ATG Hot Topics  8/28/15

Erin Gallagherby Erin Gallagher

So much going on this week!  Our new semester started…students moved in and promptly got lost…Women’s Equality DayNational Dog Day…and most importantly, my birthday.  Oh, and a potential hurricane the likes of which Florida hasn’t seen in 10 years could be heading our way this weekend.  Huzzah!  We’re busting out the Jimmy Buffett here in the library just in case.

Did anyone else’s classes start this week?  How is your library supporting the first week of class?  Do you provide fun orientation sessions or events for incoming first-years and returning students?  If you’re like us, you’re gearing up for a lot of instruction sessions for new students, particularly due to an increased focus on folding information literacy concepts into the curriculum.  A great site to check on now and then is Project Information Literacy They conduct large-scale studies into how college students and graduates conduct research.  They also link to what libraries are doing on a practical level. 

I’m not exactly a constant reader of the Wall Street Journal, but I was intrigued by their recent article on The Rise of Phone ReadingDoes anyone out there really, truly read entire novels on their phone?  I’m talking Moby Dick level here… According to the article, people really do read entire novels on their phones, and they mostly do so out of convenience.  How else are you going to find the time to read unless it’s in those brief snatches of time while waiting in line or sitting on the bus?  As I’ve said before, I’m a traditionalist in my reading habits and the things I enjoy about print books (taking it to the beach, ability to share with others, sense of progress, the SMELL), are nearly impossible to duplicate on a screen.  I do read articles on my phone; I horde them throughout the week and read them when I have those brief snatches of time.  But an entire novel?  No, thanks.  The article discusses how it’s nearly impossible not to be distracted and interrupted by pings and rings and alerts.  The same distractions pose problems for our students when they try to engage in deep reading on their devices as well.  In any case, even if I don’t jump on the e-reading bandwagon anytime soon, I’m encouraged that people are still reading novels at all.  I do wonder about phone reading in a purely academic setting though, as most academic e-book aggregators who provide apps are…less than sophisticated.  Perhaps the rise in phone reading will be the impetus needed for e-book aggregators to perfect their products.  Fingers crossed.


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