February 20, 2008

Exhibition and some rhetorical questions

Posted in Updates tagged , , , , , at 10:59 am by maf

These questions for thought have occurred to me since our last class:

  • Kids as early as 4th grade are required to write persuasive essays.  This is challenging.  I ask: forget writing; can they read persuasive text, recognizing it as such, and evaluating its proposals?
  • Many AUPs you will find out there contain the statement: “Internet access is a privilege, not a right.”  This is standard accepted practice, and I certainly won’t mark it wrong.  However, is this still a fair statement?  Is it fair to withhold digital access from any person nowadays, when so much has moved online?  I don’t mean this in the sense of filtering, but in the broader sense of ubiquitous connectivity and social online life.
  • This is about filtering: do filters provide a false sense of security to children and parents? What happens when they access the Internet on an unfiltered terminal – do they carry their assumption of protection with them?

I’m not going to answer those questions – they are just for thought and discussion.

Now for some Exhibition business. Here are a few FAQs:

  • Q: “I have found many examples of my instructional material format.  Just how many am I supposed to bring?”   A: Provide a sampling.  You need not feel obligated to bring huge amounts of stuff.
  • Q: “Who did you say we should send our online materials to?” A: Lisa, ldelgado@uga.edu.
  • Q: “Where is the link to all the Exhibition topics?” A: Here.  Hint:  I index most resources like this on the 6340 Home Page and at the top of the Agenda.  If you’re looking for something and can’t find it there, then ask me to add it.

February 13, 2008

Bishop 13: Ethical issues and the collection

Posted in Bishop tagged , , , , at 9:07 am by maf

Here are my highlights and margin notes from reading this chapter.

In the introductory paragraphs, I highly agree with this statement:

“For some of the issues, there are definite legal and ethical guidelines, but in other instances there may be more than one acceptable opinion about an issue.”

This is another way of saying that things are gray and there may be no exact right or wrong answer.

Providing Access section:

  • Once again, this theme is one we will emphasize in Cataloging.
  • The section “Children’s Rights and Intellectual Freedom” is highly relevant to the Selection Policy-making process. She relates the First Amendment and clearly explains it, basing her discussion on authoritative analysis.
  • The Barriers section is eye-opening. Under Inequality of Access – if there are people out there that don’t believe in the simple fact that some schools are poorer than others, they should visit my daughter’s urban school, where there is still no paper and an utterly deaf child’s SST was finally processed last week (after a September referral).
  • On page 166, she explains more laws (acronyms again!) and their relationship to Internet filtering. She provides the essential elements of an AUP.
  • Copyright does not get much space here, which is understandable since you would need volumes to explain it. I hope you’ve picked up from me that I consider the area of copyright to be as ethically important as it is legally.

Selection Materials (168-172)

  • Kay does a good job here of explaining how selection can itself be a censoring process. This problem is why I expect to see proactive prevention of self-censorship in your final order.
  • On page 170 she says, “Knowing one’s self is a prerequisite for selection.” Aren’t you glad you already wrote your personal Intellectual Freedom Philosophy?
  • She ends the section on MSs and Personal Biases with this statement: “If you sense that your personal views may be outweighing your professional judgment, seek other people’s opinions.” I agree, except that I say: do it anyway. This is what your Media Committee is for.
  • Kay spends a lot of time on the principle of balance. This is warranted.


This chapter ends with a quick series of tasks and ethical issues in regards to those collection tasks. Some things to watch out for:

  • Accepting gifts or premiums from vendors to influence your decisions (There is a squiggly line here, to be sure!)
  • Being a responsible accountant
  • Sharing e-materials beyond the scope of a license
  • Taking good care of materials as an ethical responsibility (good stewardship)
  • Disposing of materials properly (I would add environmental stewardship to this point)
  • Confidentiality in circulation
  • What to do if you suspect a student is self-destructive or dangerous to others
  • Patriot Act
  • Restricting materials
  • Weeding of controversial materials (rather than just those that no longer meet selection criteria)
  • Obtaining funding: I had never thought of this as an ethical responsibility before.



The scenarios are excellent. If we had all the time in the world, we would discuss them one by one.

Finally, I hope you’ve noticed by now how wonderful the references and resources are at the end of each chapter. This is one great benefit of having a newly-published textbook.

February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

Posted in Updates tagged , , at 2:25 pm by maf

Why do you suppose Bishop says, on page 2, “… as we help students become critical thinkers and competent problem solvers who can contribute in a democracy?” Democracy is on our minds as we vote in our state primaries, and we will be talking about critical thinking (evaluating information) on Saturday, but can you put that logical train together? I think it is important that you be able to do that.

Other margin notes from my reading of Bishop Chapter 1:

  • The questions raised on p. 1, para 2 are quite provocative, in regards to online resources.
  • The bullets on p. 2 could almost double as criteria. They are certainly questions that should be asked from a practical point of view.
  • This section on Physical Entity and Accessibility is important regarding the general theme of Information Access – something we emphasize in Cataloging.
  • p.3: We must all wonder how the new learning standards will change discussions like this one.
  • p.5: I really like Kay’s graphic on this page (pardon me, the cat is now lying over my open book…). It’s different how she’s separated them into user/collection-oriented and direct/indirect roles. I think we spend so much time talking about the Four Roles in SLM because things can get so chaotic – it helps to keep reminding ourselves what we’re supposed to be doing.
  • In the section on “Relationships that Influence the Collection” (p.6) she gives a “who’s who” of agencies and how they’re organized. We all know about our own district level, and I wondered how private (independent) schools might write that paragraph differently. We have our RESAs at the Regional Level. At the State level, we have Judy Serritella (if you don’t know her name, you should stop and memorize it immediately! :-)) Kay mentions that “other state agencies are information resources” – and several names to remember along those lines are the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the Digital Library of Georgia, and of course GALILEO.
  • The section under National Level is a tidy list of laws (with acronyms) that you should recognize: ADA, DMCA, NCLB, LSTA.

I’ll provide more of my margin notes as we go along and they seem relevant. I’m proud to say that I’ve finally finished the book! Just in time to choose the Cataloging texts.

A couple of announcements:

  • The dates for Cataloging will likely be May 17, June 14, July 12. A very small number of people can’t make those dates. We’ll figure out makeup plans for these folks later on.
  • I installed Cohort7 Blog subscription feeds on the course home page. Take your pick: a reader of your choice, or email. I highly recommend one or the other!