The Royal Library of Alexandria, Egypt, the most famous library and cultural center of the ancient world, was constructed in the 3rd century BC and charged with collecting and sharing the world’s knowledge. In its quest to become an international library, it acquired an impressive collection of books from beyond the country’s borders. It served as a research institution that contained works in mathematics, astronomy, physics, and the natural sciences.
As we work with our research students here at SLIS one thing we try to stress is quality. This includes how to evaluate a piece of research to determine the quality of that research, as well as how to conduct research to insure it will be evaluated as a quality piece of work. As with most things, there are certain fundamentals that provide a solid basis for good research and examining (or re-examining) those fundamentals is always a worthwhile endeavor.
From 2006-2010 or so, libraries and education exploded in virtual worlds, especially the virtual world of Second Life. Hundreds of articles were written and experiences shared. There was a very large active group of librarians and educators building libraries, offering programs, having conferences and events. Alliance Library System (Now RAILS – Reaching Across Illinois Libraries), the New Media Consortium, and San Jose State University SLIS, among others were leaders and assisting other educational groups to get started and succeed.
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.