ACRL National Conference Green podcast

I’m very pleased (and a little bemused–it’s weird to hear my own voice!) to have been able to participate in a short podcast for ACRL National Conference, discussing the work of the Green Committee to make the conference more sustainable.

Thanks to Scott Walter, Juliet Kerico, and David Free for making this possible, and thanks to the whole Green Committee for doing so much cool work to make this a landmark sustainable conference for ACRL and ALA!

From the “It’s About Time” files

The College Issue – The Tell-All Campus Tour – NYTimes.com.

The NY Times covers Unigo.com, a free site where students actually attending college or university share their opinions about the school with would-be attendees.  An end-run around Peterson’s etc., with much more timely and specific information, delivered by people with similar values and concerns.  Kind of a good idea.  (And a good place to look up your own school, to see what the kids are saying about you.)

Textbook publishing: still broken

Link by Link – Don’t Buy That Textbook, Download It Free – NYTimes.com.

The textbook racket in higher ed is one that still has to be comprehensively addressed, but periodically it rears its head in articles like this one, which really show how broken the system is.  Interestingly, I never see alternative textbook publishing models on the program at education/library conferences.  Why is that?  Is the problem so ubiquitous we don’t see it?  Or is it the same problem mentioned here–most libraries have made it a policy not to buy textbooks, so we don’t think much about them.  It’s only students (and their parents/spouses/financial supporter) who know the true agony of paying $300 for the 13th edition of Calculus:  Strategies and Solutions.

WorldChanging: Cory Doctorow: The WorldChanging Interview

WorldChanging: Cory Doctorow: The WorldChanging Interview.

Just trying out the “Press This” bookmarklet in WordPress, with a link to Cory Doctorow’s recent interview in Worldchanging.  Terrifically handy way to keep track of everything I scroll past in the day, thinking, Come back and read this later…

Doctorow, if you don’t know him, is one of the key writers of BoingBoing, and has wide and varied interests that include steampunk, graphic novels, and (most relevant to this blog) intellectual freedom and property rights.  Definitely an interview worth reading.

News rounduplet

Recent bits and pieces of interest:

  • The New York Times has a good summary article about ManyEyes, the free, easy-to-use data visualization tool that allows you to upload whatever data set you want (the text of an entire book, your data from a class experiment) and show it in any of 16 formats. Very useful introduction if you haven’t played with ManyEyes before. (And one of the most e-mailed articles today, so apparently a lot of folks are liking the idea.)
  • NYTimes (and everyone else) has an article about Sarah Palin’s Wikipedia article, showing how Wikipedia has become one facet of modern political campaigns. Separately, see Laura Miller’s review of Reinventing Knowledge: From Alexandria to the Internet on Salon.com
  • Via BoingBoing: Return your library books or go to jail!