On the morning of 20 September I (along with SLIS Director, Dr. Sandy Hirsh, and Debbie Faires, Assistant Director for Distance Learning) had the distinct pleasure of welcoming to the SJSU campus a 15-person delegation of East Asian education and library administrators from as many different countries hosted by the Asia Foundation. The Foundation is a non-profit NGO committed to the institutional development of civil society in the Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation hosted the delegation for a 10-day whirlwind “Study Tour” of the library landscape that included public, academic, special, and governmental libraries in both urban and rural settings on the west coast.
Last week I completed an article on James L. Gillis, California State Librarian from 1899 to 1917. The article is part of a special issue on the history of state libraries that will appear in the February 2013 issue of Information & Culture. There will be two articles on California’s state library as well as essays on the state libraries in Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kansas, and Washington. State libraries are painfully neglected in library history literature, and this volume promises to make an invaluable contribution.
For those of us who teach online we are constantly faced with providing our students with the best learning platform that we can. We know that many students struggle with the technology and the online environment while others thrive. Without distance learning many of our students wouldn’t get the opportunity to get their Masters degree.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending my third San Jose/QUT Gateway PhD program summer residency (and final one as a candidate). Many attendees, both faculty and student, noted the week is a highlight for them each year as it allows them to connect with others interested in their research through scholarly discussion and a social setting.
Among the several projects keeping me busy this summer one is putting the final touches on a collection of essays I’m editing (from my own work and solicited from colleagues) that I hope will be adopted by faculty to spark a much needed debate in LIS classrooms. And while this collection is rooted in a particular subfield of LIS, it certainly draws on and pertains to larger patterns exhibited across the field.
Over the past year Dr. Michele Simmons and I have presented at several conferences. Our topic “e-Portfolio from both faculty and student perspectives” renewed my interest in understanding how to integrate technological innovations especially Web 2.0 tools into my classes. I continually review my course objectives and consider how I can use tools to enhance the learning experience for my students.
Vietnam has seen outstanding growth in internet penetration during the previous decade with an increase of over 12,000% in the number of internet users (Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific, 2011, slide 4). There is also growing interest in distance learning in Vietnam, but little expertise in how to use the internet to facilitate online learning. The School of Library and Information Science partnered with the School of Social Work at SJSU in a grant-funded project to explore the viability of online graduate programs in Vietnam.
My work explores the smudgy edges of digital and physical learning spaces and the new computer tools and teaching methods that support the ongoing innovation within and between them. I think of these as “liminal” spaces* because they mark a limit, dividing line, boundary, threshold…
I recently sent my dissertation into the wild to be examined, which leaves me in an interesting position of having “completed” a research project. Except like many things I have learned in the process I am not sure there is a completed research project.
As I was starting to draft what I intended to post for this week, I asked myself: “What is research?” We see and hear the term used by a multitude of individuals covering a wide variety of contexts or situations, often without a great deal of uniformity. This may leave us wondering if one perspective or definition is more accurate or appropriate than another.