This week is National Library and Information Week in Australia — a week-long celebration of library and information professionals across the country. To celebrate the wonderful work of Australian libraries and librarians, here are a few thoughts on why libraries are so important, from those at the very heart of them.
By Ronald Schechter
Let me begin with a confession. I used to be a snob when it came to comics. I learned to read circa 1970 and even though my first books were illustrated, there was something about the comic format – the words confined to speech and thought bubbles and the scenes subdivided into frames – that felt less than serious. The only time I remember being allowed to buy comic books was when I had just been to the doctor’s office.
By Magdalena Nowicka
The political controversies over immigration intensify across Europe. Commonly, the arguments centre around its economic costs and benefits, and they reduce the public perception of immigrants to cheap workforce. Yet, increasingly, these workers are highly skilled professionals, international students and academics.
By Pauline Hall
I spent my first seven years living in Amen Court in the City of London, 100 metres from the northwest corner of St Paul’s Cathedral. I still have vivid memories of this time including recollections of lavish children’s parties given by Dean Inge (the so-called Gloomy Dean) for the cathedral choristers, hearing the call of the cats’ meat man who fed the rat-catching office cats, and the daily round of the lamplighter who tolerated the ‘help’ of a seven year-old assistant.
By Nicola Wilson
When I was invited to develop two lists for Oxford Scholarship Online, I jumped at the chance. From the perspective of a commissioning editor, digital publishing has extended the ‘life’ of our copyrights indefinitely, and we no longer need to hold a book in physical print for it to continue to be available to our readers.
By Scott Huntington
Many music students have difficulty finding new venues in which to perform. A lot of the time it’s because we let our school schedule our performances for us. We’ll start the semester and circle the dates on the calendars that include our concerts and recitals, and that will be it. That’s fine, and can keep you pretty busy, but I’m here to tell you to get out there and plan on your own.
By Jamie Zibulsky and Anne E. Cunningham
Being literate involves much more than the ability to sound out the words on a page, but acquiring that skill requires years of development and exposure to the world of words. And once children possess the ability to sound out words, read fluently, and comprehend the words on a page, they have limitless opportunities to learn about new concepts, places, and people.
By Jim Secord
We tend to think of ‘science’ and ‘literature’ in radically different ways. The distinction isn’t just about genre – since ancient times writing has had a variety of aims and styles, expressed in different generic forms: epics, textbooks, lyrics, recipes, epigraphs, and so forth.
By Paula A. Michaels
Writing on Saturday in The Age, popular historian Paul Ham launched a frontal assault on “academic history” produced by university-based historians primarily for consumption by their professional peers.
The push for performance has never been higher. Students today are faced with a grueling course load, extra-curriculars, and standardized tests. In the wake of this competitive atmosphere, the United States has seen a spike in both ADHD diagnoses and increased demand for prescription medicine. But who’s to blame?
By Adrastos Omissi
As someone who has lived out his entire academic career in a research environment augmented by digital resources, it can be easy to allow familiarity to breed contempt where the Internet is concerned. When I began my undergraduate degree in the autumn of 2005, Oxford’s Bodleian Library, as well as every faculty and college library, had already digitised their search functions…
By Annabel Coles
After months of planning, preparation and final presentation run-throughs, I stood at the front of Seminar Room 3 within the State Library of Victoria, looking across the tables carefully decorated with our OUP goody bags and name placards. It was 8:30 in the morning and I was ready to meet my first librarians from “Down Under”.
By Marjorie Senechal
“March 8 is Women’s Day, a legal holiday,” I wrote to my mother from Moscow. “This is one of the many cute cards that is on sale now, all with flowers somewhere on them. We hope March 8 finds you well and happy, and enjoying an early spring! Alas, here it is -30° C again.”
By Bill Laurance, Carolina Useche, Corey Bradshaw, and Susan Laurance
It doesn’t matter whether or not you think it’s fair: if you’re an academic, your publishing record will have a crucial impact on your career. It can profoundly affect your prospects for employment, for winning research grants, for climbing the academic ladder, for having a teaching load that doesn’t absorb all your time, for winning academic prizes and fellowships, and for gaining the respect of your peers.
Parents and educators everywhere want to introduce children to the world of reading, but the task of helping a child become an independent reader is increasingly difficult and daunting. How can you create a love for reading and learning with stories, lessons, and activities while also supporting reading development? Book Smart: How to Develop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers, written by Anne E. Cunningham, PhD and Jamie Zibulsky, PhD, serves as a how-to guide for parents as they navigate through the uncertainties of teaching their children to read.
By now the reactions to Nicholas Kristof’s piece at the New York Times are circulating the Internet. There are good arguments in favor and against blaming professors or the public or both. Rather than take one side or the other I thought it would make sense to give a couple of anecdotes that provide insight into this issue.