I have had the honor of serving as the editor for the E-Content column in EDUCAUSE Review in 2017. My final column is now published and so I thought I would take a few moments to reflect and share some thoughts about the experience.
When I was first invited to the editorship role, I discovered that previous editors included Robert McDonald, Mike Roy, Elliott Shore, Diane Graves, Kevin Guthrie, Chuck Henry, Jeffrey Trzeciak, Ron Larsen, Susan Perry, Paul Gandel, and Deanna Marcum. What a legacy to inherit! I’ll admit it was a little intimidating. I’m grateful to friends and mentors who gave me a pep talk when I was doubting myself.
I took some time to review what had been published in the E-Content column previously and saw that it had great range and depth. I came to realize that this column represents a truly unique opportunity to bring important issues from librarianship to the broader academic technology community of practice. Given this platform opportunity, as I accepted the editor position, I took time to think about what I wanted my contribution to be.
I chose as my guiding mantra “to engage deep questions about what our content and technologies are for and not just that we have them” and I articulated three specific goals:
- to bring a critical lens to the discussions of how technology is shaping libraries, content, and users;
- to amplify the work of practitioners and researchers who were engaging with these questions theoretically and pragmatically; and,
- to contribute to improving the diversity of the authorship profile of our field.
As I reflect upon the six columns that I edited, I feel confident that I met these goals. I am proud of the topics that authors engaged, their thoughtful reflections, and the conversations that their work created. And, for many reasons but especially because I know how vulnerable it can feel to submit a draft and await feedback, I want to thank them for trusting me to edit their work. It was truly an delight to work with each person over the past year.
I also want to acknowledge Teddy Diggs, Publisher/Editor of EDUCAUSE Review, for her support and assistance. Most editorial work is unseen but it should never be underappreciated. Her guidance was invaluable.
Here are the six columns:
- Participatory and Post-Custodial Archives as Community Practice by Sofía Becerra-Licha – Various types of digital archiving initiatives are harnessing the power of technology to expand the reach of participatory archiving, develop increasingly sophisticated and sensitive post-custodial approaches, broaden the cultural record to represent more diverse voices, and respond to current events.
- Bridging Contemporary and Social Issues for Information Literacy through Instructional Platforms by Jennifer Ferretti – In studio-based fine arts and design classes, creating works of art and engaging in rigorous peer-to-peer critique are the primary modes of learning, rather than writing lengthy research papers. This column presents critical perspectives on what constitutes an instructional platform for bridging contemporary and social issues as a mechanism for information literacy in the studio environment.
- Globalization, Open Access, and the Democratization of Knowledge by Harrison W. Inefuku – Efforts to fully globalize and democratize information demand intentional efforts to involve and center perspectives that traditional forms of communication have marginalized. Information professionals and the systems they create must proactively attend to developing equitable and inclusive information systems.
- Data Information Literacy and Application by Yasmeen Shorish – While data management educational efforts from libraries gain traction, an often overlooked area of support is the ethical considerations of student awareness of and engagement with the personal data generated from online interactions.
- Out of the Black Box by Safiya U. Noble and Sarah T. Roberts – Working together strategically, academics and IT professionals need to step out of the black box and consider the many dimensions of IT platforms and our digital environment.
- Academic Libraries and the EDUCAUSE 2017 Top 10 IT Issues by Bohyun Kim – To successfully tackle two of the major challenges of today’s higher education—student success and higher education affordability— academic libraries and higher education IT groups need to reflect on their different approaches and work together.