10 popular, banned books

Reading is still a central part of learning, and with the current emphasis on eBooks and 21st century learning in school and campus libraries, it’s hard to imagine any book under restriction. Nevertheless, every year, more books are placed on the American Library Association’s (ALA) “challenged” books list.

For many children and young adults, there is no greater pleasure then becoming lost in fictional worlds characterized by colorful people and settings of times past or future…and if there happens to be curse words or a scandalous event, well, that’s all part of the narrative.

Yet, many parents and school and campus staff take exception to some fictional works, presenting “challenges”­­—formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness—through the library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.…Read More

Using the cloud to deliver reliable IT services

Westmont has uploaded more than 3,000 audio and video files to iTunes U.

With a host of new technologies, thousands of lectures and lessons uploaded to iTunes University, and a newly refurbished library that caters to the needs of today’s college students, Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif., is our eCampus of the Month for January.

The private, Christian liberal arts college with 1,300 undergraduate students has implemented predictive modeling and cloud-computing programs to save money and spend budgets efficiently, becoming a model for small schools looking for ways to survive the slumping economy.

Here, Reed Sheard, vice president of advancement and information technology, describes the school’s programs and its keys to success.…Read More

Small campus library bolstered by the cloud

Student citations have improved since Covenant moved to a cloud-based library system.

Sitting on top of Lookout Mountain, Covenant College sometimes is lost in the clouds. Now, the private Dade County, Ga., school’s Kresge Memorial Library will be in the clouds every day, thanks to an Ohio-based organization that brings together schools to share library resources while keeping down rising costs.

Covenant College is one of only a handful of institutions around the world to launch a cloud-based library system to streamline administrative functions and provide access to books and media in libraries worldwide—expanding student research well beyond the confines of the small Christian liberal arts campus, said Tad Mindeman, Covenant’s director of library services.

“It’s unlike anything that has been done before,” he said.…Read More

College students limit technology use when exams loom

Students use libraries as a reprieve from technological distractions.

Students use their campus library to inoculate themselves from the onslaught of electronic communication that permeates their social and academic lives, especially when tests are just weeks away, University of Washington (UW) researchers say.

More than 500 college students on 11 campuses last spring said retreating to the library helps limit technological distractions when they need to prepare for critical exams, midterms, and finals, with some students using social media sites as a reward for studiousness, according to the UW research, published Oct. 12.

Even when college students need the web for study purposes, six in 10 said they only had one or two websites open at once.…Read More