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Pokémon Stop or Pokémon Go?

Does Pokémon Go deserve a place in our cultural institutions? The stops and gyms are already there and some institutions have already incorporated the game into their programs so it seems like a good time to pose the question. The new Pokémon Go game is based on the Pokémon Game Boy games that were originally released in 1996 and were followed by playing cards, movies, a variety of media productions, and even a theme park. Played on a smartphone, the new Pokémon Go app can be downloaded at no cost but contains in-app purchases. The game mixes real world images…


How Should We Organize the Academic Library?
The View from the Director’s Chair

Library leaders are faced with no shortage of imperatives. They are building new strategies to align the library in support of the research enterprise and student success. They are grappling with the challenges of stagnant budgets and rising costs. They are rethinking their tangible collections and renovating their facilities. In support of these types of efforts, library leaders are beginning to take on new approaches to management and organization. Especially at large research libraries whose employees number in the hundreds, organizational structure is essential to aligning resources with strategic objectives. In a new research project, which is published today, I…


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Faith-Oriented Institutions

Fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion is an issue of ever-growing importance in libraries and archives but to what extent can these principles be universally applied? At Ithaka S+R we recently fielded a study on representation in the New York cultural sector and are now working on a study on representation within the academic library community. I have also experienced the palpable interest in these issues in the library and archives sphere first hand through two conferences I recently attended, the annual American Theological Library Association (ATLA) conference and the annual Society of American Archivists (SAA) conference. While both conferences placed…


A Taxonomy of University Presses Today

Earlier this week, Carl Straumsheim wrote in Inside Higher Ed about how in an era of declining books sales university presses are looking for new definitions of success in a digital environment. The article used the University of Michigan Press as its key example. As one of those interviewed for the piece, I found myself emphasizing that university presses are not all the same as one another. I believe it is important that we not overlook this diversity of objectives across the university press community. Towards that end, I offer a rough taxonomy of some of the key types of…


Developing a Research Agenda for Ed-Tech

Last week, the Jefferson Education Accelerator, an ed-tech incubator at University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, announced its plans to launch a large-scale project to research the “barriers that keep companies and their customers from conducting and using efficacy research when creating or buying ed-tech products.” In a Chronicle article announcing the project, Bart Epstein, CEO and managing director of Jefferson Education Accelerator, explains there exists little research that explores the efficacy of ed-tech tools in a rigorous manner. Much of what does exist is funded by companies, and, if conducted by an outside party, is often completed as…