Happy Friday!

We have some special visitors today: about 60 members of the Cal Poly Retired Faculty and Staff Association!  From 2-4 pm in Julian’s East, the Active Learning Lab, and Special Collection, they’ll join the library and IT for a special peek into library & information past, present, and future. It’s a great way to round out the week’s futuring conversations.

1.  Working on: A couple of synthesis and writing tasks this week, including notes on the role of libraries in supporting multi-disciplinary learning; and sorting out a fountain of ideas from the Academic and Instructional Spaces Committee, about how future changes in learning should impact both large and small space planning.  I’ll share both these working documents with our strategic planning facilitation group (EGG).  I’ve also been prepping for next week’s in-person COLD meetings in San Diego, where we’ll be getting updates on DSpace support, the ULMS, FLEXspace, and more.

2.  Excited about: Dale and his team have been putting together some great ideas for a project to update the third floor student environment next summer.  We could add as many as 15 group study spaces, fresh carpet and paint, and at the same time preserve the amazing vibe that’s so distinctive of the third floor. It’s a relatively simple facilities project and a very flexible one.  This is good, given the pressing workload of campus facilities. More group study spaces is a number one priority for students, so that also feels good.  We don’t have funding confirmed for this yet (that’s part of the campus budget process) but we are optimistic.

3.  Thinking about: The balance between structure and choice that a good library, or a good home (or a good workplace) offers; and how to preserve the spirit of egalitarianism despite inevitable hierarchy.  The commentary in a 2004 translation of Lauzi’s Dao De Jing   by Ames and Hall  says:

“The greatest obstacle to optimizing relationships is coercion… a healthy relationship is mutually accommodating, [and] coercion, in which one party overwrites the importance of the other, entails a diminution in the creative possibilities of both… In a cosmology that begins from the uniqueness of the particular, strict identity and its corollary, strict equality, are not an option. Relationships are invariably hierarchical. But hierarchy is only pernicious when it is compromised by coercion. The family as an institution is hierarchical, but appropriate patterns of deference can allow members of the family to have both dignity and parity in their relationships.”

Have a great weekend,