Happy Friday and end of winter quarter!

CSU and California have been at the forefront of advocating that student textbooks shouldn’t cost as much as they do. This movement’s been going on for a while – in the CSU it’s branded as AL$ (Affordable Learning Solutions).  OER is another flavor of this movement (Open Educational Resources).  What’s emerging quickly these days is a whole bunch of very exciting activity around “open education” – putting more free, high quality tools for learning into the hands of students of all ages, as well as their teachers.  Here at Kennedy Library we see this as an exciting opportunity for librarians to play a role in integrating this type of thinking and this type of resource into our work.

So: This week I’ve been working with Sarah and Conny on a poster that Sarah will be giving at ACRL in April. It describes the rationale for our new Open Education librarian position. We’re also working on the final draft of a job posting for this new position.  It will be a temporary, 2-year position, designed to attract new librarians to help shape a pilot program.

I’m really excited about the fact that as of this week, we have a fantastic new information resource that gives Cal Poly students and faculty access to over 20,000 streamed videos. Tim’s been working on this license, funded by Student Success Fees.  It has the very appropriate name “VAST”!   You can read about the collection here:  http://vast.alexanderstreet.com/ We’ll be doing a lot of marketing and news about this come spring quarter because we expect it will be a real hit and provide excellent material to enhance the learning experience.

I’m thinking about library architects. What makes a great library – not just on the outside from three blocks away, but on the inside, in every nook and cranny?  I’ve been in a few brand new libraries lately that are OK on the inside – but just that:  there seems to be a tendency among library architects to create industrial zones – huge spaces with lots of seats and computers but not much color or excitement or uniqueness. Do you have a favorite library/architect? I’d love to hear from you.  Meanwhile, I’ve got to share this library with you, in China: Liyuan Library – look at images 7 & 8 on this page:   http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/11/chinese-architecture-old-and-new/100409/

Have a fantastic spring break,