Library lint.

I’m madly spinning plates in preparation for the LAUC-B “Academic Library 2.0” conference we’re hosting here at UCB this Friday, and at which I’m presenting with friend and colleague Jesse Silva. It’s going to be a great day, but in the meantime, I’m feeling a bit braindead. And so I post lint.

Washington Post: 13% of materials in the Library of Congress are missing. The thing I find so interesting about this is how galvanized the Reps are over it. It’s typical of how people think about libraries. When things are working right, they usually don’t pay much attention. But if they think things are working wrong, they’re needled beyond belief. I mean, the country is at war, and these folks are really upset about misplaced library books. Never underestimate the affective impact of libraries.

New York Times Opinion: an online economics professor tells all. If you could take an online Intro to Econ with only 18 other students, get personal attention from the instructor, pay a fraction of the cost of taking the class in person at Public University X, and get your prereqs for the rest of your degree, would you? Yeah, so would I. So would a lot of other high school and college students around the country, who don’t have the twenty-something thousand dollars per year that you need for a university degree these days. One way that online education seems to be fitting into the bigger picture of higher education is in this niche–knocking down the 101s. Might be a very good solution for everyone, since the in-person solution has traditionally been lecture halls of five hundred students, taught by beleagured professors and GSIs.

Also, I’ve been rediscovering the joys of iTunes U lately. Free online education is a wonderful thing.

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