Thursday, February 11, 2010

What does DIY U Mean for Libraries?

In response to my DIY U excerpt posted on Chelsea Green and Scribd, Bruce Harpham writes:

the prospect of “unbundling of educational functions” could be bad news for libraries. If the academic experience is broken down into a set of experiences unrelated to each other, much will be lost including some of the historical reasons for academic libraries...Kamenetz sees a future with a greater emphasis on outcomes, skills and projects. I think librarians are well posed to meet that change.

I agree.
Yes, some of the historic reasons for academic libraries will be lost, along with some of the historic reasons for classrooms, dorms, and dining halls.
However, I actually think libraries represent an ideal for the future of education:
* they are designed as sites for independent, self-directed exploration;
* they are places where many different types of learners in different disciplines, academic level, etc come together;
*they are already positioned as resources valuable to the community at large, far more so than other places on campus.
*And the way the librarian acts as a Virgil for learning resources is far closer to the future of teaching practice than the sage on the stage model.

3 comments:

Bruce said...

I love the Virgil metaphor! That's fantastic. (I read "Generation Debt" a few years ago and really liked it; I'm looking forward to the DIY book!)

For quite a few years, there has been an emphasis on research skills (once called "bibliographic instruction"; the modern term is often called "information literacy") at libraries and that can only get more important. Finding, assessing and using information are skills that are unlikely to go out of demand any time soon.

Anya said...

"Finding, assessing and using information are skills that are unlikely to go out of demand any time soon."

In fact, I would argue they're the core of the new liberal arts...

Thanks for the kind words!
Anya

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