Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Presidential Candidates' Positions on Higher Education

Let me begin by offering this disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the John Edwards for President Campaign nor do I endorse Edwards for President. I am putting this upfront because over the next few months I would like to explore the positions of the major candidates for president regarding higher education. The issue of education is of the utmost importance for the United States in the 21st century.

Wehave seen that many of the things that candidates say before they are elected is often disconnected from what actually happens after they are elected. However, we can use their public position statements as indicators to what may happen in the future.

As part of the 2008 campaign, John Edwards has announced his College Opportunity Agenda. Details about the agenda can be found on Edwards's website. I would just like to take a second to summarize.

Edwards hopes to make college more affordable for everyone. His "College for Everyone" initiative would pay for one year of college tuition, fees, and books for any student who is willing to work hard and stay out of trouble. The initiative is based on the College for Everyone initiative in Greene County, North Carolina. Edwards first discussed the idea in his 2004 campaign. Edwards is also proposed a number of other initiatives to help students prepare for college. These include: simplifying the application process for student aid, and the assigning of counselors to help students choose the correct track further college experience; and, require all students to borrow directly from the Department of Education, which would eliminate bank subsidies on student loans and free up almost $6 billion a year to make college more affordable.

"The chance to go to college meant everything in my life, and I want every young person to have the same chance," said Edwards. "Unfortunately, for too many families, this chance is out of reach. College for Everyone will open the door to a higher education for millions of young people, so they have the opportunity to realize the American Dream. Every young person who is willing to work hard should have the chance to get an education and get ahead."

Details about the plan are available as a fact sheet on Edwards's website.

Additional items:

College for Everyone in the USA (News & Observer, NC)
Higher Ed and 2008 (Inside Higher Ed)

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Information Literacy E-jourmal

The peer reviewed journal, Communications in Information Literacy or CIL, made its online debut earlier this week. Featured in the first issue, is an article coauthored by TCNJ librarian, Jacqui Weetman DaCosta. Developing students’ information and research skills via Blackboard is available in full text at:

Congratulations Jacqui!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Copyright Clashes on Campus

Just as I often find many articles relevant to the library profession in Wired magazine, I also make sure to read a current copy of Information Today. Both of these publications always have something in them that is educating, entertaining, and interesting.

In a short article in the May 2007 issus of Information Today, K. Matthew Danes recaps and summarizes some of the current battles concerning copyright on college and university campuses. Of concern to many librarians, Danes reports that the issue of electronic reserves has developed into a contentious one.

As many other types of digital media have made there way into e-reserves, including video and audio, the boundaries of so-called "fair use" have blurred. As institutions have grappled with this issue, a watchdog group, the Association of American Publishers has taken exception to some e-reserve systems, including the University of California-San Diego and Cornell. The AAP claimed the systems infringed copyright.

As libraries struggle with preserving and archiving many different formats of information, and also providing access, the concerns about copyright are not about to disappear. The issue of copyright infringement will continue to be a challenge.

The information contained in this blog post can be found in "Copyright Clashes on Campus," Technology Today, May 2007, 24(5), 19-20.

Additional resources:

Association of American Publishers Copyright
Association of American Publishers Copyright Resources
Copyright Clearance Center

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

NJ Student Loan Scandal

The New Jersey attorney general said on Friday he issued civil subpoenas to 61 colleges, 17 student loan firms and a state authority seeking information on potential misconduct in the student loan market, a target of widening investigations nationwide.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Social Networking for Academic Libraries

Interested in using Facebook or Myspace to engage your campus community? Check out the latest in web2 applications on Friends: Social Networking Sites for Engaged Library Services, a new blog from ISU's Science and Technology Librarian Gerry McKiernan.