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Category Archives: Education

Learning at work is work and we must make space for it.

MIT Sloan Management Review Magazine Winter 2019 -“The event was running over, the car was waiting, but the keynote speaker did not seem to mind. He was enjoying fielding questions from a large auditorium packed to the rafters with executives, aspiring entrepreneurs, and management students. “Get ready for an age in which we are all in tech,” he had told them, “whether you work in the tech industry or not.” The moderator called for one last question. “What’s the best way to get ready?” a woman asked. “Be great at learning,” he said without hesitation. “The moment you stop learning is the moment you begin to die.” Calls for learning have long been common at corporate retreats, professional conferences, and similar gatherings. But with the furious pace of change that technology has brought to business and society, they have become more urgent.1 Leaders in every sector seem to agree: Learning is an imperative, not a cliché. Without it, careers derail and companies fail. Talented people flock to employers that promise to invest in their development whether they will stay at the company or not.2 And companies spend heavily on it. By one estimate, in 2018, corporate outlays on learning and development initiatives topped $200 billion.

Despite the lofty statements and steep investments, however, learning at work remains complicated. People are ambivalent about it, if not outright resistant. We want to learn, but we worry that we might not like what we learn. Or that learning will cost us too much. Or that we will have to give up cherished ideas. There is often some shame involved in learning something new as an adult, a mentor told me at the start of my career. What if, in the process, we’re found lacking? What if we simply cannot pick up the knowledge and skills we need? I have spent two decades studying adult learning, helping companies design and deploy learning initiatives, and teaching and coaching thousands of high potentials and executives all over the world. And I have found that mentor’s words to be wise: Nothing truly novel, nothing that matters, is ever learned with ease…”

Book burning by Chinese county library sparks fury

The Guardian UK – Blaze complying with ministry directive meant for schools harks back to Qin dynasty and Nazi Germany, critics say – “A county library in north-western China has been criticised for burning books in line with a nationwide cull of “illegal” or “improper” materials used in school libraries. Reports and photos of two women… Continue Reading

Libraries 2020 – campaign to support libraries

“Libraries 2020 is a national campaign to build support for local libraries in order to help them keep their doors open. But how does a national campaign and fundraising for EveryLibrary benefit local libraries like yours? We are dedicated to working in conjunction with other library advocacy organizations and to providing all of our tools,… Continue Reading

Books May Be Dead in 2039, but Stories Live On

The New York Times – Opinion: On the 600th anniversary of the Gutenberg press, we can still celebrate how stories are shared. By Alix E. Harrow, author of  The Ten Thousand Doors of January. “In 1439, an eccentric German goldsmith cast the Latin alphabet in lead, smeared the letters with oil-based ink and squashed them… Continue Reading

Visualizing How Adversity Affects SAT Scores

WSJ.com [paywall]: “What if SAT scores could take into account whether a student went to an elite boarding school in New England or a struggling public school in Chicago’s poorest neighborhood? The College Board, which administers the SAT, asked this question and developed an adversity score for every U.S. high school, measuring about 15 factors… Continue Reading

Books on wheels – When the library comes to the homeless shelter

Christian Science Monitor – “The bookmobile has a history of bringing the written word to people who can’t get to a library building. Queens has taken that ethos further, parking its mobile library at homeless shelters in the borough…Over the past decade, scholars and social workers have noted how public libraries around the country are… Continue Reading

ALA’s Report to Congress on Libraries and the Ebook Industry: A Primer

ALA’s Report to Congress on Libraries and the Ebook Industry: A Primer George H. Pike – InfoToday – “ALA recently made a case to Congress that the ebook publishing industry has been engaging in anticompetitive behavior at the expense of libraries and library patrons. Congress has been involved in an ongoing series of hearings and work… Continue Reading

Opinion: Workers Deserve a Say in Automation

Opinion – By Sherrod Brown, Ohio’s senior US senator and Liz Schuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO: “The Workers’ Right to Training Act allows employees to evolve as their employers adopt new tech. When the global economy shifted in the late 19th century, working people were the first to adapt. They moved to cities like Cincinnati,… Continue Reading

Univ of Texas Libraries Launch Access Tool for Digital Collections

“The vast digitized collections of the University of Texas Libraries are now becoming available through a new web portal. A new access point on the Libraries’ website – the Collections portal – allows users to undertake remote research and study utilizing rich resources that have previously only been available in person or through more time-intensive… Continue Reading

What jobs are affected by AI?

Brookings – “…White-collar jobs (better-paid professionals with bachelor’s degrees) along with production workers may be most susceptible to AI’s spread into the economy. AI could affect work in virtually every occupational group. However, whereas research on automation’s robotics and software continues to show that less-educated, lower-wage workers may be most exposed to displacement, the present… Continue Reading