Liveblogging NITLE, “Scholarly Collaboration and Small Colleges in the Digital Age”, 6th panel

Andrea Nixon, Joel Cooper, Egohsa Awaah, “Ethnographic Study of Visual Materials Use at Carleton College”.

Trying to extend the work of Foster and Gibbons on resource usage in libraries and archives.

Student and faculty interviews. Students: they wanted to see where they were working and studying (used location logs). Expectations for assignment, resources and support. Faculty: expectations from information technology.

Research was done by student research team, information professionals, and a study lead.

Data was transcribed, clips were entered into Transana.

Maps of student study made from location logs. Trying to find out what’s meant by visual literacy among users. Assignments from faculty need to define the nature and timing of support. Rethinking student support.

I’m not getting a clear sense of the kinds of specific issues with visual materials and tools that they might have looked at, though. I confess to some curiosity about that in particular–what do students use, what do they know, how do they look at images, how well do faculty prepare them to do so, etc.


Paul Burnam, “Ohio Wesleyan’s Strategic Planning for Scholarly Communication”

Five-Step process for “raising awareness and changing attitudes” around scholarly communication.1. awareness 2. understanding 3. Activism: change tenure/promotion system to incorporate digital publication; 4. ownership: faculty, administrators, librarians all have a role; 5. transformation: everyone pitch in on change

I like what they’re trying to get to, but I guess this is why strategic planning per se often leaves me cold: it tends to end up with a long description of a process that the planners want to unfold point by point that ultimately has a lot of whistling-past-the-graveyard, e.g., it makes the difficult business of tranformation sound like something methodical and ordinary, and advises changes in generic terms that are ultimately going to have to be adapted to the very specific character of some individuals, departments, long-term patterns of practice, and so on within an institution. Better to go with a broad declaration of principle and then roll up your sleeves and grope your way through the messy business of change. Strategic planning of this kind tries to make an academic community into the kind of “legible object” subject to bureaucratic management that James Scott has written about. And mostly, academic cultures of use and practice just aren’t.

This entry was posted in Academia, Information Technology and Information Literacy. Bookmark the permalink.