Friday, September 02, 2011

You don't REALLY want another collection of good stuff, do you?

How to share overabundant good teaching/learning resources? 9/9 2pm ET Online
Join us for our first free online FridayLive! session of 2011-2012. September 9 at 2pm Eastern. Working title:
“You are not alone!” and “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Finding, Browsing, and Drowning in Overabundance
Interview of Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian for Research & Instructional Services, Temple U. and ACRL vice-president/president-elect.

Recap, Extension of TLT Group’s Online Symposium 2011 (4th Annual) "Frugal Innovation thru Small Group Collaboration "

A new faculty member recently told me he just wanted a good new collection of teaching resources that he could use to build the course he would begin teaching for the first time next month. I replied, too quickly and peremptorily, that he did not REALLY want or need a good new collection. During the past two years, especially, I find widespread agreement that the more difficult and important challenge of providing useful teaching/learning resources to faculty is NOT based on scarcity of good stuff. Rather, the challenge is to encourage and enable more faculty to use more effectively the overabundant and often overwhelming flood of good resources.

So instead of succumbing once again to the impulse to build the most complete, best organized, well-purposed new collection (repository or referatory) of high quality resources, we should focus on finding low-threshold, frugal innovations to address these two fundamental activities [research and browsing?] that have become more important and challenging than ever before for each of us:
1. Finding good stuff just when we really want and need it... and have good idea of what it must do/be
Is this, in part, a description of one kind of research?
[Ref librarians! love to create bibliographies! ]

2. Finding good stuff even before we know that we want or need it - now or ever. Includes really new stuff - so new none of us knows what to do with it immediately.  “Browsing” - when shopping, in libraries, online - as form of "Keeping Up" as well as entertainment and education?
[Steve Jobs has been especially successful at getting people to pay attention to new things they didn't know they needed.]
Help!  How can we share more effectively ....  

  • Resources to which faculty, students and other academic professionals already have access?  
  • Resources for which the incremental usage costs are negligible in money, technology, learning curve, time?
 How can we engage like-minded professionals who have relevant expertise and experience - who are painfully familiar with these needs and willing to share ideas and resources? What do librarians recommend for more effective finding, browsing, research, sharing of such resources?  Who else can help?


Photo of "Canada Geese (Branta canadensis), on pond in Mer Bleue Conservation  Area, Ottawa, Ontario"
27 March 2010, by D. Gordon E. Robertson
"I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following licenses:   This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license."

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