Notes on the first set of readings
We didn't have any class time to discuss today's readings, but I would still like to see you post reactions to your reader-response journal. Julia set a good example of tone and length in her blog LIS 450 Reading Reactions. (I'll try to pick on -- ah, I mean, highlight -- a different student response each week.) On the Wiegand piece, for example, she observed, "I was very surprised that there is a lack of library history, especially considering that so much of the work done in libraries is to maintain items from the past. I guess we don't like to look at ourselves! " As one of the SLIS professors who teaches LIS 569, History of American Librarianship, I've been surprised by this as well. (But don't fret too much; computer scientists are awful at writing their own histories as well.)
You probably got the gimmick of this week's readings: setting the "library" and "information studies" sides of our field in a bit of an opposition to illustrate how broad the world of LIS really can be -- and how one of the main difficulties in this field is bridging that gap. Here at UW-Madison, SLIS is known for having a center of gravity more toward the "library" side, but really this means that in our "information studies" work (of which there is much in our department), we never forget to consider the user of information, the uses of that information, and the context in which both come together. As Julia points out about the Saracevic article, "I found it interesting that there are information scientists who ignore the user. This just baffles me; what use is the information if it's not being used by someone?"