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Reflective Journal Kellie Meehlhause LI801 Cathy Perley

Meehlhause 1 August 26, 2011 What Kind of Learner Am I Prepared to Be? If I were truly honest with myself, then I must admit that I've often viewed my learning experiences as a "game" of "Follow the Leader." The teacher/professor/instructor was the eternal leader, the all-knowing expert of a particular subject, and it was his or her job to guide us students through the field we were to study. Of course, students may eventually gather knowledge and make decisions on their own, but the teacher still remains a figure of authority and power; whatever the student does independently, he or she will always return to following the leader. An excellent example of this pattern was an Advanced Placement Literature class I took in high school. The courses teacher was Mr. Heslin, a brash man who was one year from retirement and therefore content to fill each lesson with, not great works of literature, but pointless (albeit hilarious) stories and showings of John Wayne movies. As a result, my lack of writing skills and knowledge of classical literature earned me a low score on the AP test. The funny thing is that even to this day I blame Mr. Heslin rather than myself. Even though I could have read other books on my own or asked for broader course readings, I believed that Mr. Heslin knew best and it was my responsibility as a student to follow his guidance (or lack thereof).In The Ethics of Learner-Centered Education, Edmund J. Hansen and James A Stephens identify such behavior as learned helplessness, in which students believe that they cannot learn the course material unless it has been predigested by an instructor (p. 42). While these authors use passive note-taking and lectures as examples, I believe that this helplessness can also be found in the inability of students to take an active role in their education, to (once again) follow blindly rather than learn independently.

Meehlhause 2 Strangely enough, this educational perspective changed drastically when I became the teacher. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant at K-State, I suddenly found myself leading 22 students in the art of composition, but not wanting to be the eternal authority all of the time. I would be willing to give my classes the foundation of a days lesson (mostly through a brief lecture), but then I wanted them to build on this knowledge through group work and/or independent free writing. It became my teaching philosophy of sorts that it was impossible for me to know everything, and therefore my students had to become co-agents of learning in order to truly understand and employ the days lesson. Hansen and Stephens would, no doubt, be unsurprised that my efforts at collaborative learning were met with resistance and (in some cases) animosity from the students. They note in their article that, among other dynamics, students continually are easily discouraged by challenging tasks (p. 43) and tend to blame low performance on poor instruction (p. 42). Much like my own experiences with MrHeslins class, these two factors were certainly the case in my own general education composition classes, leading to repetitive comments on my teacher evaluations that I graded unfairly/harshly. Moreover, the culmination of my experiences as a student and teacher further emphasize the difficulties of establishing learner-centered education in schools and universities. So here I sit, once again in a student role and uncertain how my past challenges will influence my future learning capabilities. Having been informed of the various dynamics Hansen and Stephens describe, part of me is determined to rely on understanding my textbook readings rather than merely memorizing, to welcome academic challenges as positive opportunities, and to embrace the current climate of political correctness (Hansen, p. 44). I plan to accomplish these goals by keeping an open mind in lecture and group work. I also have to be more willing to ask questions or speak up when a particular lesson isnt working for me,

Meehlhause 3 even if I think the teacher will be hesitant to listen On the other hand, another part of me is itching to fall back into the passive, following role, letting the teacher do the work (aka leading) for me. This old habit might take time to break, so it appears all the more crucial that I take everything one class, reading, or module at a time. August 27, 2011 Information Professional? From the paragraph provided, Richard O. Mason creates an image of librarianship as a mixture of scholarly knowledge and community activism. Prior to starting the SLIM program, I believed more in the former rather than the latter category. My mental image of librarians (especially at the public libraries I would frequent) was of an adult who sat behind a desk and spouted off knowledge like an omniscient god when requested (pardon the sacrilege). Need a book on chemical engineering? Of course she knows exactly where it is. Want to know what the population of Manhattan, KS was in 1950? He could get that tidbit for you with a twirl of his chair and a few flicks of a book page. Librarians, it seemed to me, possessed an extraordinary amount of knowledge, and even if they didnt know something, you could definitely direct you to a person, book, database, or encyclopedia that did. By becoming a librarian, I looked forward to becoming such a font of all knowledge in time. Yet, now that Ive begun my library studies, I cant help but find my priorities and mental images shifting towards the latter half of Masons librarianship image. With the rise of di gital technology especially, it now seems more crucial that librarians establish an active role in the communities they live and work in. As Leonard Kniffel notes in Libraries Now More Than Ever (2010), librarians lead [patrons] into that useful and productive and positive life, a life of inquiry, of knowledge. Helping a patron achieve this life of inquiry and knowledge, however,

Meehlhause 4 no longer entails knowing everything in existence, but instead being able to serve the information needs of the community, to guide them to the right information from the right source . . . at the right time in the form most suitable for use (Mason, 1990, p. 122). In other words, librarians need to be wholly aware of the resources available within a particular library, everything from books to periodicals to online databases. Building off of Kniffels ideas and Masons description of the information professional, Im especially eager to take on the role of info activist (Molaro, 2009) within my library career. Lynn Pratts story about helping a young woman sign up for a new e-mail and Facebook account in order to further escape an abusive relationship was a prime example of the importance information activism and one that will be in the forefront of my mind from now on. Following her example, Im going to start thinking about putting the idea I brought up in class (putting together a collection and display of political pamphlets for the 2012 election) into action, maybe even in the university library if possible. Knowledge is power, and as a librarian, I want to help patrons gain free access to any resources that will empower them to build a better community and nation. August 31, 2011 A Symbol of Status and Rank? While reading Chapter 2 in the textbook today, I came across a phrase that gave me pause. In describing the purpose of libraries in Ancient Rome, Rubin says that libraries,

especially those acquired during the Greek conquest, became a symbol of status and rank, as well as personal pride, for many generals and aristocracy (p. 39). Its easy to see why scrolls and religious texts would be deemed prized possessions during this era, a time when ones ability to read and access to information was often in direct correlation to his/her lot in life. Yet, I cant

Meehlhause 5 help but wonder if the notion of the library as a status symbol still holds true today, when copies and varieties of reading materials as well as literacy rates are exponentially higher than in centuries past. When I first pondered this question, my answer was almost immediately no. For one thing, Rubins descriptions of private libraries and the value placed on them by aristocracy suggests that ancient libraries were seen more as an ego-boosting, Arent I Cool?, status symbol than a crucial source of knowledge, much like the 21st Century upper class view their Porsches or original Rembrandt paintings today. Moreover, if I were to brag about my own private (albeit minuscule) library to my friends and co-workers or express my willingness to open my library to others who lacked the means to have their own collections (Rubin p. 39) an experiment that I did undertake for the purposes of this journal entryI would be more likely to be taken for an arrogant snob or told to consider psychiatric help. One friend even told me, Kellie, if I wanted to read the Hunger Games, I think I know how to find a copy for myself, thanks. Indeed, with the invention of the Gutenberg Press as well as the increased availability of libraries, upper, middle, and lower class people alike now have almost equal access to the same books, newspapers, and databases. The average Joe doesnt need a rich friend to give him access to, say, the Koran, nor does the rich friend need a private library to prove his higher social rank. On the other hand, while libraries and books may have lost their coolness factor or their status as a matter of personal vanity, there can also be no denying that they still hold an important place within American culture. Towards the end of Chapter 2, Rubin notes that libraries remain positive contributors to education (p. 68) as well as a monument to literary and information needs, both past and present. In this way, the librarys purpose seems to have

Meehlhause 6 shifted from one as a symbol of status and rank to one of social empowerment and community development, forever changing to better meets the needs of patrons. Indeed, if one continues to read Chapter 2 past the Ancient Rome section, there is abundant evidence that the development of public and academic libraries in the past 200 years was due primarily to its enduring value as a gateway to learning and knowledge. Both wealthy patrons, like Andrew Carnegie, and social organizations, such as womens clubs, alike understood the importance of intellectual freedom in the public sphere and contributed to developing libraries for the express purpose of furthering self-education and improvement (p. 60-61). Though Rubin warns of the challenges

technological advances may bring to the future of libraries, this historical precedence leaves me optimistic that libraries and librarians willovercome any obstacles to continue to prove their importance within the communities they serve. September 2, 2011 Library Destructions in War-time My interest in the history of the library led me in a new direction today. In the textbook, Rubin lists three conditions libraries need in order to be successful, one among them being that libraries cannot flourish in times of revolt and political chaos. Many great libraries have been destroyed when empires fell or in times of war or other armed conflicts (p. 35). This sentence, in addition to Rubins later description of ancient libraries as a symbol of status and rank (p. 39), piqued my interest in library destructions during war-times. I was especially curious if libraries were merely casualties of war, like any other random building in the vicinity of a bomb explosion, or if any invading force ever tried to purposefully take possession of or destroy an enemys library.

Meehlhause 7 My research eventually turned up two points of interest that reveal much about the cultural purpose of libraries in the past century. The first is the destruction of Berlins

InstitutfrSexualwissenschaft in May 1933 as a part of Nazi governments censorship program. Over the course of a week, the research institutes library and archivesprimarily any books written by Jews, homosexuals, or pacifistswere hauled into the streets and burned. Most interestingly, during the burnings, Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels gave a speech to the gathered crowd, in which he encouraged those present to surrender to the flames the evil spirit of the past (Bunker, 2002). As such, this library destruction serves as a form of cultural or ethnic cleansing. Cultural cleansing was also somewhat present in my second, more recent, point of interest. During the 2003 Iraq Invasion, the Iraq National Library and Archive, among other public libraries, were burned, looted, and damaged in varying degrees by Iraqi citizens and political leaders. In the National Library, Eskander (2004) estimates that 60 percent of archival materials; 25 percent of books, newspapers, and rare books; and most of the historical maps were destroyed by a mix of poor people looking for a quick profit, along with regime loyalists intent on destroying evidence of atrocities. I found this destruction particularly interesting because it was caused by community who regularly used the library rather than invading forces, emphasizing both the monetary value of library materials in Iraq as well as the librarys importance in archiving Iraqi culture and history. The culmination of these two historical events suggests to me that libraries are still viewed as an important source of cultural identity in addition to education. Both the Nazis and Iraqis understood that destroying certain library materials could act as an eraser on particular aspects of the nations past, present, and future. As such, my own view of the public and

Meehlhause 8 academic libraries I attend has changed. While I would never burn a book that I didnt agree with, I now see how libraries reflect my local, regional, and national identity, and the materials collected within those walls will continue to color that identity always and forever. It is thus my job as a librarian to uphold the communitys values through collection development and the attitude I present to patrons. Works Cited Bunker, L. (2002, June 22). When Books Burn. Retrieved from

http://www.library.arizona.edu/images/burnedbooks/indexpage.htm Eskander, S. (2004).The Tale of Iraq's Cemetery of Books.Information Today, 21(11). Retrieved from http://www.infotoday.com/it/dec04/eskander.shtml Rubin, R.E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. September 5, 2011 Rubins Library Values When I read Chapter 10 in the textbook today, I was surprised at only two of library values Rubin defined. From my readings in this class and LI 802 as well as my experiences working in a public library, I already knew that librarians were guided by principles of service, tolerance, public welfare, and justice. The first value that did give me pause was that Reading and the Book Are Important. As Rubin writes, both libraries and librarians continue to express a deep and abiding respect for reading and the book as well as concern for those who cannot read (p. 410-411). Obviously, Ive always been a self-proclaimed bookworm who continues to worship literature as a font of knowledge and wisdom. However, when I began applying for MLS programs, I was told by my friends and co-workers that I shouldnt flaunt my love of books

Meehlhause 9 in my applications. Libraries, I was told, are more than just shelves upon shelves of precious books; rather they are resources of information. If I wanted to be accepted into a good program, I needed to focus more on the importance, organization, and use of information and knowledge, using such lingo as community analysis, collection development and . So Im pleased to see that, while information is still crucial, the crux of many libraries is a love of the most prominent source of information: books. While I wont be describing my love of the smell or feel of a newly acquired book to patrons anytime soon, Im still happy that I can once again revel in the impact reading and books have had on my life as well as others. Building off of the above value, another principle of libraries that surprised me was Aesthetics. Rubin describes this value as when certain materials are collected because they possess elements of extraordinary creativitythe works of genius that epitomize the best of our cultural achievements (p. 413). To me, such creativity seems more appropriate in a museum rather than a library. To have items that serve the sole purpose of being pretty to look at rather than a source of information and knowledge also seems to go against the mission statement of any library. At the same time, however, the value of aesthetics makes sense to me when I consider the Information vs. Entertainment argument Donald O. Case presents in Looking for Information. He writes that some sources of entertainment, such as fiction, play a key role in attracting people to many libraries in the first place (p. 112). It is safe to say then that the presence of a popular or culturally relevant piece of artwork within a library would have the same effect. Moreover, if a patron comes across said material while browsing, it is equally possible that they will search the librarys book collection for further information. Works Cited

Meehlhause 10 Case, D.O. (2006).Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior (2nd ed.). Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Rubin, R.E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. September 9, 2011 Teaching Information Ethics As I read Don Fallis Information Ethics for twenty-first century library professionals, I couldnt help entering into what my GTA colleagues at Kansas State University would call teacher mode, in which I would automatically picture how I would organize and lesson plan a course on information ethics. For a while, I even planned to devote this journal entry to a prospective syllabus for just such a course. Yet, while I wholly agree with Falliss argument that library professionals need to have a good working knowledge of information ethics (p. 24) and ethical reasoningespecially given the increasing disparity between intellectual freedom and privacy rights, I also cant help but notice two flaws in his proposal. The first pedagogical issue with an information ethics course involves incorporating practicality into otherwise theoretical coursework. Fallisadamantlydescribes information ethics as an area of applied ethics. . . . Students of library science are actually going to need to be able to apply what they learn (p. 26). Though his claims here coincide with Richard O. Masons (1990) argument that an information professionals education should strike a balance between the acquisition of technical, scholarly, and scientific knowledge . . . and of the knowledge-inaction (p. 137), Falliss subsequent proposal of using case studies seems more theoretical than action-oriented. If you give a student, say, a printout of an ethical situation they might face in

Meehlhause 11 the library workforce and ask them how they would respond, their answers will still be more hypothetical than applied. In other words, speculation doesnt equal practicality, and no one really knows how they will react in a situation until its facing them head-on. On the other hand, since there is no guarantee when or where such ethic circumstances will occur, adding a practicum or internship to an information ethics classs coursework is equally unbeneficial. In my opinion, the best means for students to apply their ethical reasoning might be through the use of roleplaying activities, guest presentations, and writing their own case studies (instead of reading others, as Fallis suggests). This incorporation of learner-centered education could also alleviate Falliss concern for students understanding of different ethical theories. The second flaw in Falliss proposal involves a question of importance: Does there really need to be a single class devoted to information ethics, or could the subject be incorporated into other pre-existing curricula? When working towards my Bachelors degree in English and Journalism, I was required to take a class on Mass Communications Ethics & Issues. While I enjoyed the professors teaching persona and means of instigating learning (i.e., having students create a visual model of ethical journalistic behavior), a majority of the course material was repetitive to me, as I had already learned about it many times over in previous classes. Some might say that repetition is the best means of retaining knowledge, but you also have to wonder if such repetitiveness also decreases its perceived importance (a.k.a. If you hear about the same issue over and over again, wont that subject eventually become tedious and a source of annoyance?). While a class solely devoted to information ethics ensures that students have a well-rounded knowledge of ethical theories, incorporating different theories into pre-existing curricula (rather like weve done in LI 801) also helps to, once again, solve the issue of balancing theory with knowledge-in-action. Fallis doesnt consider this alternative in his

Meehlhause 12 article, and while Im still uncertain which solution is best for either of the aforementioned flaws, I believe that these are important considerations for any library science program considering a course in information ethics. Works Cited Fallis, D. (2007). Information ethics for twenty-first century library professionals.Library Hi Tech, 25(1), 23-26. doi: 10.1108/07378830710735830 Mason, R.O. (1990, Fall). What is an information professional?Journal of Education for Library Information Science, 31(2), 122 - 138. September 15, 2011 Lessig and Copyright Law In For the love of culture, Lawrence Lessig argues for reducing the legal restrictions on copyright, especially as they apply to film clips, electronic books, and other forms of digital technology. The current conditions of five-year licensure and orphans, he believes, stifle creativity and encourage a world in which control can be exercised at the level of a page, and maybe even a quote. To rectify the technical, inconsistent, and difficult to understand nature of copyright law, he proposes a three-prong solution: (1) requiring authors to register their work or else lose it to the public domain, (2) simplifying the process of cultural preservation and distribution, and (3) establishing a balance between copyright protection and free access. For the most part, I agree with Lessigs critique of copyright law and the need for a simpler system. As he states time and again, the status quo fails to account for non-print items in an increasingly technological world. A few years ago, my brother experienced this difficulty firsthand when he and some friends began posting spoofs of popular music videos on Youtube. They were soon notified that they had to take the videos down because they violated copyright

Meehlhause 13 law. By being forced to remove their videosmost of which were made for school projects and thus had no monetary purposethe law subsequently hindered the groups creativity and they have been extremely hesitant to make a new video since then. Yet, when one of my friends created and posted a musical montage of Disney clips a year ago, or when I posted the first 10 minutes of Jeepers Creepers II on my movie review blog last month, neither of us heard a word regarding copyright violations or demanding removal. The different results of my brothers and my experiences prove that the current copyright law is inconsistent and unable to deal with the technicalities of the digital information age. Yet, Im hesitant to accept his suggestion that copyright registries be run by the GooglesandMicrosofts of the world instead of the government. While Google and Microsoft may offer valuable public services through the formers Google Books program and the latters technological advances, there can also be no denying that these two companies are at their core businesses and must always consider the financial bottom-line before public welfare. While I want to be positive about both companies prior efforts to promote free access to information, there is no guarantee that placing such a powerful system as copyright registries into their hands wont create a power struggle in which information can only be gained by the highest bidder. Protecting ones creative and informative works should be a right, not a business transaction or bureaucratic maze. September 18, 2011 Library Design The first time I entered the Emporia Public Library, I couldnt help but feel that I had walked into the Kansas version of Harrods department store. Except for a two-story lobby in the center, each section of the library occupied its own branch (or, in this case, corner), appearing

Meehlhause 14 completely separate from the other branches if not for the aforementioned lobby. This

architecture comes as no surprise to me, however, after reading Anna Klingmanns Datascapes. Among her many observations of the functional design of libraries, she writes that spatial distinction between different library functions implements a clear hierarchy by delineating the different departments but also subverts this order again by the deliberate positioning of well calculated public attractors. With such a limited space in the Emporia Library, spatial definitions and public attractors are especially crucial. Thus, each corner of the second floor serves a different purpose and even offers a different design to emphasize its purpose. The young adult section, for example, has bright pictures on the wall and bean bag chairs scattered about while the adult nonfiction section features only tall, oak bookcases and no chairs or posters. Whenever you step into one of these corners, you almost instantly feel cu t off from the rest of the library. Much like at Harrods, Ive often gotten lost trying to find my way back to another section and wondered if I need to check out my books from one corner before I can move on to another. Klingmann offers another crucial observation about how technology has influenced the spatial transformation of the library. Indeed, within the Emporia Library, the computers and ever expanding media resources collection provide a public attractor by placing both within the center of the second floor and its different departments. Bookended between each library department are also chairs and tables, which combine social activity with private study. It is here that families and friends often meet up after searching different sections for books and other sources of information. Just as the Internet and DVDs have introduced new means of

information sharing, the social atmosphere of this area encourages active information-seeking more so than the generally quiet corner departments.

Meehlhause 15 September 21, 2011 Holocaust Denial Literature In preparation for my groups ethics project, today I read Kathleen NietzkeWolkoffs The Problem of Holocaust Denial Literature in Libraries (1996) in order to gain further insight into the ethical dilemmas surrounding these texts. Prior to reading this article, I was very much on the fence regarding whether I would allow Holocaust denial literature in my library. On the one hand, for years libraries have carried books that both supported and criticized different historical events (i.e., was the Iraq War a mistake?), presented radical political views (i.e., books by Anne Coulter and Glenn Beck come to mind), and even been historically controversial (i.e., Mein Kampf, of which the ESU Library has two copies). Yet, libraries keep them because they meet the community's information needswhile also upholding intellectual freedom. On the other hand, Holocaust denial books arent necessarily in the same league as the books listed above (with the possible exception of Mein Kampf). While Coulter's books, for example, merely boil down to liberals being bad/evil/douchebags, Holocaust denial literature attempts to deny that a crucial historical event ever occurred. Imagine if, 10 years from now, someone did the same thing with 9/11. The evidence of a physical event is much more difficult to refute than an individual evaluation. Wolkoff made this same observation when she wrote that how truthful something from the past is depends upon the value that people collectively and as individuals place on particular pieces or certain kinds of evidence that support the event (p. 93). Thus, given the views and needs of a particular library's patrons, keeping such literature on the shelves may be more detrimental than beneficial. With these conflicting viewpoints in mind, one of the arguments I found most compelling in Wolkoffs article was her stance that intellectual freedom extends beyond accurate

Meehlhause 16 information. Instead it must include the freedom to believe in a lie. . . . Librarians must have faith in the ability of society to respond to lies in a forceful and reasoned way, and there can be no response if the lies go untold (p. 94-95). As an information professional-in-training, I found this quote to be a humbling reminder that, while its my job to guide patrons to the best information for their needs, there also comes a time when I need to let the patron decide things for themselves. Librarians can (and should) be information gatekeepers, but we cannot (and should not) tell people what to think or believe. Thus, of the many action plans Wolkoff lists for dealing with Holocaust denial literature, the one that now interests me most is to purchase such materials, but then to distinguish how they are catalogued with other Holocaust literature. As Wolkoff explains, the Library of Congress currently classifies Holocaust works as D804.3, while denial literature is classified as D804.35. Subject headings in the library catalog further this division by adding the subcategory of Errors, inventions, etc. or Anti-Semitism to denial materials. I agree with Wolkoff that this solution isnt the same as affixing a This book is inaccurate label to a books cover; rather, it allows the library to offer alternate viewpoints while also distinguishing between them and the mainstream/historically accurate perspective. Again, the ultimate decision of what information is valuable or inconceivable has been left up to the reader rather than the library itself. Works Cited Wolkoff, K.N. (1996). The problem of Holocaust denial literature in libraries.Library Trends, 45(1), 87-96. Retrieved September 21, 2011 from

http://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/142/8070/librarytrendsv45i1h_opt.pdf?se quence=1 September 24, 2011

Meehlhause 17 Information wants to be free In response to Dr. Perleys challenge for the Machlup (1993) article, today I googled Information wants to be free (quotations included). Though this search initially returned over 240,000 Web site links (if I had removed the quotations, the results would have numbered over 25 million), I chose to focus on only the first 5 links for the sake of time as well as Googles tendency to place the most relevant first. (These same links also appeared in the same order whether I used quotations to limit my search or not.) The first was a blog with the same name as my search term, which is written by librarian Meredith Farkas and focuses on her experiences within her profession. Her most recent entry, for example, discussed ways to remain calm when dealing with difficult patrons (Farkas, 2011). The second search result, much to my chagrin, was a Wikipedia entry for my search term and provided little more than an informative overview of the terms usage and meaning. The third search result was a Web site by computer science scholar Richard Clarke and provided a similar overview of the phrases lineage. One of the most interesting things I learned from these last two Web sites was that my search term was originated by Stephen Brand in the 1960s and has since gained an ambiguous meaningdoes free mean the ability to access information or the need to forgo copyright laws?in the current digital age (Clarke, 2000). Machlup seems to share in this ambiguity, as he believes both that a cost-benefit system is necessary for the distribution of knowledge and that such costs have often harmed the good of society. It was the fourth and fifth search results, however, that seemed to relate the most to Machlups arguments about the value of knowledge. The fourth search result linked to an online journal article, in which Kaser (2000) argues that free access to information poses a t hreat to those who do not operate on public subsidies. He goes on to explain that, from a publishers

Meehlhause 18 standpoint, books and music and periodicals (and more importantly, the information each conveys) cost money to produce; the content may be given freely but not the medium. Moreover, while the Internet may make information look free, in reality somebody always ends up paying the cost, whether through a newsletter subscription or by paying attention to advertisements. This arguments relates directly to Machlups description of the cost-benefit system of information, wherein the value to an individual of any quantity or any tangible or intangible good is measured by what he or she would give in exchange for it (p. 452). Yet, while Machlup focuses primarily on the recipient of information, Kaser focuses on the giver(s) of information. If, as Machlup attests, the value of knowledge is determined ex ante, then Kaser wants recipients to remember ex post where the information came from and to return the favor in kind (preferably with money) so that the flow of information continues. Finally, the fifth search result led me to an online essay for the magazine Wired. Much like Kaser, Barlow (1994) also worries about who will pay the cost to produce free information, especially in terms of patents and copyrights for print materials in the digital age. To solve this problem, he proposes the use of different technological systems, such as real-time performance and encryption to maintain a valuable relationship between the information giver and the information recipient. If we continue to assume that value is based on scarcity, as it is with regard to physical objects, we will create laws that are precisely contrary to the nature of information, which may, in many cases, increase in value with distribution. Over time, Barlow concludes, the demand for these new methods will reduce production costs and the economy of the future will be based on relationships rather than possession. While I didnt completely understand the technology jargon Barlow throws around in his arguments, his overall approach to dealing with information wanting to be free seems more in line with Machlups. Both desire a

Meehlhause 19 relationship between the cost and benefits of knowledge so that neither givers or receivers are taken advantage of. Works Cited Barlow, J. P. (1994). The economy of ideas.Wired, 2(3). Retrieved September 24, 2011 from http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.03/economy.ideas_pr.html Clarke, R. (2000, February 24). Richard clarke's "information wants to be free". Retrieved September 24, 2011 from http://www.rogerclarke.com/II/IWtbF.html Farkas, M. (2011, September 7). Becoming Zen in the face of criticism. Information Wants to Be Free. Retrieved September 24, 2011 from

http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2011/09/07/becoming-zen-in-the-face-ofcriticism/ Information wants to be free. (2011, September 24). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 24, 2011, from

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Information_wants_to_be_free&oldid=452488 617 Kaser, R. T. (2000). If information wants to be free . . . then who's going to pay for it?. D-Lib Magazine, 6(5). Retrieved September 24, 2011 from

http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may00/kaser/05kaser.html Machlup, F.(1993). Uses, value, and benefits of knowledge. Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization. 14(4), 448-466. September 26, 2011 Is ignorance fatal?

Meehlhause 20 Growing up, I can distinctly remember hearing two pieces of advice regarding knowledge. The first was the oft-quoted and horribly clichd Knowledge is power, which seemed to be not only the cornerstone of NBCs The More You Know campaignbut also the moral of every Shakespeare play I read in high school and college. Commonly attributed to Sir Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes, this short but loaded phrase holds that ones education and knowledge correlates with ones ability to be productive and successful in society. The second piece of knowledge-related advice offered a different perspective, however, by spouting that Ignorance is bliss and what people dont know cant possibly hurt them. Typically implying that there is comfort in not knowing, I remember hearing this phrase during a history lecture on the Holocaust to describe why many Europeans remained purposefully ignorant of the Jewish genocide. This experience has since caused me to associate ignorance with cowardice, but thats another journal entry entirely. Based on the above definitions as well as my recent reading of Rich (1979), I strongly believe that ignorance is indeed fatal in the society and lifestyle we live in today.While youll never see ignorance listed as the cause of death on a medical report, there can be no doubt that lack of knowledge and information can lead to harmful actions and behaviors. A common example of this can be found in thecurrent AIDS crisis in Africa and the United States. According to Hille (2007), budget cuts and lack of publicity about the disease have led to an increase in AIDS cases in Baltimore, all because government and health organizations didnt provide citizens with the information they needed to prevent contraction. Ignorance can also be personally enforced: If Susie doesnt get the HIV test (whether because of fear or stubbornness), she may be free from the stress and social ramifications of such a diagnosis, but she simultaneously risks her own health and the possibility of giving AIDS to someone else.

Meehlhause 21 Multiply this personal ignorance by a thousand or a million, and you get an epidemic that costs lives. Thus, as the NBC commercials so aptly tell me every week, it seems abundantly clear that the more you know about something, the better off you will be. Nevertheless, I also agree with Richs claim that knowledge must be linked with morality. By this I mean that common standards of right and wrong, ethical and unethical, should still be held into account when faced with knowledge, whether one is learning how to drive a car or create an atomic bomb. As Rich writes, beyond questions of use and nonuse, we need to look into the potential for the abuse of knowledge. One has to examine the data and make judgments regarding their suitability and adequacy as bases for using science for social problem-solving (p. 23). In my LI 802 class, Ive been reading a lot lately about constructivism and the belief that information leads to reflection, which in turn leads to action. In terms of the use and value of knowledge, this system should also hold true and people should take time to reflect on the information theyve gained before immediately acting. In other words, another common proverb regarding knowledge and power is that with great power comes great responsibility. If knowledge is indeed power, then it is the duty of society to use that power correctly so that ignorance no longer seems like the better option. Works Cited Hille, K.B. (2007, December 6). Ignorance is fatal in AIDS crisis. The Washington Examiner. Retrieved September 26, 2011 from http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/ignorancefatal-aids-crisis Rich, R. (1979). The pursuit of knowledge.Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization, 1(1), 630. September 28, 2011

Meehlhause 22 Becoming More Valuable Rodger (2002) ends her definition of public value in libraries with a very poignant observation: Renewal and reinvention will come if we keep asking, How can we become a more valuable public library? (p. 54). Given the focus of her article on customer service, the answer to this question seems initially obvious: we ask the patrons what they think, what they want, and what they need from their public library. How we go about gaining this crucial information, however, is not so simple. When I was still working at the Manhattan Public Library this past summer, the adult services department put together a survey that was handed out to patrons as they entered and exited the building, asking them why they came to the library that day, what services they used, and if they were satisfied with their visit. The surveys were voluntary, anonymous, and filled out in person with paper and pencil. While this survey helped to ensure the library board that their staff provided good customer service, two problems quickly emerged from the survey results. The first was that the only people who were willing to fill out a survey were those who had had either a very positive or negative experience, thus creating an inverted bell curve that did little to account for community consensus. Moreover, the survey questions only dealt with that particular days visit, once again preventing the staff from truly understanding general, long-term attitudes towards library services. Building off of the singular perspective of the surveys, the second problem was that community needs are constantly changing, whether through new technological advances of increased/decreased interest in political and social topics. Thus, in order to truly anticipate the needs of patrons, libraries would need to institute surveys on a regular basis, which unfortunately many libraries dont have the staff or money to undertake.

Meehlhause 23 The flawed logistics of this survey aside, I think that there are still many ways that public libraries can improve their value within the community. First, libraries and librarians should remain abreast of recent technology developments, especially in terms of their affects on information-seeking behaviors and community needs. Its not enough to have a technical services department to deal with technology, all librarians in all departments should make an effort to remain in the know. Second, rather than implementing a survey, libraries should make their presence known and felt within the community by actively engaging with its members. Examples of this might involve encouraging staff involvement in city committees and volunteer work, partnering with schools and local programs to sponsor community events and information resources (i.e., child day camps, political forums, etc.), and maximizing the social and information functions of the librarys physical space through art exhibits and group discussions. There are, of course, hundreds of other ways that public libraries can become more valuable, but I think the main purpose of these activities is to create a dialogue with the community rather than a one-sided Q&A. October 2, 2011 Shawshank Redemption Confession: Even though I consider my passion for film to be eclectic, The Shawshank Redemption is far and away my favorite movie. First drawn to it during my Stephen King phase in high school, I quickly fell in love with the melodramas themes of hope, survival, and freedom. The library that Andy creates in the course of the movie always seemed to be an integral part of those themes, but before now I had never really considered how this small part of Shawshank prison related to information professionals and intellectual freedom.

Meehlhause 24 One of the most important things Ive learned about libraries and information professionals in the past few weeks is their paramount desire to fulfill the information needs of their respective communities. Within Shawshank Prison in the post-World War II era, one wouldnt expect convicted felons to have any desire for information unless it involved pornography or escaping from prison. The movie makes this much clear when the audience and Andy are first introduced to the prisons library (or lack thereof), a dusty, dimly lit room with little more than Readers Digest books and other cast-off reading material. Moreover, when Andy tries to petition Warden Norton for more library funds, hes told that as far as [the state senate] is concerned, there are only three ways to spend the taxpayers money for prisons: more walls, more bars, more guards. (Somehow, this quote now sounds a lot like the reasons people give for reducing library funding!). If one were to look at a library as a symbol of a

communitys identity, then the lack of adequate materials, funding, and facilities almost matches the hard-assed, stubborn persona of the inmates and guards that make up Shawshanks community. Luckily for Shawshank, Andy doesnt take no for an answer, and soon turns the decrepit library into one of the best prison libraries in New England. It is then that the real information needs and behaviors of the inmates come to light. With a fresh coat of paint and an expanded collection, it quickly becomes a place where inmates can improve themselves. The narrator Red tells how the library helped countless convicts to get their GEDs, something that wasnt available before. If anything, the physical changes to the prison library reflect the increased importance of information, literature, and even entertainment in the inmates lives. Through books and

learning, these convicted felons (Tommy especially) realize that they can improve their chances of survival outside of prison, and the library is the best place to access those resources.

Meehlhause 25 Furthermore, through his hard work, persistence, and desire to help others (not his education and intelligence, as the prison staff seem to think), Andy exemplifies the key criteria for a successful librarian.I can only hope to work in such a library or with such an information professional. Yet, the most interesting observation I made while watching Shawshank Redemption was the affect the library has on Andy himself. One of main themes within the movie is the concept of being institutionalized, wherein the inmates become so dependent on the rules and security of the prison system that they dont know how to function properly in the outside world. Before, I had always thought that Andys ability to remain immune to institutionalization was because of his belief in hope and his own innocence. Now, I believe that the library itself and his job as a librarianempower him to remain sane. At one point, Red observes, Prison time is slow time, so you do just about anything to keep going. Some fellows collect stamps. Others build matchstick houses. Andy built a library. For Andy, the library represents fr eedom, not but intellectually, but freedom outside the walls of the prison. By helping others achieve their information needs, he helps himself to remember that there is life outside Shawshank, a life he desperately wants to get back to. The books and resources of the library are as important to his well-being as they are to his fellow inmates. Thus, this example reminds me that being an information professional doesnt mean youre immune from the freedom and value of information. If anything, librarians receive as much as they give, making this career more mentally and emotionally fulfilling than I had previously thought. Goodness gracious, I love this movie! October 4, 2011 Answering the Inevitable Question

Meehlhause 26 Over the summer, I attended a cousins wedding where I was able to catch up with some relatives I hadnt seen in a few years. Naturally, they asked what I had been up to lately and seemed proud of my academic accomplishments thus far. But when I said that I would be attending library school in the fall, you could see uncertainty begin to dawn on their faces, leading to the inevitable question of Why do you want to do that? Arent libraries going the way of the dodo because of the Internet? Back then, my uneducated response was to quickly defend the role of libraries to my relative, usually by spouting off something about how people still love to read and the inevitable increase of library use during economic recessions. Sadly, this answer didnt go over well with my relatives, causing them to pat me on the head (figuratively anyway) and quickly move on to another subject. After reading Chapter 7 in Rubin (2010), however, Im beginning to see how I could have better organized and focused my argument. First, instead of saying that everyone loves to read, I could explain that libraries arent just for leisure reading or finding the latest Stephen King thriller. Rather, they provide resources of information, whether youre a new resident who needs to learn about zoning permits or a senior citizen interested in nineteenth century autobiographies. Everyone has something that they want to know more about, and it is the job of the librarian to guide them to the right place. As Rubin writes, Merely answering a patrons question might not be enough; the individual might want a particular piece of information, only to discover that something different is needed. If [library information science] professionals are to perform their jobs well, they must find out what is wanted and needed (p. 275). Thus, by going to library school, I will be learning more than just the Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress Systems. By the time I graduate, I will be prepared to gauge the information wants and

Meehlhause 27 needs of a patron, much as a psychiatrist or teacher is able to meet the mental and intellectual needs of their clients or students. Of course, if I know my relatives, the follow-up question to this explanation would be, What about Google? Cant I find the same stuff there without wasting time and gas driving to a library? I would answer this question by saying that, yes, its true that computers and the Internet have made information searching faster than ever before. Even Rubin admits that recent technological developments have increase[ed] the capacity to store information without the need for a physical object (p. 272), which in turn has altered the fields of library and information science. Yet, increased storage doesnt mean that libraries and librarians are

obsolete; if anything, they can make navigating the information infrastructure easier. To quote Neil Gaiman, Google can bring you back 10,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one. Moreover, I could also describe the rise of digital libraries to my relatives, which allow librarians to help patrons access information from the comfort of their own living rooms.Since information can subsequently be transmitted in the form of a book, a newspaper or magazine article, a movie, or even a Web site, I will also be able to utilize different modes of information in order to find the right information at the right time in the right format for that patron. Lets see Google top that! Writing this journal entry makes me wish that I could relive that family reunion and answer those questions more effectively. Maybe Ill draft an e-mail or Facebook note instead. October 10, 2011 Features of Information Science While reading Chapter 7 of Rubin (2010), the concepts of information science that I found the most interesting were thePrinciple of Least Effort and the tendency for information

Meehlhause 28 seekers to value personal over institutional sources. In terms of the former, Rubin defines this principle as people seeking the most convenient source to meet their needs, even when they know that this source might produce information of lower quality than other sources (p. 279). As a former college instructor, this definition illustrates exactly my students hatred of the research process, especially when, they believed, Wikipedia worked just as well and was easier to navigate. Even now when I instruct ESU composition students on different databases, I still see several begin their information searches with Google and Bing simply because it requires the least effort to produce results, however inaccurate. Though Rubin never directly says as much, I believe this disturbing trend to be related to the rising value of technology in information seeking. With information and communication now available at the press of a search engine button, patrons have subsequently become impatient and antsy in their research. There is thus an added responsibility for librarians to try to meet their information needs as quickly as possibleI wouldnt be surprised if patrons begin to demand a service in 30 minutes, or your order is free doctrine in the future of libraries. Im still not sure how to best meet the increased demand for speed and least effort, but I hope to learn as much in the next two years. As for the latter concept, the personal vs. institutional preference particularly resonated with me after having worked on a paper about information seeking behavior for my LI 802 class. For this assignment, I interviewed a college student preparing to apply to graduate school and thus needing to find information about possible programs. Strangely enough, she never once set foot in a library during this process, preferring instead to conduct her search onlineGoogle being one of her favorite search enginesor through conversations with friends and professors. Rubin notes that these behaviors are not uncommon in young adults and make the Internet highly competitive as an alternative information source (p. 277).

Meehlhause 29 Building off of these concepts, one thing I would like to know more about is how bias and feelings of prejudice influence an individuals information seeking behavior. In one of the textbooks for my LI 802 class, Case (2006) briefly describes how people often allow personal preferences to color their information decisions, leading them to, for example, chose a race horse based solely on its gender. You might say then that Im curious about the psychology (or even the morality and subjectivity) of information seeking. To fulfill this information need, I conducted a search of several online databases, but I was unable to find the full text for any potential articles. I requested a few through Interlibrary Loan, so I will write an update when and if I find out anything interesting. Works Cited Case, D.O. (2006).Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behavior (2nd ed.). Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Rubin, R.E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. October 13, 2011 Update on October 10th Journal Entry Interlibrary Loan is much faster than I thought, as Ive already received both of the articles I requested!As a reminder, the purpose of these articles was to satisfy my own information need regarding the use of bias or prejudice in information seeking behavior (ISB). While the articles that I inevitably found describe different types and areas of information research, they all provide beneficial insight into the psychology of information seeking.

Meehlhause 30 In the older of the two articles, Abbott (2003) uses Karl Poppers three Worlds model to examine the role of subjectivity in information professing. Poppers theory entails that there are three world of knowledge: (1) the physical universe consisting of actual truth and reality; (2) the personal and subjective world of ones perceptions, experiences, and thoughtswhich emerge from processes in World 1; and (3) objective virtual knowledge consisting of artifacts (i.e., books, theories, and models) created by World 2 processes. These World 3 artifacts in turn are able to describe and predict World 1, thus creating a framework in which knowledge is both a state of mind (subjective) and an expression of problems (objective) (p. 97-98). With this in mind, Abbott argues that the means by which individuals retrieve, record, and classify information is in direct correlation to their cultural background, education level, and lifestyle, among other personal factorsin other words, World 2. For example, one determines the information significance of a conversation or text through semiotics, such as the title of the work or the credibility of the speaker, and those smiotics vary from individual to individual. While library and information science professionals strive to meet the different needs of patrons based on the above factors, a grand unified theory of information . . . remains elusive (p. 105). In order to rectify this problem, Abbott believes that any treatment of information must involve an appreciation for subjectivity and of what Popper referred to as World 2 (p. 105) whereby information professionals can clarify the vernacular they use to convey information and anticipate certain ISB. Unfortunately, Abbott offers no specific strategies for incorporating this appreciation into libraries other than to encourage further research on the matter. Case, Andrews, Johnson, and Allard (2005) offer a less philosophical and generalized study of bias by examining the ISB of cancer patients. While prior research has emphasized the desire for and benefits of information seekingmainly that individuals want to know rather

Meehlhause 31 than remain ignorant (p. 354)this study discovered that often times people will purposefully avoid information if they believe that knowing will cause mental and emotional discomfort. In actuality, individuals tend to seek information that is congruent with their prior knowledge, beliefs, and opinions and to avoid exposure to information that conflicts with these internal states (p. 354). For cancer patients, this subsequent rejection, rather than seeking, of information is associated with feelings of anxiety and fear that only increase with each additional piece of information gained. In turn, avoiding information can affect how the patient approaches his or her treatment as well as the issue of whether family members will receive genetic testing or not (p. 360). Thus, Case, et al., encourage information and medical professionals to focus on improving how they communicate risk and other critical information and to develop interventions . . . that are tailored to individuals information-seeking styles to help them become more self-sufficient, lifelong information seekers (p. 360). Overall, these two articles havent quite answered my questions about the role of prejudice and bias in ISB. Perhaps I should refine my search to include such keywords as racism and sexism, though I doubt such a study has been conducted yet. Nevertheless, the emphasis both articles present on tailoring information services to the individuals needs and World 2 viewpoint ties nicely with the first of the Seven Values of Library and Information Science Rubin (2010) presents in Chapter 10: service. Underlying the value of service is the betterment of the individual and the community as a whole. Bringing knowledge to people and society is the sine qua non of the profession (p. 406). In other words, whether that individual is a third grader, an immigrant, or a cancer survivor, librarians must continually adjust and reassess their strategies for meeting their information needs. Works Cited

Meehlhause 32 Abbott, R. (2003). Subjectivity as a concern for information science: a Popperian perspective. Journal of Information Science, 30(2), 95-106. Case, D.O., Andrews, J.E., Johnson, J.D., & Allard, S.L. (2005) Avoiding versus seeking: the relationship of information seeking to avoidance, blunting, coping, dissonance, and related concepts.Journal of the Medical Library Association, 93(3), 353-362. Rubin, R.E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. October 16, 2011 Bells Concept of Gatekeeper and Gate-opener Bell (2009) defines a gatekeepers as people who decide what books, media, and other materials to acquire [in a library] as well as creating the structures that allow our community members to access them (p. 50). This definition creates the image of librarians as the keyholders of information, who know everything and where to find it. Subsequently, it also brings to my mind the stereotypical image of a bespectacled, gray-haired elderly woman who shh-ed small children and could spout off the Dewey Decimal System like others quoted The Princess Bride; someone you went to for the location of certain information but were ultimately wary of both in and outside the library. Indeed, Bell goes on to note that gatekeepers, while certainly beneficial in terms of information accessibility, occupy a limited role in the community, especially as the world of information becomes more vast and complex. Thus, he proposes the gate-opener, one who strives to create meaningful relationships with community members both those who use and those who dont use our libraries (p. 51). In other words, a gate-opener not only enables information access, but more importantly remains aware of the communitys information, education, and entertainment needs as well as how best to meet them.

Meehlhause 33 Based on these definitions, I can definitely recognize gatekeeping and gate-opening librarians in my own work experiences. When I worked at the Manhattan Public Library, there was an elderly woman who had been employed in the reference department for over 20 years. While she was a wiz at cataloguing and collection development, her interactions with the public were limited and awkward. Whether she was working with an international student or a senior citizen, she always relayed directions and information as if she were reciting from a dictionary and with little regard for the individuals needs or background. Her resistance to get to create meaningful relationships with the patrons she worked with subsequently classifies her as a gatekeeper. On the other hand, Cynthia Akers, who I interviewed a week ago for my Professional Interview paper, seems to exemplify how librarians can be gate-openers in an academic community. Bell writes that gate-openers transform a trip to the library into an experience by creating something meaningful for people, something that gives them intrinsic value for leading a better life (p. 51). Cynthia strives to instill meaning to every library instruction session she leads, whether by encouraging students to like the William Allen White Library on Facebook or setting up a technology cart outside psychology classrooms for students who need help with research papers. As my advisor, she even encourages me to always remain aware of my audience and how I can alter my approach to information seeking in order to better meet their needs. As for myself, I believe Im still trying to make the transition from gatekeeper to gateopener. While this semester has engrained in me the importance of understanding information needs and information seeking behavior, I still tend to view librarianship primarily as acquiring and navigating information resources; serving patrons is a whole separate responsibility.

Meehlhause 34 Hopefully as my education continues, I will be able to meld both gatekeeper and gate-opener together, someday embodying Bells vision of the ideal librarian. Works Cited Bell, S. (2009, August-September). From gatekeepers to gate-openers. American Libraries, 5053. October 19, 2011 Atyourlibrary.org For todays blog post, I decided to visit http://www.atyourlibrary.org, which Bell (2009) briefly describes in his article. This Web site, he explains, was initiated by the American Library Association and the Carnegie Corporation in New York with the express purpose that libraries enhance the quality of life in their communities (p. 51). As such, each section and subsection of the site, as well as the use of social media and online videos, is devoted to promoting the public value of libraries and motivate viewers to visit their local library branches. One of the most interesting aspects of this Web site, in my opinion, is how it takes everyday subjects and applies them to reading, information seeking, and local library services. On the left side of any give page is a list of subjects, from Connecting with your kids to Financial & Legal Tips to Teen Spotlight, which links to a listing of articles related to that particular subject. For example, under the Entertainment & Culture heading I found an article about the iconic 1967 film Bonnie & Clyde. In addition to giving a brief summary of the movie and its place in history (who can forget the startlingly violent climax?!), the article includes a selection of links and books readers should seek out for more information, all under the subheading Visit you local library to learn more. While it might seem like these articles would have an adverse effect of page viewerswhy would they want to go to a library when all the

Meehlhause 35 information they need is posted in the article?in actuality it succeeds in combining entertainment and information with the teasing nature of a movie trailer. These articles are fun to read and informative, but they only just wet the appetite of information seekers, motivating them to seek out further information by, of course, visiting their local libraries in search of the suggested further reading materials. Another aspect of the Web site that I found interesting was the use of social media and online videos. In addition to reading all the features available on the site, viewers can also keep stay on top of updates and other sources of information through Atyourlibrary.orgs Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube pages, thereby creating an image of public libraries as modern, trendy, and technology savvy. I especially enjoyed the Youtube page, which had testimonies from community members about why libraries are important to them and short documentaries about different aspects of the library, such as film preservation in the Library of Congress. Overall, atyourlibrary.org seems to epitomize Bells definition of libraries as gateopeners by creating meaningful relationships with community membersboth those who use and those who dont use our libraries (p. 51). Whether or not theyre a regularly library patron or dont know the difference between a library and AAA card, theres something on this site for everyone. Works Cited Bell, S. (2009, August-September). From gatekeepers to gate-openers. American Libraries, 5053. October 22, 2011 Complete This Sentence . . .

Meehlhause 36 The library isnt in the business of connecting people with information, the library . . .is in the business of creating an experience for its patrons. A positive experience that promotes learning, reading, and intellectual freedom. When I first approached this exercise after reading Bells article, I was thrown off by the association of a library with a business. Businesses, as Ive come to believe from watching recent events on the news, are consumed with money and profit, neither of which are a primary concern for librarians. Oh, they may groan about budget cutbacks and the lack of funding to buy every book or material a patron requests, but at the end of the day libraries are less concerned with making money than they are with ensuring literacy and intellectual freedom. Its the giving instead of receiving that matters. Nevertheless, after thinking about for a few days, Im beginning to see a few qualities that libraries and businesses share. The most important is customer service. Like businesses, libraries depend on people visiting and using their space, and if a library cannot attract, retain, and bond with customers, then they will become redundant in the community. Thus, it is important for librarians and salespersons alike to create a welcoming and personable atmosphere for visitors as well as to always strive to meet each individuals needs. For libraries especially, meeting these needs requires provide high-quality services, facilities, resources, and staff, altering each of those characteristics in time with changing information needs. Staff can also heighten the customer service aspect of a library by making the patrons feel special, remembering their manners, and remaining flexible and knowledgeable. If all of these criteria are met, then the patron will be able to find what materials and information they need quickly and efficiently, which will in turn give them a positive perspective of the librarys role in the

Meehlhause 37 community. Just like Im more likely to return to a store if Ive had a good experience previously. October 25, 2011 Blended Librarianship Today I visited Steve Bells Blended Librarian Portal Web site in order to better understand what blended librarianship is and how it relates to gate-opening. While it may sound like a hybrid science project or a new smoothie flavor, a blended librarian is actually a mode of academic librarianship that has gained new ground in the last few years. As the Portal notes on its About page, it combines conventional reference skills with technology in an effort to integrate the library into the teaching and learning process (Bell, 2006). This combination of technology, instructional design, and librarianship enables librarians to move out from behind the reference desk and become more involved in students information seeking and instructional needs. A blended librarianship could be considered a gate-opening activity through its emphasis on creating meaningful relationships with library visitors rather than merely connecting them with information. One example of blended librarianship I can see at Emporia State University is the UL 100 Information Literacy and Technology course, which introduces students to effective means of locating, evaluating, and using information from a variety of print and electronic sources. Coursework also covers how information is organized, information search techniques, and ethical issues related to information-seeking behavior. As such, the course allows library staff to blend teaching and information science in such a way that benefits students. The goal of the course is not just to instruct students on the best databases or search engines, but rather how to determine the criteria for a reliable or unreliable sourcesort of a teach a man to fish

Meehlhause 38 scenario. Because this class is required, it also benefits the library by ensuring that all students have the required tools and skills for future academic research. As a graduate teaching assistant who will one day teach a section of this class, Ive had the opportunity to observe a few class sessions during this semester. One aspect I found most intriguing was that each class activity runs more like a hands-on workshop than sitting still and taking notes, requiring both students and librarian-teacher to remain active in their own and others information-seeking behavior. Aside from physical library tour at the beginning of the semester and brief introductions to new online tools, youre more likely to see the teacher walking around the classroom and helping students one-on-one than lecturing, allowing him or her to gear each lesson to a particular students interests and learning style. As a result, the students begin to see information-seeking as a process applicable to their other coursework. Blended librarianship is also present at the ESU library through the continued collaboration with other departments and professors. One of the requirements of my assistantship is to work as a liaison between the library and various Composition I classes. I often visit classes at the beginning of a new module to help them generate paper topics and research strategies. Then, I work with the students in the library as they begin their research, introducing them to helpful databases and aiding them in their searches. Its not always an easy taskthere are always resistant students who think they dont need instructionbut I feel overall that this collaboration between me and the English instructors creates a necessary partnership between the university and the library. And this partnership, this establishment of the library within a community, is the basis of Bells concept of the gate-opener. Works Cited

Meehlhause 39 Bell, S. (2009, August-September). From gatekeepers to gate-openers.American Libraries, 5053. ---. (2006, August 31). The Blended Librarian Portal.Retrieved October 25, 2011 from http://blendedlibrarian.org/. October 28, 2011 Another Example of Libraries as Gate-Openers While reading an article for my LI 802 class, I came across another example of a public library serving as both a gatekeeper and, more importantly, a gate-opener. The article was written by Jason Hyatt and Angela Craig and titled Adapt for Outreach: Taking Technology on the Road. I chose to read it from a list of possible articles in order to expand my horizons beyond reference services. In it, Hyatt and Craig describe a technology outreach program at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC), in which librarians bring traditional library services (i.e., story time, technology instruction) to rural patrons through bookmobile services. However, to make mobile visitors feel more comfortable, the library staff set up laptops as well as carpets, tables, and chairs to create a makeshift Internet caf. Librarians further enhance the outreach program by employing Web 2.0 tools and technology courses to help patrons navigate the Internet and find online resources. This article caught my attention most after learning about Steven Bell (2009)s concept of gatekeepers and gate-openers in LI 801. While gatekeepers are primarily concerned with acquiring materials and creating a structure for information in a library, gate-openers go one step further by creating meaningful relationships with community membersboth those who use and those who dont use our libraries (p. 51). The Mobile Outreach program described by Hyatt and Craig certainly fulfills this role through their continued awareness of the communitys

Meehlhause 40 information, education, and entertainment needs as well as how best to meet them. The program was first initiated in 2007 when additional funds became available to purchase more technology equipment. Rather than merely stocking the department with laptops and iPods (p. 36), the outreach department recognized that what their patrons really needed was a means of accessing technology outside of the library building. As Hyatt and Craig explain, Even though the branches serve thousands of patrons, there are still many more unable to come to library locations. The barriers are as varied as the patrons themselves: time restrictions, lack of transportation, lack of awareness, language differences. This directly aligns with the outreach departments goal of serving the underserved (p. 36).The stance of connecting with community before technology emphasizes that libraries should be less concerned with having the latest gadgets (a.k.a. being trendy) and more concerned with whether or not those gadgets will be useful to patrons.After learning so much about technology in my LI 513 class, I really enjoyed this attitude. What surprised me most about the article, however, was the impact of the outreach program on the librarians themselves. In order to prepare for outreach visits, the library staff set up Learn and Play sessions, in which staff could share their technology knowledge (i.e., Internet resources, databases, cell phone and digital camera usage) with others colleagues. Following a philosophy of bring it, show it, play it, use it (p. 37), the staff collaborated on pooling their knowledge and resources to better meet the information needs of their patrons.This form of personal developments reminded me that even ever-knowing librarians still have an eagerness and responsibility to learn. That these opportunities extended both the outreach programs curriculum and the librarians technical abilities further suggests that the library can be gate-opening for its staff as well.

Meehlhause 41 After reading this article, I think that next I would like to learn more about how Web 2.0 resources can be used in a library. From LI 513, Ive learned about the promotional benefits of, say, podcasting, but Id like to know if there are any advantages beyond mere advertising. Hopefully, the readings in LI 801s next module will help to answer these questions. Works Cited Bell, S. (2009, August-September). From gatekeepers to gate-openers. American Libraries, 5053. Hyatt, J., & Craig, A., (2009). Adapt for outreach: Taking technology on the road. Computers in Libraries, 29(9), 35-9 October 31, 2011 Information Wants to Be Free blog Happy Halloween! For todays entry, I visited and perused the archives of Information Wants to Be Free, a blog I wrote about in a previous entry. The writer for this blog is Meredith Farkas, a tech geek, writer, and distance learning librarian who regularly reflects on the library as a social tool and how librarians can best meet the needs of their patrons. Given that most of my reflective entries this far have dealt with information needs and the service aspect of information professionalism, I was curious to see what sort of advice Farkas could offer me. Overall, I found this blog to be an excellent source of professional and career advice. Unlike other library blogs Ive encountered over the years, Farkas seems less concerned with ranting about her job or merely recording the latest weirdo to enter the library. Instead she takes real, practical situations faced by countless librarians and offers her perspective in a thoughtful, intelligent manner. For example, in an August 10 entry aptly titled Be the change you want to

Meehlhause 42 see, Farkaswrites about dealing with apathetic co-workers, especially in the ever-changing atmosphere of libraries. Many new librarians enter the workforce bright-eyed and bushy tailed only to have their enthusiasm lessened by bored, passionless employees and bureaucratic roadblocks. This shouldnt be reason to follow suit, however. Feeding off of the nonfiction memoir, The Happiness Project, Farkassuggests, By choosing to remain positive and enthusiastic in a dysfunctional workplace, you will feel happier than if you dwell on what your colleagues arent doing or start doing less yourself. But that enthusiasm might also become contagious. I feel like this advice is applicable to any workplace or career path because it follows the psychological theory of self-fulfilling prophecies. If you approach your work with animosity and inflexibility, then that is exactly what youll encounter. Thus, from now on, Im going to try to remain optimistic and eager to help with each student I interact with, no matter how tired or stressed I feel on the inside. Moreover, I found these entries to be extremely helpful as I begin my own career at ESUs university library. Many of the issues she lists, such as helping college freshman with research (Farkas, 2011, October 27), Ive already encountered in my day-to-day work activities, so its wonderful to see how someone else handle the same situation or how I could do better next time. One such dilemma I encountered recently was criticism from Composition I students I had worked with on multiple research papers. At the end of the library instruction session, the students were asked to complete online evaluations so that the library could continue to alter its instruction to meet student needs. I thought that I had done a good job helping students find the information they needed, but instead I received a number of comments that I was mean and shot [students] down all the time. While these comments initially put a dent in my day, it was helpful to read Farkas September 7 blog entry about Becoming Zen in the face of criticism.

Meehlhause 43 Here she provides five ways of dealing with feedback, both positive and negative. In addition to being willing to admit mistakes and not getting emotionally attached to your ideas, one of the most helpful pieces of advice she offered was to remember that people are often criticizing the ideas and not the person.When you see your colleagues as people dedicated to making things better and reframe what youre hearing in that light, criticism can be painless.Im going to try to remember this the next time I have to conduct evaluations. Looking further into the archives, I found another blog post that has resonated with me ever since I first encountered it. Lately, Ive been contemplating the purpose of E-books and how they can affect libraries; I even wrote a paper on this for my LI 513 class a few weeks ago. Even after continuing to research the issue, Im still unsure as to whether to like or despise them. Luckily for me, Farkas has a number of ideas, which she focused on in a January 18 entry. While she admits being a Kindle owner and fan of e-books, she also recognizes the difficulties it presents to libraries. For one thing, library patrons dont browse for or check out e-books in the same way they do physical ones, requiring libraries to alter their collection development and circulation policies to meet the growing demand. Also, there is currently no standard format for e-books, which lessens any technological advantages they may hold over paperbacks or hard covers.Unlike the adoption of DVDs or Blu Rays into libraries over the past decade, I fear that ebooks may be too complicated for some communities to handle, and Farkas agrees. Works Cited Farkas, M. (2011, January 18). Ebooks and libraries: A stream of concerns. Information Wants to Be Free. Retrieved October 31, 2011 from

http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2011/01/18/ebooks-and-libraries-a-stream-ofconcerns/

Meehlhause 44 ---. (2011, August 10). Be the change you want to see. Information Wants to Be Free. Retrieved October 31, 2011 from http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2011/08/10/be-thechange-you-want-to-see/ ---. (2011, September 7). Becoming Zen in the face of criticism.Information Wants to Be Free. Retrieved October 31, 2011 from

http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2011/09/07/becoming-zen-in-the-face-ofcriticism/ ---. (2011, October 27). I need three peer reviewed articles or the Freshman research paper. Information Wants to Be Free. Retrieved October 31, 2011 from

http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/2011/10/27/i-need-three-peer-reviewedarticles-or-the-freshman-research-paper/ November 3, 2011 Another Chatman Study After reading K.M. Thompsons overview of E.A. Chatmans theoretical work in library and information science, I went on the hunt today for another study she conducted. Overall, Im interested in her work with underrepresented groups and was curious to see if any of her studies might address my interest in the impact of bias and prejudice, as well as gender, race, and class, on information seeking. What I discovered was a 1996 article titled The Impoverished LifeWorld of Outsiders. Relying on gratification, alienation, and diffusion theories, the study shifts focus between janitors, single mothers, and senior citizens in order to determine what constitutes a poverty lifestyle (p. 194). While insiders are share a common cultural, social, or religious identity with their community, outsiders deviate from the status quoand may be viewed with suspicion. In terms of information seeking, Chatman argues, the insider/outsider

Meehlhause 45 dichotomy allows insiders privileged access to certain kinds of knowledge. That is, only insiders can truly understand the social and information worlds of other insiders (p. 194-195). Although outsiders also have easy access to these resources, their struggle to understand and be accepted by the insiders world hinders their information search process, both internally and externally. With these factors in mind, Chatman creates a new Theory of Information Poverty, wherein information seekers (namely outsiders) are resistant to approaching people in their usual social environment for information. Instead, they engage in secrecy, deception, risk-taking, and/or situational relevance in order to protect themselves from unwanted intrusion during the information seeking process. Though information poverty is often linked to class distinction, outsiders also contribute to their own situation by preventing information access and subsequently conforming to social norms. In the 15 years since this study was first published, the concept of the information poor and an impoverished life-world has been applied to gay men coming out of the closet (Hamer, 2003), HIV/AIDS patients (Veinot, 2009), and low-income African American households (Spink, 2001), among others. What I found most interesting about this study was how the decision to remain ignorant (for lack of a better term) is more self-inflicted rather than socially enforced. It is not, say, the government that tries to keep lower class families from learning about welfare resources, but the lower class themselves who prefer not to be informed. I wrote in an earlier journal entry about the old saying that Ignorance is bliss, and I find that this is the same case in Chatmans study. The tricky part now is how librarians go about meeting the information needs of outsiders in such a way that they feel comfortable rather than hindered from seeking it. How can an insider understand an outsiders perspective, and vice versa? Chatman suggest that, the process of

Meehlhause 46 understanding begins with research that looks at their social environment and that defines information from their perspective (p. 205). In other words, over the next two years (or even the rest of my library career), it may be necessary for me to break free of my insider identity and endeavor to understand perspectives Im not used to. This will be difficult, no doubt, but I hope that Im up for the challenge. Works Cited Chatman, E.A. (1996). The Impoverished Life-World of Outsiders.Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 47(3), 193-206. Hamer, J. S. (2003). Coming-Out: Gay Males Information Seeking.School Libraries Worldwide 9(2), 73-89. Spink, A., and Cole, C. (2001). Information and Poverty: Information-seeking Channels used by African American Low-IncomeHouseholds. Library & Information Science Research 23, 45-65. Veinot, T. (2009).A lot of people didn't have a chance to supportus because we never told them Stigma management, informationpoverty and HIV/AIDS information/help networks.Proceedingsof the 72nd ASIS&T Annual Meeting, 46.Retrieved November 3, 2011 from http://www.asis.org/Conferences/AM09/openproceedings/papers/73.xml. November 9, 2011 Amazons Lending Library In my weekly American Library Association (ALA) e-mail newsletter, I came across an editorial today about the new Amazon Kindle Lending Library. The way this program works is that Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle e-reader can choose from a wide selection of booksincluding New York Times bestsellers, if the advertisements are to be believedto

Meehlhause 47 borrow for free. Much like Netflix, there is no due date for these books, though customers are currently limited to only one title per month. While the Lending Library has received some backlash lately from the Authors Guild regarding Amazons dubious contracts with publishers, the ALAs editorial is more concerned with the programs impact on libraries, especially those that have just begun to incorporate ebooks into their collections. For the most part, Harris doesnt see any threat due to the limited access to books and the lack of digital lending rights from major book publishers. Nevertheless, whether the program ultimately succeeds or fails, there is much libraries can learn from Amazon: The Kindle Lending Library shows the potential for a new e-book model that we might want to talk to publishers about, and it certainly shows the power of talking with smaller publishers who are ready, willing, and able to deal with us. If anything, it appears that this new technological development is another opportunity for libraries to experiment with new services and means of connecting with their community. Reading this editorial reminded me of the article about digital libraries we read earlier in the semester, in which T. Newcomb (2011) contemplated the future of libraries in an increasingly digital world. While others may have their doubts that a library can exist without books, Newcomb stressed that libraries werent just warehouses but rather repositories of information and knowledge. I agree with this stance. Its important to remember that Amazon will always be a business, concerned with the almighty dollar and ensuring profit, which explains why the lending library is only available to customers who have already committed to the $79/year Prime membership. The selection of books available for lending also seems to be based more on economic gain than literary or information notoriety. A library, on the other hand, offers unlimited access to knowledge, information, and learning, all for free to those who have a

Meehlhause 48 library card (also free!). Moreover, Amazon doesnt have knowledgeable workers to help patrons find the information they need as quickly and efficiently as possible.As capitalistic and materialistic as American society has become, I think any community will be hard-put not to the value of a community library over an online business. Works Cited Harris, C. (2011, November 4). Amazons Library Model: Can we learn from it? American Libraries Magazine.Retrieved November 9, 2011 from

http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/e-content/amazons-library-model-can-we-learn-it. Newcomb, T. (2011, July 11). Is a bookless library still a library? New York, NY: Time Magazine. November 12, 2011 Advantages and Disadvantages of E-books This blog post is meant partly to build off of my October 31 entry, in which I discussed Meredith Farkass views of e-books, as well as my last entry on the Amazon Lending Library. I probably should have written this one first, but my outside reading didnt exactly coincide with my textbook readings. Oh well! There is no doubt that my views of electronic books, or e-books, have changed exponentially in the last few months, mainly in response to my library science studies and schoolwork. Four months ago, I believed myself to be firmly anti-e-books, and I held this stance for three reasons. First is my enthusiastic love of books, especially the feel of turning each page and the sight of my bookmark moving steadily from the books beginning to the final pages. Second, studies show that people read things different on computer screens than they do on paper, meaning that the overall experience of reading would become less enjoyable. Finally, in

Meehlhause 49 relation to my future career, I feared that e-books could make libraries obsolete as their rising popularity and technological advantages allowed readers the ability to access their favorite books and magazines anytime, anywhere, and even in customizable formats. So while I had minimal experience in reading e-booksmainly for research on amazon.com or Google BooksHell would have to freeze over before I would even consider buying a Kindle or Nook, much less replacing my converting my book collection into megabytes. This negative perspective began to change, however, when I recently wrote an LI 513 paper on e-books and their affects on libraries. What I discovered is that, as of this year, it has been estimated that 67.2 percent of libraries offer e-books to their patrons, an increase from 55.4 percent two years ago as a direct result of the formats popularity (Hoffman et al., 2011). While the growing presence of e-books in libraries presents a definite challenge to a librarys technology, circulation, and collection development departments, they also allow libraries to maintain an active role in shaping the future of this (and other) technology. By adopting e-books into their collection, librarians will need to make some hard decisions about what formats to offer and how to best circulate the titles patrons want to read. Thus as libraries and library patrons continue to experiment with this technology, their feedback may be useful to e-book and e-reader developers in order to improve product efficiency. I had never before considered the possibility that libraries could be an active playerin future uses of technology for information seeking, thereby adding to their value within communities and, possibly, businesses. The list of advantages and disadvantages Rubin (2010) presents is equally compelling. One of the advantages that resonated with me most is that e-books are easily searchable and require little physical space (p. 256). For someone who has a bookshelf overloaded with paperbacks and hardcover books, the possibility of having quick access to, say, all of the Jane

Meehlhause 50 Austen novels within a machine that takes up less space than a magazine is appealing. Moreover, the search capabilities of e-books have the potential to make information seeking quicker and more efficient. When writing a paper, for example, students will be able to find facts, quotes, or other snippets of information much faster by conducting a search than by flipping through pages. Nevertheless, I still believe that the technological aspects of e-books will be the biggest challenges for libraries in the years to come. As Rubin notes, there still isnt a standard format for e-books, nor is it likely that an industry-wide standardization will become available anytime soon (p. 257). Adopting e-books is made even more difficult in the face of current copyright laws, which Rubin fails to mention in his overview. While the First Sale Doctrine allows libraries to lawfully acquire, transfer, and dispose of literature, Trott (2011) notes that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 prevents libraries from indecently maintaining e-book licenses. DMCA essentially bars libraries from purchasing electronic copies of books themselves, setting up a file server, and distributing the files to their patrons as they see fit without the content creators explicit consent on each transaction (p. 326). Trott goes on to suggest that libraries could become direct distributors of a publishers titles, but budget constraints and limited resources make this task almost impossible to accomplish successfully. Overall, the technical issues involved with acquiring e-books present a departure from the centuries-old system of print and paper, thus requiring additional staff education and different resource management models. Im very curious to see how these considerations will impact the future of libraries, copyright law, and my own changing viewpoint of e-books. Works Cited

Meehlhause 51 Hoffman, J., Bertot, J.C., Davis, D.M., & Clark, L. (2011). Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2010-2011 [Digital supplement]. American Libraries, 42(6).Retrieved September 28, 2011 from http://www.ala.org/ala/research/initiatives/plftas/2010_2011/plftas11-techlandscape.pdf. Rubin, R.E. (2010). Foundations of library and information science (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Neal-Schuman. Trott, B. (2011, Summer). E-books and readers' advisory.Reference & User Services Quarterly, 50(4), 325-329.Retrieved October 1, 2011 from Academic OneFile database. November 15, 2011 Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Libraries Earlier this semester, we read an article about the rise of digital (or bookless) libraries and their impact on the future of book-filled libraries. While others may have their doubts that a library can exist without books, Newcomb stressed that libraries werent just warehouses but rather repositories of information and knowledge. For the most part, Rubin (2010) seems to agree with the usefulness of digital libraries. Originally meant for scientific and technical research, digital libraries are now beneficial to distance learners and offer a wider variety of information formatsi.e., video, audiothan mere text. Moreover, digital libraries allow multiple users to access the same information at the same time, gaining access to materials that can be quickly updated and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (p. 237-238).While I dont consider myself to be a distance learner, I can still see how digital libraries would benefit my library school classmates who lives more than an hour away from the ESU library. When I work at the library reference desk, I often receive instant messages from SLIM students asking what materials or case studies are available about such-and-such a subject. Though the library

Meehlhause 52 has a great interlibrary loan program that would enable these students to receive texts from the library in the mail, ultimately its easier and more effective for me to direct them to an e-book or database article.I would even go so far as to say that the virtual environment of our classes would be more consistent with the atmosphere of digital libraries. By this I mean that we receive grades, submit assignments, and interact with faculty or other classmates on Blackboard, so why not be able to conduct research and find materials through an online library as well?! However, Rubin also notes several disadvantages of digital libraries, including the tendency for them to be disciplinary based rather than universal as well as the difficulty of translating this virtual repository into an easy-to-search format. One of the most interesting disadvantages was that fact that people read digital information differently than they do books or other print materials. Levy (as cited in Rubin, 2010) explains that digital libraries promote hyper-extensive reading . . . characterized by a frenzy of short bursts of shallow attending to information fragments. Rubin goes on to add that the presence of hypertext and hyperlinks perceived as the strength of digital libraries (p. 238)only further hinders the ability of readers to read actively. This too has been one of my concerns with e-books and my decision of whether or not to buy a Kindle. I can focus on page after page of print text for hours without so much as a dull ache in my temples, but staring at a computer screen for more than 30 minutes at a time causes me to read information less thoroughly than usual, even leading to a headache every now and again from visual overload. The e-ink feature on most e-readers has been known to lessen this difficulty by making the screen appear more like a piece of paper, but I have yet to see this advantage applied to computers or digital libraries. I may be over-exaggerating a bit, but it seems possible that a continued increase in digital libraries and digital reading could potentially change the means by which people seek and interpret information.

Meehlhause 53 Overall, it seems like digital libraries are in the same boat with e-books and other new technology. They have their advantages for patrons, to be sure, but the act of acquiring and incorporating them into a librarys services might require librarians to revamp their service policies to meet technological and information needs. As Ive said before, the technical issues involved in digital technology ensures that it cannot be searched for, read, or checked out in the same way as books, audiobooks, or DVDs, subsequently requiring further education and innovation on the part of library staff in the process. Works Cited Newcomb, T. (2011, July 11). Is a bookless library still a library? New York, NY: Time Magazine. Rubin, R.E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. November 18, 2011 Podcasting and Libraries Rubin (2010) identifies social networking as a key tool in supporting and promoting library services. As the internet evolved in the first decade of the twenty-first century, dramatic improvements in applications increased the potential for social interaction and the creation of online communities (p. 243). For libraries in particular, this evolution means the ability to keep in better contact with the community through blogs, Facebook, wikis, and RSS feeds. Yet, Rubin glosses over a particular virtual tool that I think may be one of the most beneficial: podcasts. As Rubin notes in his section on RSS feeds, podcasting is defined as a Digital recording which may contain sound, picture, or video files, and which is made available on the Internet for others to download and listen to on computers or personal digital audio players

Meehlhause 54 (Podcast, 2010). Released episodically and generally subscribed to through iTunes or another Web syndication program, this technology has expanded in recent years to cover a wide variety of topics. For example, my own iPod currently contains recent podcasts about history (Stuff You Missed in History Class), gender issues (Opinionated), entertainment (MuggleNet), and news (NPR). In my research on this topic, I also found that podcasts are relatively easy and inexpensive to produce, requiring only one or two hosts, recording software (Audacity is free!), a computer with a microphone or headsets, and a web cam for creating video podcasts (Griffey, 2007). Whats even more interesting, and what I wish Rubin had spent more time describing, are the countless uses podcasting has for libraries. On the one hand, they can be used for promotional purposes, such as advertising upcoming events or explaining new services. Most of the library podcasts I came across have promotion as the primary objective of their weekly or monthly podcasts. On the other hand, this virtual tool has additional employments that fit the specific needs for different libraries. For example, public libraries can use podcasts for library tours, local history features from special collections or archives, interviews with local authors and historians, and broadcasts of book club discussions or storytime. Academic and special libraries can offer tutorials of specific databases, library staff profiles, or bibliographic instruction. One of my favorite options, however, was the use of podcasting by school libraries for book guides, complete with reflection questions for parents and students to complete together (Clegg, 2008). The options are truly endless here! Finally, as mentioned above, I looked on iTunes and the Web for a few noteworthy library podcasts. They are listed below:

Meehlhause 55 Eastern Illinois University Booth Library:http://www.library.eiu.edu/exhibits/frankenstein/podcast/ o Created a podcast production of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, read by university faculty and staff. Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/podcasts/ o Offers broadcasts of annual book festival, and various series devoted to specific topics (i.e., slave narratives). Pritzker Military Library: http://www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org/Home/Podcasts.aspx o Podcasts of library events and lectures. Works Cited Clegg, H., & Montgomery, S. (2008, August). Podcasting: a new way to create, capture and disseminate intellectual capital: in today's web 2.0 world, leading-edge organizations need to harness the many different ways of capturing knowledge. Information Outlook, 12(8), 10+.Retrieved October 8, 2011 from Academic OneFile database. Griffey, J. (2007, June 15). Podcast 123: you don't have to be a media mogul to create audio and video for iPods. Library Journal, 132(11), 32+.Retrieved October 8, 2011 from Academic OneFile database. Podcast.(2010). The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide.Retrieved October 8, 2011 from Credo Reference database. Rubin, R.E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. November 21, 2011 Googling library as place

Meehlhause 56 Sometimes it seems all too easy to think of the library as an invisible force rather than a physical place. Maybe its because information comes in so many forms these days, or the growing number of digital libraries, but both patrons and librarians alike have a tendency to overlook the forest for the trees, so to speak. So it was refreshing to read Rubins stance on the library as a physical place (p. 248-249). He argues that technological advances have required a major redesign of library buildings, particularly wiring and the placement of electrical outlets and lighting (p. 248). On the one hand, these changes have increased the information highwa y in such a way that it is now possible to access and view library materials without ever setting foot within the physical building (p. 249). As I noted in a previous entry, this virtual environment can be a boon for distance learners and rural library patrons. On the other hand, the rise of digital libraries once again brings about the question of, to quote Rubin, whether or not information technologies presage the end of the library as a physical place? (p. 249). Rubin never gives a definitive answer to this question, but it did cause me to wonder yet again about the future of libraries. My curiosity piqued, I next answered Dr. Perleys challenge by googling library as place, bringing up a total of 37,900 results with quotations marks and 364 million results without quotations. One of the most interesting results was a 2005 report published by the Council on Library and Information Resources on how the digital revolution will affect the creation and design or library space (p. vii). What follows is a collection of essays related to just this topic. The first essay proposes that academic libraries in particular should revise its current policies so that it can embody new pedagogies, including collaborative and interactive learning modalities. Significantly, the library must serve as the principal building on campus where one can truly experience and benefit from the centrality of an institutions intellectual

Meehlhause 57 community (p. 2). Another essay, also focused on university libraries, encourages a paradigm shift, in which librarians focus less on service and more on circulating knowledge (p. 11). Yet another essay argues that while the library will always offer services necessary to the community, the physical space of a library should be reconfigured to that of an Internet caf, where patrons can become immersed in information and staff can produce, rather than merely collect and distribute, knowledge and learning (p. 50-52).In other words, the overall stance of this report seems to be that, in the words of a famous Bob Dylan song, the times they are a changin, and libraries need to adjust their policies in turn or else be left in the dust. These findings take me back to an earlier September journal entry about library design and its impact on information-seeking behavior. Back then, I wrote that the Emporia Librarys divided spaces (i.e., one corner for young adult books, another corner for nonfiction, etc.) helped the building to flow from spot to spot while also allowing for a social environment in the center of the room. Now I find myself imagining more and more the library as one big computer lab void of the traditional shelves and stacks of print books. Or I keep thinking of a scene in Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones, where Obi-Wan Kenobi visits a library in which patrons ask for information and librarians retrieve it from a collection of holograms. Both scenes seem cold and friendless to me, hardly the community-centered space Ive come to love about libraries. None of the essays I perused in the report, nor Rubin, spoke about how technology could impact the librarys social aspects, and I now feel that its something that should be kept in mind when reconsidering the library as a physical space. Works Cited

Meehlhause 58 Council on Library and Information Resources.(2005, February).Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved November 21, 2011 from http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub129/pub129.pdf. Rubin, R.E. (2010). Foundations of Library and Information Science (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. November 24, 2011 Lanke and the Real Work of Librarians R. David Lankes video on The New Librarianship in the Age of Ebooks begins with an observation that resonated strongly with me as I continued to watch the rest of it. He suggests that libraries and librarians should not be lumped together when considering the future of libraries; in fact, these are two different concepts that should be treated as such. Libraries are concerned with collections and physical spaces, the acquisition of stuff in other words. Thus, as the use of virtual reference and technology increases while the need for print materials decreases, the need for a physical building to house information items in will likewise become less necessary. This is not to say, however, that librarians will become equally antiquated. In contrast, librarians value knowledge and learning, two concepts that remain present regardless of the format information is delivered in. Therefore, even if all libraries become digital and bookless, librarians will still be needed to help patrons find and access information; their search and delivery methods just might change in response to technology. All this semester, I have tended to lump libraries and librarians together as a collective package, certain that you cant have one without the other. Yet, I can see now that if you separate the two, it becomes easier to see each ones individual importance in information-seeking behavior and to plan for the future accordingly.

Meehlhause 59 With this in mind, after watching this video, I wholly agree with Lankes arguments, and Im flabbergasted that I didnt come to the same conclusion before, especially given all of my entries about e-books lately. Lanke argues that the real work of librarians should be as active producers and players in the e-book industry, rather than waiting for other businesses to do the work for them. In other words, librarians should be pro-active and not reactive in the face of these technological advances. I think Lanke sums this stance up best when he says, Libraries are not threatened by e-books, we should be thrilled with e-books. We should be in active partnership, active collaborations, and we should help shape this game. While this argument could be criticized as a if-you-cant-beat-em-join-em cop-out, Im excited by this idea. By incorporating e-books and other technology into their collections, libraries have an opportunity to provide vital information resources to their communities, meaning that the continued expansion and development of e-books will also require them to maintain an active role in shaping the future of this (and other) technology. This notion makes me really excited to be a librarian and one day play be an active player in the front lines of technology. November 29, 2011 The Mummy Tonight Lynn Pratt, Emily Schwarze, and I watched the 1999 remake of The Mummy in order to see how director Stephen Sommers and actress Rachel Weisz portrayed librarians. Libraries and librarians are not as central to the plotline of this movie as in my previous entry on Shawshank Redemption, but librarian Evelyn Carnahan nevertheless creates an interesting and at times stereotypical image of the female librarian. Our first image of her is when she is standing on a very tall ladder shelving books, her hair pulled back and glasses perched on her nose, looking every bit like the dowdy spinster many envision librarians to be. Yes, she is clever,

Meehlhause 60 sassy, and attractive, but those qualities are often overshadowed by the frequently usedalmost to the point of being clichphrase, According to my readings.The rest of the movie seems to further this imagethrough the set design of the antiquities museum as dusty, full of books with ancient bindings, and mostly deserted (pardon the pun). As much as Id hoped filmmakers would be removed from the illustrations of librarians that were all too common fifty years ago think the Marians in Its a Wonderful Life and The Music ManI was surprised that the stereotype has lasted so long. Nevertheless, the movie does seem to place a lot of emphasis on information and knowledge rather than muscle and brawn, which is saying a lot for an action movie. For one thing, Evelyns saucy intelligence and book smarts are often pitted against the brash, He-Man behavior of hero Rick OConnell. Much like her Marian the Librarian counterpart, she fortunately doesnt melt under his charms but rather usually leaves him speechless. If theres one part of the film that had all three of us wannabe female librarians cheering, it was when she speaks the infamous line, Look, I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am. I... am a librarian! Even with her Plain Jane looks and clumsiness, this line creates the message that there is nothing wrong with having ones head in books or not knows how to handle a gun. If anything, it is knowledge of Ancient Egypt that ultimately allows the heroes to defeat villain Imhotep. Audiences are told soon after the mummys resurrection that no mortal weapons can kill this creature, a point that is made even clearer when the brawny male characters gun power fails to wound him. What does work, however, is Evelyns understanding of booksparticularly the Book of Amun-Rah and the Book of the Deadand information seeking to find the right methods to defeat the

Meehlhause 61 mummy. Rick never would have been able to kill Imhotep if Evelyn hadnt been able to first decipher the incantation to make the mummy mortal. In other words, knowledge is once again proven to be powerful. Take that, Bembridge scholars!