Liberal arts and the university library

February 16, 2010 at 8:38 am 1 comment

Last week, the NYT asked, “Do school libraries still need books?” Yesterday, it published a small collection of thoughts about the library—through students’ eyes.

The question about the enduring place, symbolism, and purpose of the college and university library reminded me of Liz Coleman’s fantastic and necessary call-to-arms for radical reform in higher education (video embedded below). As one commenter on the TED website noted:

“When the impulse is to change the world, the academy is more likely to engender a learned helplessness, than to create a sense of empowerment.” Beautiful. She’s advocating the same as Jeffrey Sachs, an academia of Searchers, not Researchers. People who try and fail and try again until they find a method that works and then share it with their colleagues, people who learn through engagement.

“Deep thought matters when you’re contemplating what to do about things that matter…

So what do you do when you feel overwhelmed? You have two things—you have a mind and other people. Start with those and change the world.”


Entry filed under: think. Tags: , , .

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Jason R. Atwood

I'm an avid trail runner and doctoral student at U.C. Berkeley who studies motivation and the relationship between the mind and body. This blog is a forum to share research, news, and musings about these topics of interest. More

Play is the beginning of knowledge.

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