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Volume 8, no. 1 (Fall 2005)

Feature Articles

Thomas Weissinger

Information as a Value Concept

Abstract: Philosophically, materialists and idealists understand the world differently. In materialist theory information directly represents the natural world, whereas idealism understands it to be the very structure of thought. Some of the problems arising between information theory and the actual practice of librarianship are due to mixing concepts from incompatible theories. The concept of information favored by materialist theories is not interchangeable with the concepts preferred by idealists and critical theorists. Materialism overemphasizes the empirical features of information, while giving short shrift to the possibility that information can be both factual and evaluative. Consequently, this leads to theories of information which are out of touch with the values, norms and purposes of ordinary people.

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John J. Doherty

Kevin Ketchner

Empowering the Intentional Learner: A Critical Theory for Information Literacy Instruction

Abstract: The empowered intentional learner is a starting point towards a grounded theory in information literacy instruction. The authors engage this theory in a critical dialogue with instructional practice, in this instance a for-credit college freshman class built around information literacy concepts. Only through such reflection, where theory informs practice and practice informs theory, is it possible to develop a grounded theory where a less privileged role for the instruction librarian takes a back seat role to the control students should have over their own learning.

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Leonard Hitchcock

Do You Really Want to Be a Forum?

Abstract: This article examines what a public forum is, and whether or not a library can legitimately claim to be one. Beginning with an imaginary visit to a rather odd public park, and a brief review of the development of the legal doctrine of the public forum, an attempt is made to establish that the library 1) falls far short of being a genuine public forum, 2) is actually ambivalent about being a forum at all, and 3) could, if it really wanted to, become much more of a forum by making a very simple change in its online catalog.

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Ellen D. Gilbert

Confidentially Speaking: American Libraries and the USA PATRIOT Act

Abstract: The USA Patriot Act and librarians' responses to it are examined in the context of other government efforts to influence library service, such as the FBI's "Library Awareness Program," as well as the general context of intellectual freedom and librarians' commitment to it.

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Syed Md. Shahid

Use of RFID Technology in Libraries: a New Approach to Circulation, Tracking, Inventorying and Security of Library Materials

Abstract: Features and attributes of this RFID technology and its application in libraries are described. Basic components required for implementation as well as the pros and cons of RFID in libraries are discussed. Guidelines for best practices regarding standards and user confidentiality are explored.

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Cecile Bianco

Online Tutorials: Tips from the Literature

Abstract: Online tutorials are an important addition to traditional teaching. Since Information Literacy is a skill that many believe college students should master, it can be argued that it is even more important that it is learned by graduate students. Online tutorials can be an effective means of education for graduate students. This paper assembles fourteen best practices for constructing online tutorials.

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Henry Itohowo Okon

Academic Libraries in the 21st Century: a New Paradigm in Nigeria

Abstract: Effective communication is the soul of any institution. New opportunities are presented by Information and Communication Technology (ICTS). Library managers must adopt a more critical and communication plan that will enhance their skills and allow for further training, as well as allowing stakeholders to have input into decision-making.

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Preeti Mahajan

Academic Libraries in India: a Present-Day Scenario

Abstract: The paper discusses the role of academic libraries in the education system in India and the changes brought out with the impact of Information technology in academic libraries in India, with an emphasis on the role of the UGC and various networks. The need for resource sharing through consortia is highlighted, with the aim of enhancing resources for university libraries.

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Cecile Bianco

The Design of the Wilson’s Library Literature Online Tutorial

Abstract: The Wilson’s Library Literature Online tutorial (LLOT) was designed for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College. This article provides background on the institution, summarize findings from a literature review of use of library tutorials at the graduate level, discusses the planning and the needs assessment for the tutorial, discusses the educational strategies used in the tutorial and its strategic design based on the literature review, proposes an evaluation form for the tutorial, and a budget for the tutorial.

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Scott Rummler

Look Out! The Biggest Library Problem

Abstract: Libraries may lose control of the support, operation, and direction of their institutions because of the popularization of information and accompanying political wrangling. To a large extent, it will be their activism that will determine their viability going forward. If they fail to deal with this situation they may lose control of their destinies. Will we continue to expand and prosper? Case studies.

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