“Reality. Now that’s a concept!”

This famous quote by comedian (and philosopher, I might add) Robin Williams offers great insight as I embark on my latest journey—the pursuit of PhD in Communication from the University of Oklahoma Department of Communication.

Already I’m in full reality of just why one is designated as a “Doctor of Philosophy.” I’m knee-deep in theory construction, theory memorization, theory classification… theory of theory. The image I’ve chosen as the “trademark” of this blog, Raphael’s “School of Athens” has shown its appropriateness once more, as I’m delving into the thinking of our forefathers of philosophy and the ways in which they are intertwined.
My introduction into course work was M. Dues and M. Brown’s Boxing Plato’s Shadow—which serves as a plethora of basic communication history… its philosophers, it’s place in history. I might add that I was a bit disturbed when in the opening pages the authors referred to our field of study as “a field of renegades.” Given my history for churning the pot and questioning the status quo, however, I feel right at home.

Next on the menu was (is) P. Reynold’s A Primer in Theory Construction. As a new student in Dr. Kim’s Intro to Graduate Studies class, I have been assigned to review and facilitate a discussion of Chapters 3 & 4: Concepts & Statements. As all the new “concepts” swirled through my head I kept wishing there was a visual to help me put the interrelatedness of the basics of theory construction into learnable perspective. Alas, the Theory Construction Concept Map I created and linked here, based on J. Novak’s idea of concept maps, serves such a purpose. For my class colleagues, it will appear in full detail on my handout. My hope is that is assists us as we grow from novice scholars into accomplished ones.


thanks Stewart Brower…

More on Web. 2.0

OU-Tulsa is so very fortunate to have Stewart Brower, MLIS, AHIP, as the enthusiastic and charming leader (more than a director) of our library. He has graciously agreed to post his RSS (Web 2.0) slide presentation on his “Professional Notes” blog. This serves as a good review of Web 2.0 for those of us preparing for tomorrow’s comps.

managing stress for comps…

…and, the topic for right now IS management. (This one’s for you Matthew.)

Countdown to comps is about 20 hours… 

And this is from Dr. Patterson’s class… for any of you that need your memories refreshed…

Effective management involves: 
Human Resources
Managing change
Organizing, i.e. policies and procedures
Problem Solving

Core values for comps

Although these are targeted at LIS professionals, KMers would be wise to adhere to these, as well. ALA Core Values:

Access: All information resources that are provided directly or indirectly by the library, regardless of technology, format, or methods of delivery, should be readily, equally, and equitably accessible to all library users.

Confidentiality: Library’s responsiblilty to keep user’s personally identifiable information confidential.

Democracy: A democracy presupposes an informed citizenry. The First Amendment mandates the right of all persons to free expression, and the corollary right to receive the constitutionally protected expression of others. The publicly supported library provides free and equal access to information for all people of the community the library serves.

Diversity: We value our nation’s diversity and strive to reflect that diversity by providing a full spectrum of resources and services to the communities we serve.

Education and lifelong learning: ALA promotes the creation, maintenance, and enhancement of a learning society, encouraging its members to work with educators, government officials, and organizations in coalitions to initiate and support comprehensive efforts to ensure that school, public, academic, and special libraries in every community cooperate to provide lifelong learning services to all.

Intellectual Freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored. Intellectual freedom encompasses the freedom to hold, receive and disseminate ideas.

Preservation: The Association supports the preservation of information published in all media and formats. The association affirms that the preservation of information resources is central to libraries and librarianship.

Professionalism: The American Library Association supports the provision of library services by professionally qualified personnel who have been educated in graduate programs within institutions of higher education. It is of vital importance that there be professional education available to meet the social needs and goals of library services.

Public Good: ALA reaffirms the following fundamental values of libraries in the context of discussing outsourcing and privatization of library services. These values include that libraries are an essential public good and are fundamental institutions in democratic societies.

Service: We provide the highest level of service to all library users …We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

Social Responsibility: ALA recognizes its broad social responsibilities. The broad social responsibilities of the American Library Association are defined in terms of the contribution that librarianship can make in ameliorating or solving the critical problems of society; support for efforts to help inform and educate the people of the United States on these problems and to encourage them to examine the many views on and the facts regarding each problem; and the willingness of ALA to take a position on current critical issues with the relationship to libraries and library service set forth in the position statement.

Privacy is the right to open inquiry without scrutiny; confidentiality exists when an organization possesses and is responsible to protect and keep private any personal identifiable information.

Mission Statement: Clearly defined long-term purpose of an organization.

Strategic Plan: Long-term plans to achieve the mission.

Operational Plan: Short-term plans to support the strategic plan.


Qualities of a good team leader:









We’re studying web 2.0 today, as the countdown to comps continues. David Gurteen has cleverly explained the 2.0 phenomenon in a powerpoint and chart comparing “World 1.0 and 2.0”. Today an area of focus for comps studies is Web 2.0. Following is a summary of information offered by the ACRL

What about Web 2.0?

Microcontent, i.e. individual chunks of content, users can link to, pullout, unbundle, & repackage in a variety of creative forms; not pages or stories, but posts, photos, videos, tags and pod casts.

As a platform, i.e. using lightweight programming languages, running applications without downloading programs, and saving files on the web.

Radical openness, i.e. using a variety of applications which allow users to easily collaborate and share data across products and services.

User focused, i.e. most visible content is created by users from Amazon reviews to blog posts to LinkedIn pages and most applications are released in “beta” so user feedback shapes the way the applications develop.

Flattened hierarchy, i.e. resulting organization is dynamic and can be difficult with entry points that are hard to identify.


Implications of Web 2.0:

Libraries are using blogs, wikis and social tools to deliver dynamic and new services;

Web 2.0 allows users to interact with libraries and information in exciting ways;

Web 2.0 affects the way librarians help patrons find, manage, evaluate and use info tools and sources;

It is tempting to focus on limitations of Web 2.0;

Knowledge professionals should recognize tools are easy to find, easy to use and too useful for users for librarians not to recognize.


Information literate users:

Users must determine how much info needed, i.e. berry picking of info for learning and research, and complex non-hierarchical system;

Users must recognize the challenges of organization, i.e. how search engines work, how info is retrieved on the web, folksonomies, user-created metadata;

Users must be able to validate authority and evaluate a site without traditional editorial control;

Users must be able to keep their identities private while still contributing, i.e. teach awareness;

In Web 2.0, determining ownership is difficult and understanding of copyright is needed, i.e. easy for users to loose track of where they got the info and plagiarize



Important stuff…

Still studying! Do YOU know about these quintessential people and things?

Authors and Researchers:

Batelle, John: “The Search”, i.e. How Google is changing the way we search for info

Buckland, Michael: “information as a thing”; leading author in LIS field, including library services, information retrieval, cultural heritages, and the historical development of Information Management; concerned with metadata, electronic retrieval vocabularies

Case, Donald: “Looking for Information: A survey of research on information seeking, needs, and behavior”

Choo, Chun Wei: leading author in information research and concepts… browsing, (environmental) scanning and serendipity; OL; browsing; tacit, explicit and cultural knowledge

Cortada, James: “Making the information society: Experiences, consequences, and possibilities”

Hawamdeh, Suliman: “Knowledge Management”

Klein and Saunders: Ten Steps to Organizational Learning

Peters, Tom: leading, contemporary management expert and author

Senge, Peter: “The Fifth Discipline”

Taylor, Robert: Value-added processes in information systems

Taylor, Alene: “The organization of information”

Wenger, Etienne: “Communities of Practice: Learning, meaning and identity”



Bates: berry-picking, i.e. pick info and sources from a vast variety

Belkin: ASK = anomalous state of knowledge, i.e. building on other info we already have and whether an anomaly creates additional info seeking

Dervin: sense-making, i.e. need for info driven by our need to understand our world

Erdelez: accidental discovery of info, serendipity and incidental learning

Gross: imposed query

Kuhlthua: learning as a process with uncertainty as beginning stage of research and expressed in stages

Krikelas: ordinary life, i.e. info seeking with uncertainty as motivation and using personal memory/recall or personal contacts to get answer

Pettigrew (Fisher): professionals and work-related processes

Shannon and Weaver: communication model with sender, receiver and noise

Zipf: least effort



ALA: American Library Association

ASLA: American Special Library Association

ASIST: American Society of Information, Science and Technology

IKMS: International Knowledge Management Society

PKP: Public Knowledge Project



Federal Privacy Act, 1974

PCIO vs. Board of Education, 1982

Electronic Communication Privacy Act, 1986

HIPPA, 1996

Financial Services Modernization Act, 1999

Security and Freedom through Encryption Act, 1999

Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2002



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