Digital Scholarship @ CUA: Public Good

Vannevar Bush AwardAt universities around the country, Fall 2015 is mere weeks away. At The Catholic University of America (CUA) Resident Assistants are moving in this week. Teaching Assistants will have a syllabus writing workshop this week. Next week, new faculty, graduate students and, best of all, the Class of 2019 will move onto to campus! The CUA Liaison Librarians are gearing up to collaborate with learning communities – from First Year Experience students; to Graduate Students; to  Distance Learners; and new and experienced Faculty facing new teaching opportunities.

Remembering my first graduate class in Library and Information Science, one of our first seminars included reading Dr. Vannevar Bush’s classic essay As We May Think. In 1945 Dr. Bush comments “The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it.” Something did come of it, the Internet (originally envisioned as “memex” by Dr. Bush.) With the rise of the Internet, research universities have been instrumental collaborators in connecting and preserving knowledge.

Yet, this summer we are immersed in readings like 2015 is the Year the Old Internet Finally Died and constant worries about Higher Ed as detailed (with good historical perspective) in this article A Prophet of Higher Ed’s Financial Woes.

This seems the opportune time to remember Dr. Bush’s call for “a new relationship between thinking man and the sum of our knowledge.James Duderstadt – 2015 NSF Vannevar Bush Award winner reflects on the importance of learning communities and the public good – all work we aspire to as this Fall semester begins.

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