I hope your winter holidays were wonderful. It is great to be back with you and our students and faculty – winter quarter starts like a Corvette!
We’ve begun our quarterly review of goals, and this always means some pruning and tuning, some new goals, and some quietly acknowledged successes. One of our goals is to create an in-house staff development program. It turns out that the campus will be developing some new resources and programs in this area too. But the library’s large student workforce makes us fairly unique on campus. So this goal has evolved, and our priority this year will be to support our student supervisors, and through them, our student assistants. In December, Margaret made a great presentation to the All Librarians Group (ALG) about her survey research demonstrating the learning impacts of student employment experiences from a student perspective. We’ve invited Margaret to repeat her presentation this quarter, for those who missed the ALG meeting, and also for interested library partners.
Last quarter we began working with campus facilities and the College of Engineering on proposals that could result in tremendous improvements for students, and exciting program developments in our first floor area. A joint proposal by facilities and the library would use Student Success Fee funding to expand and renew the current 24 hour envelope and build eight additional ‘fishbowls’ on the third floor. I’ll be presenting this proposal next week to the Student Success Fee advisory board. A related, and complementary, proposal is to build out the campus’ Innovation Sandbox in the library’s 24-hour quiet room. The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and the College of Engineering and the library are working hand-in-glove to develop this proposal in collaboration with donors who can help make this happen. If funding is approved for either (or both) of these proposals there will be many opportunities for students, staff, and partners to be part of how these projects develop.
Over the break I received some great books (awesomely, volumes 2 and 3 of the new Ezra Pound biography), and I also finished reading two books. One was DeMillo’s “Revolution in Higher Education” – it inspired a thought experiment: what does a library look like for students in post-revolution, online, self-directed, and competency-based higher education? Is it the ultimate classroom/lab, the center of their universe? does it disappear into the open web? do students create/cultivate their own personal libraries/labs? The other book I finished was “Litter: The Remains of our Culture” (by Dalrymple – whose “Wilder Side of Marx” is also in my ebook library). A brief synopsis: “Litter does not strew itself, it has to be strewn.” As someone who appreciates both wild and tidy environments, I enjoyed this short, if savage rant about what littering says about a society. And in this case at least, the US compares favorably with the UK, with America a tidier nation of “intensely practical” people. (Zero Waste and all!)
Have a great weekend,