Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rambling with Silver: 30 Jan/ 29 Jan 2011

[Explanation: An archive for my own personal reference and reflection, of memorable bits from my Skype conversation with David Silver, Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of San Francisco. Feel free to join the conversation.]

Previous ramble - 30 Sept/ 1 Oct 2010

David's Dream Exhibit:
  • In the library; Circle/ panels; 360-degree view
  • Displaying foods by seasons; "Fill in the exhibit as we go along the seasons"; Showcase seasonal recipes; Feature cookbooks, poetry books (winter, spring etc.)
  • "get viewers mindful of seasons"
  • What about Singapore, which has no seasons? David suggests holiday food traditions, which tends to be seasonal (true!)
  • Information could be based both librarians and patrons own research
  • "nowadays we don't care about the seasons: chickens are available year-round in the grocery stores"
  • "imagine a huge world map; figure out where our food come from".
  • Perhaps extend the idea to a cross-country chat (among teens?)

Future of libraries
  • "Libraries are beholden to books", and notion of literacy is significantly "print-based literacy"
  • David observes that (in the US) librarians used to complain that users come in to use computers only and leave without borrowing. Now some librarians are glad libraries have computers, so that people are visiting libraries.
  • We talked about fearing the Internet in the 90s, and whether there are similarities with the fears of digitisation and rise of eBooks today.
  • David suggests a possible research area about "librarians' fears from 1994 - 2010"; suggests this could go back to the '80s with the onset of computer databases.
  • Possible source of research: editorials of library journals of last 15 years; library magazines; forecast articles; "fears"; initial reactions to microfiche
  • Suggested reading: Joseph Corn's "Imagining Tomorrow"; popular stories/ narratives on what the future is going to look like.
Imagining Tomorrow: History, Technology, and the American Future

The September Project (TSP)
  • Problems of being bogged down with immediate needs of posting updates (not hard to do in itself but the volume overwhelms)
  • Suggestion that TSP could develop the following framework: 
    • David & Sarah (funding, figurehead roles, interview students)
    • Gleeson Library (learning & training partner)
    • Student Volunteers (content work)
  • Value to the library - a way to position the library as a focal point; to engage students in a global volunteer activity
  • Value to students - learn a skill (blogging, google maps), apply the learning, learn about libraries both nationally and globally; count as academic work
  • Once this "operational" foundation is established, then there's more time to work on innovative aspects to TSP

BTW, check out Librarians and Social Change, a research project by Teresa Garcia, with a case study on TSP.


  1. Happy Lunar New Year!

    What a coincidence... David's dream exhibit is a concept similar to what the team at Singapore International Culinary Exchange (or SPICE for short) had put up in Spain recently .

    It was reported on Chubby Hubby's blog that "around the circular ballroom, they set up large, tall screens that enveloped the room. On these, they screened 360 degree scenes of Singapore, shot in a range of settings, from high-end restaurants to food courts and markets. This effect visually transported guests to Singapore, giving them a real taste of what life on our island is like."

    Here's a video of the set-up

  2. Hey Tabehodai, wow I wished we had that kind of budget! Thanks for the links. Gives me a benchmark of sorts. Have also pointed David to your comments.

  3. Thank you for the links tabehodai. :) Anyway, for me library is still essential despite the demands of computers nowadays. there are still information that can only be read in the book and not in the net.


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