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Christina's LIS Rant
Sunday, February 01, 2009
  Comps readings this week
This is 2 weeks, and really quite paltry.
You would think that being off sick one day last week would help, but actually I just slept that day... and for my snow day, it took forever to get other stuff done, sigh.

Ingwersen, P., & Jarvelin, K. (2005). Cognitive and user-oriented information retrieval In The turn: Integration of information seeking and retrieval in context. (pp 191-256). Dordrecht: Springer
This was really a laundry list of readings. It wasn't too critical or anything, but just traced the development of cognitive and interactive information retrieval. I guess if I were reading this at a different stage, it would have been more helpful, but it seems somewhat redundant now. Part of the problem might have been which chapter I chose to read - others probably develop ideas more fully.

Lessig, L. (2006). Code: And other laws of cyberspace. Version 2.0. New York, N.Y.: Basic Books. Retrieved November 9, 2008 from http://pdf.codev2.cc/Lessig-Codev2.pdf
This edition has significant updates from the original - in content as well as just statistics and examples. Also, re-reading it at this different time in my life does allow me to make different connections. I think I get now, more than previously, how community architecture impacts behavior and social interaction within a community. Other writers talk about affordances of technology, but this is really about how the code and the policies really enable certain behaviors and discourage others. Some of the examples of what AOL allows could just as easily be aimed at Comcast and other ISPs (here and in other countries) and what they do with throttling torrent connections (according to their response to the FCC they stopped, but my husband thinks differently), for example. I've read elsewhere how code and the design of physical as well as virtual things incorporates values, and that's also here, but somehow Lessig's examples seem more pertinent (and show the connection more clearly) than bridges on Long Island.

I like Lessig's discussion of threats to liberty and how they can be embedded into code. Recently, I wanted to place a picture taken of me into a slide for a trip report. Unfortunately, the photographer chose the copyright license on Flickr, so the software prevented me from copying or downloading the picture - even though I'm the subject of it and regardless of what use I intended. I also rail against all of the abridgments of our liberty (and fair use) that libraries must agree to in order to access content for our customers.

Constraints or regulators can come from the market, architecture, law, or norms.

In another part of the book, he talks about perfect filtering. If there were perfect filtering regimes, you would only see those things that support your point of view, and that you wanted to see. Sunstein argues (a la Madison?) that you can't be a well-informed citizen by only being exposed to your own POV. This made me think about Google's customized search results - is there a point at which these things get so good that you will lose serendipity, and even more, not be exposed to other points of view, inequality, unpleasantness, other cultures? Is that Google's job or is it's job to get you the most relevant things in the top 5 hits (and relevance does include authenticity, freshness, grade-level, language, point of view...)? Do libraries/librarians aim for perfect filtering?

... still need to read chapters 13-15, but got a little numbed so moved to ...

Sharp, H., Rogers, Y., & Preece, J. (2007). Usability Testing and Field Studies. In Interaction design: Beyond human-computer interaction (pp. 645-683). Chichester; Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Well that was different! It's a textbook aimed at the upper level undergrad or entry level grad student. Easy to read and very clear - but not very detailed. I should probably read the rest of the book, too, but time is precious right now.

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Comments:
I love reading your comps reading posts. These are all wonderful selections.
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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