Three weeks ago I had an opportunity to present about Kennedy Library’s Initiative for Digital IDEAS at the University of San Diego’s Digital Initiatives Symposium. This is a small, lively conference – some of our team has attended in the past. This year there were many sessions about digital humanities, institutional archives, and digital scholarship centers. It was a chance to share our approach to integrating digital initiatives across all our programs, blending digital and non-digital resources in a seamless way and giving our users many affordances to choose from as they shape their own learning experiences. My hook was the idea that we are a “post-digital” library – one that “is more concerned with being human, than with being digital” (Wikipedia, “Postdigital”). The closing keynote, Jim Neal (a distinguished library leader) said something very similar in his talk: “embrace human objectives!” I’ll be writing up my notes from the other sessions, and will share my presentation notes also on Digital Commons in June.
Just two weeks ago we welcomed our Library Advisory Board (LAB) and many special guests from across the campus for a day and a half of meetings and conversations. We had several discussions centered on the “Living Library” – including how we can improve Kennedy Library’s “thermal comfort.” Stacey White, Dennis Elliot and Joel Neel joined us for these conversations. We also had some great discussions about university and library fundraising strategies, with helpful insights from our special guest Diane Parr Walker, and Adam Jarman from University Development. One of the most exciting sessions was the update from Dale, Sarah, Adriana, and Professor Tom Katona about the first floor renovations and the very cool programs planned for the updated areas. Sarah’s beautiful renderings of how the space is being transformed (as we speak!) can be sneak-previewed on this draft web page that allows you to experience “before” and “after”. Tom Katona also shared his unique research on how the Innovation Sandbox helps achieve “gap” learning outcomes (outcomes difficult to achieve in regular coursework) – and in different ways, for different colleges.
I was intrigued by a couple of news items this week: you may have caught the story about a French coding academy, 42, that uses project-based and peer-to-peer learning (sound familiar!) and doesn’t charge students fees. How many Cal Poly students will throw themselves into “Piscine” this summer? Meanwhile, in an awesome explosion of the boundaries between disciplines, the Norway Research Council awarded $3.6 million to three philosophers for a project on Conceptual Engineering – “the critique and improvement of concepts” by focusing on finding the right questions. That’s the sort of thing librarians live for!
Have a great weekend,