Quotes of the day: Reading lists and bookstores


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The Times Higher Education Supplement (the UK equivalent of the Chronicle) has a piece about reading lists which had a couple of interesting paragraphs (unfortunately behind a paywall). About reading lists:

But it was the digital revolution that really threw the relationship into disarray. Students no longer put up with faint photocopies of a list and scribbled changes copied from the board. Most expect – and receive – booklists online, with up-to-date amendments following fast on the publication of new texts. Nor are they so willing to run to the library to grab the only copy of a key volume or wait until it is returned. Many will start their research with Google and expect booklists to include links that take them straight to the recommended text. [Education news & resources at the Times Higher Education Supplement]

At a conference recently I was asked about the touching points between libraries and e-learning systems. I keep coming back to this ‘bibliographic tissue’ of reading lists, citation managers, and social bookmarking services as an area with great possibilities as an integration point. The appearance of COINS makes some of the necessary linking more realizable: it offers the possibility of linking to licensed content in the way that we currently link to open content on the web.
And on the intersection of the social, the network and place:

Such developments are likely to shake up the relationship between universities and booksellers and publishers. Rita Ricketts, head of public affairs for the publisher Blackwells, says the company is already contemplating a radical rethink of its bookshops. She suggests that they will become cultural centres, where students can go not only to read books and download texts but also to listen to music and hang out with their friends. She insists that books are still what matter and that printed works may even benefit from the explosion in other sources of information. [Education news & resources at the Times Higher Education Supplement]

Increasingly, there will be multiple points of intersection between the physical and the network, offering different grades of experience.

… we are seeing services being disembedded from traditional settings and reembedded at the point of need. … we are seeing more services surfaced where they intersect with behaviors and lifestyle in natural ways. Alongside this, we see that different grades of experience are offered in different intersections. A very focused music selection in Starbuck’s; a broad selection in a music chain; a niche selection in the local record store; a track-based selection at an online store, and so on. [Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog: Multiple intersections with behavior and lifestyle]

Source: Harriet Swain. Makeovers for the guides to essential reading. Times Higher Education Supplement. 20 January 2006.
Via Simon Jennings.
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