot like a modern academic library.

February 7, 2010, 9:54 pm

And Our Three Millionth Volume Is… An Open Access Title? [maybe]

We’ve been kicking around ideas for our symbolic three
millionth volume. Most libraries pick an old book with an ornate cover and
build a message about the concept of printed artifacts. At UCSB we might do
that too… or maybe not. One of the exciting ideas that came up during our
initial brainstorming was selecting an open access title or at least something
that is born digital. This really rocks the boat but I think that is a good
thing. This is a chance to really make a statement about the direction library
collections are heading. It also gives us a springboard to reach out to our faculty
about scholarly communications. I can imagine a nice promotional package built
around this theme.

Ah, but that to choose? That’s where we are now. I thought
I’d open it up to you too. What would you select for a ceremonial “millionth”
volume?  What are some
digital items that would really…

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January 22, 2010, 11:38 am

In the Scene: highlighting creativity on campus

How about a fun post for a rainy Friday…

At most universities the athletes get a lot of attention. So do the people who win scholarly awards and whatnot… but what about the creative types? I’m not talking about the guy who ends up on American Idol or the grad student who publishes a book. I’m talking about the person studying in your library right now. The girl who plays her guitar at the local coffee shop and has some tracks on iTunes. Or the guy who writes existential poetry and is directing a black and white film on the weekends. These are the people who fascinate me. These are the people who add character to the college experience… and these are the people that I want to help.

One of my guiding principles is that academic libraries should highlight the scholarly, cultural, creative, and service contributions of the community. Not only highlight, but strive to make them…

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January 21, 2010, 4:37 pm

The spirit of angst lives strong in Seattle

When I publish my next book I’ll be sure to add “blowjobby” author of Next Steps to the promotional packet. That’s what a writer for The Stranger, Seattle’s alt newspaper, labeled me. I guess it is better than crickets chirping, but still—librarians get no respect.  And people wonder why newspapers are dying? Looking back at the writer’s archive of work he seems like he has a chip on his shoulder and is channeling the spirit of talk radio by taking things out of context and then trying to cause problems—while simultaneously posturing his angsty hipster image. I could be wrong but that’s how it looks to me. We’ll get to that.

First the column. The idea sprouted on a trip to UW-Madison. I wanted to write a follow-up book about the inspiring qualities of libraries. My foray into marketing left an impression on me about building a brand. It was fascinating to hear from…

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January 5, 2010, 6:03 pm

Libraries As Places Where Talking is Necessary? A speculative glance at the future of voice-searching


I’m been thinking about voice lately… as in no keyboard and just talking. There is a lot of wild speculation about the new Apple tablet and how it is going to change the world. [Full disclosure, I am now officially one of those annoying Mac evangelists.  Not sure how it happened—it just kind of snuck up on me.]

Back on point.

There is hype around the idea of using voice for searching, writing, reading, scrolling, navigation, everything, and so on. This seems to be a trend that will only continue to gain momentum as the technology improves and spreads. Let’s leave aside our personal feelings (personally, I hate using the voice feature on my iPhone) and explore this a bit.

What if keyboards are on the way out? Not entirely—I mean, there is something pleasurable about sending a text or an email while you are standing on a bus or are in a crowded room. (Or even in a committee me…

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January 3, 2010, 10:33 am

Thoughts Heading Into 2010

I wonder if 2010 is the year that many of us academic librarians will shut down our blogs? There were a bunch of us who launched three or four years ago and who posted regularly. It felt sort of like a Gen X movement. However I’ve noticed a steady overall decline in post quantity in 2009. Walt probably has an algorithm to measure that. I think the probable cause is that many of us were moving past the newbie stage of librarianship and were really starting to sink our teeth into the profession. Now we’re just too busy for constant online reflection. Additionally, Facebook and Twitter have evolved to replace the long form narrative (blog posts) in favor of quick bursts of ideas.  (Or something like that, right Stacy?) That’s my excuse for seemingly abandoning this blog.

But it’s a new year. I have a new attitude. And like lil wayne I’m planning a rebirth. I have a handful of…

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November 8, 2009, 7:47 pm

The Library & The CMS: a wish list

I’m really excited about the relationship that is forming between the Library and our Course Management System folks. UCSB is adopting Moodle and there is a lot of momentum gathering. The Library has been invited to be development partners but also to help with assessment as well.

Here are my quick and dirty notes of blue-sky thinking. Please feel free to add more ideas in the comments. I’m also curious to hear about tips and pitfalls of working with CMS teams.

Core theme: “the library in every course”—building on their theme of “a website for every class.” We want to integrate library resources and services into the infrastructure– make it as easy as possible for students and faculty to access the library via their course management system.

1. We’d like to have a default library “widget” or tab or space for every course. This will include basic stuff, such as…

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