End of the year or closing thoughts…

by Kate MacMillan

I do my best problem solving in the morning when I am fighting with my hair. I always have the highest hopes that this particular gel or spray will give me that wonderful tousled look instead of the usual flattened souffle. Today’s hair was no different, but I did have some interesting thoughts about the digital Listserve chatter that has become somewhat controversial!

Over the weekend, I listened to the interview with John Green about his books and the upcoming Fault in Our Stars movie. He talked about parents worrying about today’s teens reading; their lack of compassion and critical thinking skills. He then gently reminded us that it was no different in our day. In a roundabout way, this does bring me back to my all-things digital thoughts. In a way we are like the worried parents with our perception that print is the best way for our students to assimilate content. Unarguably some of us are more comfortable with paper, but that does not mean our free-range learners are. Isn’t it time that we really do embrace our 21st century learners and stop our “print or die” attitude”? Going digital may be a stretch for some but the outcome will be our connecting with teens who “represent the edge of mobile connectivity.” (PEW Report Teens and Technology 2013)

As I was continuing the valiant hair fight, I thought about the Booklist weeding webinar that I took over spring break. During the webinar, the speaker mentioned the recent addendum to the 2008 CREW dealing with ebook management. I have been so busy acquiring ebooks that I had never thought of weeding or managing them. However, webinar and CREW brought up the question of dealing with aged titles that are no longer relevant and are just cluttering our virtual shelves. That thought lead me to the very touchy subject of metered and/or twelve month access. Since these ebooks are less pricey than the forever titles, they do have a certain appeal . . . sometimes an almost $40 appeal. If we want a current and appealing collection, could we call purchasing ebooks with this kind of access as having built-in subjective weeding? In a way, I am rather entranced with the idea, but am leaning more to metered than dated.

The last digital thoughts of the year . . . Destiny’s Universal Search is fabulous and a great improvement over One Search. The curriculum tags alone are worth the upgrade! Also, if you haven’t had the chance, take a look at LibGuides. I compare it the old vertical file in the cloud.

Have a great and relaxing summer and read an ebook!

Kate MacMillan

Kate MacMillan