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ERIC Number: EJ855269
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr-3
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Blind Spots
Drucker, Johanna
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n30 pB6 Apr 2009
Stanford University is going through the difficult and highly fraught process of figuring out a plan for the library of the future. Coming on the heels of the "bookless library," touted as the vision for a new engineering library, a preliminary proposal in 2007 to tear down the seismically unsafe Meyer Library and digitize and house off campus most of its 600,000 volumes produced a cry of protest. The utopian ideal might have met with less resistance had faculty members been involved in the planning from the start. But as charged responses mounted, the administration announced it would delay razing the library. Last fall a faculty committee of the Academic Council proposed its own plan for rethinking the library to the Faculty Senate, which has accepted it with a call for further rethinking by various university groups of how to put the plan into effect. The new faculty plan is characterized by a key shift in emphasis that is both less charged and more pointed. Rather than envision a "library of the future," it discusses the "future of the library," stressing continuity with an old entity rather than the creation of something brand-new. Many humanities principles developed in hard-fought critical battles of the last decades are absent in the design of digital contexts. In this article, the author contends that if humanists are interested in creating in their work with digital technologies the subjective, inflected, and annotated processes central to humanistic inquiry, they must be committed to designing the digital systems and tools for their future work. Nothing less than the way humanists understand knowledge and their tasks as scholars are at stake. Software and hardware only put into effect the models structured into their design. Moreover, university administrators need to see such work as more valuable than they have to date. Faculty members and graduate students committed to remodeling knowledge with innovative approaches to scholarship have to be supported. Unless scholars in the humanities help design and model the environments in which they will work, they will not be able to use them.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A