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Barbara Fister is CRD Luncheon Speaker

June 15, 2012

As CRD Chair, I’m thrilled that Barbara Fister has agreed to be the  CRD Luncheon Speaker at this year’s PaLA Annual Conference. Barbara is a working librarian, coordinating library instruction at Gustavus Adolphus College in MN, with the chops to write and speak on vital topics for higher ed and libraries, including open access, publishing, reading, and learning.

I’m a big fan of Barbara’s writing and regularly read her Inside Higher Ed blog Library Babel Fish, as well as her posts on the LJ Academic Newswire and ACRLog. I’ve shared her webpage written for Gustavus Adolphus faculty with other librarians so many times I’ve lost count, “Seeing the Library from a Student Perspective“, because it’s so spot on. Her writing is thought-provoking and fun to read. And I should also mention that she writes crime fiction (in her spare time), having published three novels: Through the Cracks, In the Wind, and On the Edge. (Makes you wish you could be a student in one of her courses!)

I asked Barbara to talk about what was on her mind at the time of the conference, sort of an “unluncheon” luncheon talk if possible, about those vital topics for higher ed and libraries and to also have fun with her talk. What she came up with hits the mark exactly: “…a mashup of information literacy/student learning things that are on my mind and open access/publishing/technology/copyright and how those things intersect. ”

The title of her talk is “Playing for Keeps: Lifelong Learning in the Ludic Library” (look it up!), which she describes thus:

We take information literacy seriously, yet in a sense, the best researchers are playful. How might concepts of play inform our practice in libraries made for learning? What if we reconceptualized research from the systematic acquisition and use of intellectual property to a more creative and open approach to engaging with ideas in motion? What does it mean to be information literate in a world in which “publish” is a button?

I want to think about what we teach when we say “the truth has lots of footnotes and big words” but really mean “the kind of truth I’m used to working with has lots of footnotes and big words, and it’s not really truth, but it’s the way people like me present it to the world. There’s some good stuff in there, but some of it’s really pretty rubbishy. Let’s think about what makes it good, and how else you might go looking for the truth.” And then not “go to the library and shop for some truth; check the ‘peer-reviewed’ so you get the right ingredients” but “check out the library. A lot of people are making neat stuff in there, and you can too.”

Make a note of Barbara Fister’s CRD Luncheon appearance on your calendar now: Tuesday, October 2, 2012. And be prepared to think while having fun!


One Comment leave one →
  1. Paul Proces permalink
    June 18, 2012 6:45 pm

    Finally, we are getting serious about play in this state.

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