Information, Technology and Society: Philosophical Dimensions of Library Studies: Summer 2004

Instructor:

Brian Richardson

School:

University of Hawaii

Semester:

Summer 2004

Description:

From the very beginning, human language has been sustained by various technologies of communication. The introduction of writing in an oral culture is frequently marked as a decisive cultural shift. The same is said of the introduction of the printed book and of the computer. But what is it that makes these changes in communication technology important? What is communication supposed to do for us, or to us?

The principle goal of this course is to introduce students to philosophical issues associated with technologies of information. We will examine several related themes. The first important theme concerns the relationship between information, technology and human beings. What do we do when we read? What impact does information have on us? Does information make us free, or does it control us? These questions have a significant social dimension. What impact does writing, the printed book, or the internet have on society? What is significant, if anything, about the shift from oral to written to electronic media? Do different technologies change society? Do
hey change us?

The second important theme concerns what we mean by “information” and how it relates to other concepts such as knowledge, wisdom, facts and experience. While information is a relatively new concept, some of the current debates are echoes of debates that are centuries old.

Finally, technologies of information raise various ethical and political concerns. Who should control information? Should anybody be able to own it? What sorts of information ought to be available? To whom? What is the good of information, anyway?

Required Textbook:

Herder, J., Rousseau, J. J. 1986. On the Origin of Language.
Bradbury, R. 1967. Fahrenheit 451.
Woolf, V. 1989. A Room of One’s Own.
Roszak, T. 1986. The Cult of Information.

Link to Syllabus:

http://www.hawaii.edu/lis/content/syllabi/694_richardson.pdf

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Information Architecture: Summer 2004

Instructor:

Abe Crystal

School:

Chapel Hill

Semester:

Summer 2004

Description:

We are drowning in information: a weekday edition of The New York Times contains more information than the average person was likely to come across in a lifetime in seventeenth-century England. As a result, we are often unable to locate, analyze or use the information we need. Information architecture is an emerging interdisciplinary practice that attacks this problem. Information architects are skilled in the art and science of structuring and classifying information spaces to help people find and manage information. This course will draw on insights from information science and human-computer interaction research, as well as the experience of practitioners, to prepare you to tackle challenging problems in information architecture.

Required Textbook:

See the syllabus.

Link to Syllabus:

https://www.unc.edu/~acrystal/110-117/syllabus.html

Information Use & Users: Summer 2004

Instructor:

Kevin Rioux

School:

University of North Carolina Greensboro

Semester:

Summer 2004

Description:

This graduate-level survey/seminar course covers the basics of how practitioners and researchers in our field seek to better understand our service constituencies (i.e., the users). Particular emphasis is placed on user needs and information use. This course acknowledges that information seeking is a p

Required Textbook:

Case, D. O. 2002. Looking for information: A survey of research on information seeking, needs, and behavior.

Link to Syllabus:

http://facpub.stjohns.edu/~riouxk/LIS688A_11_SU_04_syll.pdf