Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Now that we have some information about the Town Hall meetings, and after our meetings, I thought a short post to refocus the conversation might not be bad.

Now that we know that reconfiguration really does mean close, that moving materials out of the space has already begun, and that University administrators have no intention of changing their minds in giving their plans a more collaborative and compromise-driven shape, and there is not interest in any sector of the student or alumni community to bring to bear the elements on and off campus (for better or worse, the community made this decision collectively, at times intentionally, at time s not) to try to convince University administrators differently - where do we go from here?

We continue, it seems, to participate in a system in a way that will discourage these kinds of unilateral working methods in the future.

On-going needs present in the Old Wasserman or the New Wasserman Regime include:

1. the better public and for-student collaboration of the different niches or communities within the College (so archivists know what school librarianship is, and that administrators, staff, faculty, Ph.D. students, and MIM, and MLS folk really do know what the other does on a day to day basis so no one can say "What's that about anyway?") The dean needs to incentivize and support this by integrating teaching and research methods. What ever happened to those evaluations of core courses? Was any report ever made public on that? The management course was re-evaluated, but I never saw narrative explaining that or other things....my hunch is that this Wasserman decision was reached because no concensus exists in places where it would be useful.

2. We need to increase the channels of communication to targeted partners by being articluate advocates and marketers of ourselves off campus. Students should have a role in this to encourage the competing interests of the College to find common ground. This should not simply be a MIM or an HCIL duty. CLIS may have let itself become too self-interested.

3. We need to create opportunities for professional and community development in student and professional organizations hosted at CLIS, and we need to participate in the collaboration opportunities when the administration chooses to offer them (Tech committees, Collegium representatives, Wasserman transition committees). Speak up loadly and often. Archivists need to fund the creation of another full-time faculty member, for example. I'm sure other groups have similar interests.

Indeed, many of these goals are achievable in multiple ways and the destruction of the much-loved and possibility-rich public space of the Paul Wasserman Library does not preclude the achievement of these goals, but its destruction certainly shapes the diffusion of their achievement and perhaps even frames them in the Internet browsers of everyone's PCs (hence my attempt to include I-schools/distance ed in the discussion), even if we live in a world where browsers present rose colored and non-portable/tranferable views of reality--they are easier to control in other ways.

I hope to see you at the Town Hall meetings.


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