It seems like, increasingly, we live in bubbles populated by people who agree with us. Our friends post their opinions on our Facebook pages and, if we’ve picked our friends carefully, it turns out we like everything they have to say. Most Americans say that they want to get their news from a source that has no political bias, though our sources for news and information tend to be from those who we’ve grown to trust, and the political slant of any publication is a matter of opinion. My “objective” source might be your “big liberal media.” Curious to know where OSF library users get their political information, we used our “white board conversation” method, and asked OSF Library users about their news diet last week. Our question was “Where do you get your political news?” and about 75 library users posted their answers on Post-it notes on the board. Obviously this is not a scientific survey, but interesting, nonetheless. (For more scientific data on this question, you should look at the Pew Research Center’s recent report on the news landscape. In fact, our results were very similar to what Pew found, especially for the young demographic of our library.)
Popular answers included:
– Fox News (13 mentions, though two people specifically said “Not Fox”)
– MPR/NPR/BBC: 12
– Daily Show/Colbert Report/SNL: 10
– Reddit: 6
– MSNBC or Today Show: 3
– CNN: 3
– Huffington Post: 3
– Wall Street Journal: 3
Other sources mentioned: New York Times, Washington Post, Drudge Report, GoogleNews, MinnPost, Facebook and Twitter.
Let us know where you get your news!
And here’s a rejoinder to yesterday’s post on e-books from Barbara Fister in Inside Higher Education.
What do you think? This is the provocative title of an online commentary in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education. It’s an interesting read. The author’s an obvious technophile, and presents some arguments in favor of vastly increasing our access to e-book content, both in the area of required course texts and library collections. Both things have of course been happening for years, gradually. The author, Marc Prensky, thinks it can’t happen fast enough.
The online comments are worth reading as well. They present both philosophical objections, and practical implementation issues that librarians are all too familiar with, including copyright, licensing, and “ownership” problems, a myriad of incompatible e-book desktop and mobile device reader applications, rapid technical obsolescence of the content, and others that make it difficult to see how we’d ever get to an all e-book world very quickly. The UST Libraries are working through these issues on an ongoing basis, and we’ve greatly increased our e-book content over the last few years in tandem with the increase in e-journal content.
It’s worth asking, even if we can eventually go “all e-book” should we?
When doing business research – especially when doing market research – we oftentimes spend a lot of time trying to predict customer behavior. We work hard to look at what customers want and what customers need, and we try to invent new ways of fulfilling those needs.
According to analyst Adrian Slywotzky, who just wrote a book entitled, “Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It” (available in a library near you this fall!), perhaps we should be looking at and addressing some of the reasons they have those needs, and the problems that cause them in order to help determine demand before customers even realized they have it. He calls this creating a “hassle map,” and gives the examples of ways that Netflix, Bloomberg, and Factset have all used this idea to their advantage.
Find out more about this unique take on demand theory by reading other books by Slywotzky, or check out this interview with him that was recently published in the New York Times.
An interesting report and data summary on issues relating to higher education from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
By the numbers:
- Over the 1992–2009 period, the number of college-educated workers increased from 27 million to 44 million.
- In 2009, the unemployment rate for workers with college degrees was 4.6 percent. The rate for workers without a high school diploma was 10 points higher.
- In 2009, the median weekly earnings of workers with bachelor’s degrees were $1,137. This amount is 1.8 times the average amount earned by those with only a high school diploma, and 2.5 times the earnings of high school dropouts.
These and myriad other data on degree attainment, student’s time use (1.5 hrs/day traveling? lots of commuter students I guess), degree attainment in U.S. compared to other countries, higher education workplaces, costs, etc. Includes this interesting chart on Professor pay and employment by discipline:
The winning entries of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton contest are available at now . In case you are blissfully ignorant of this event, it is a “whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.”
Here’s this year’s grand prize winner (to use the term loosely):
“For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss–a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.”
If you are a glutton for punishment, the 2009 results can found at http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/2009.htm , and all the grand prize winners since 1983 are at http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/lyttony.htm.
(reposted without permission from an email from Cathy Lutz–hope she’ll forgive me)
Check out the Libraries’ summer reading list for 2010. Now an annual tradition, our staff have submitted a number of title for your consideration. Many are owned by UST or one of the CLIC libraries, so you can borrow from us if available, or check out your local public library or bookstore.
At the bottom of the list, we link to prior year lists, so browse to your heart’s content.
Have suggestions of your own? Add them in the comments below.
After an understandably dry spell, investment banks are hiring fresh MBAs again, according to a recent article in the New York Times:
Though some banks are still cautious, business school counselors are telling students to be persistent. Banks under-hired during the market collapse, the counselors say, and will soon be creating more full-time positions than former interns can fill.
Click for the rest!
Most web users know and use Google. According to comScore, a market research firm that tracks search statistics, Google captured 65.4 per cent of the US online search market in January. That’s two-thirds of the 15.2 billion searches run in the US in January.
Other interesting bits: Its global market share is estimated to be 86 per cent. Its IPO price in August 2004 was $85; yesterday it closed at $541. And there’s more! It’s the #1 website in the world. It processes 20 petabytes a day, or something like 1330 times the information currently held in the Library of Congress.
Want to see these figures and more? Click the image for the rest of the Google Facts and Figures infographic, from Pingdom.
Check out Booklist’s pages of notable books for 2010. Compiled annually by this publication and the American Libraries Association, these lists can be a good source for your next read. Follow the link for the main list, and then see the entries on the left side for additional lists by genre, age, etc. Read any of these? Which are your favorites?