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Barbara Fister starts out her keynote — at a library technology conference no less — by saying “it’s not about technology…the work you do really is about understanding people and how they connect to one another and how they share ideas. The way we think about our purpose shapes what we do.” and she was off!
Fister touched on so many issues effecting libraries in the 21st century. The overarching themes of her talk were the universality of libraries — love the slide of the people’s library in Istanbul’s [[Taksim Gezi Park]] — the economics of information, Ranganathan’s 5 laws — which she helpfully updated! — open access publishing, core library values, and pushing back against the corporatization and commodification of information and libraries. Watch the whole way through because she drops knowledge bombs throughout!
“We’ve enabled this mass appropriation of our culture. collectively we need to find ways not just to negotiate better terms of service for ourselves but to provide an alternative to the market-driven philosophies that are distorting and corrupting our information ecosystem.”
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Barbara Fister has coordinated instruction at the Gustavus Adolphus College library in St. Peter, Minnesota, for over 25 years, but is still learning how to help students (and faculty) learn. She has studied students’ research processes, examined the relationship between writing and research, and teaches an upper division course on how information works.
She has written widely on open access to scholarship and is interested in the future of publishing of all kinds. Popular literacy practices and the ways reading communities form online is the subject of her upcoming sabbatical research. She also is a writer of fiction, having published three mysteries. She is on the board of the non-profit organization, Sisters in Crime, and coordinates a project to monitor gender patterns in reviews and awards within the crime genre.
You can follow Barbara’s generalist tendencies on Twitter (@bfister) and through Library Journal’s Peer to Peer Review or the Library Babel Fish blog at Inside Higher Ed.