LOEX Plenary: Creative Collaboration

Laurel Ofstein from DePaul University's Center for Creativity and Innovation was the plenary speaker for LOEX 2008 in Oak Brook, IL. She described the nine dimensions of a creative environment:

  • Idea support – are new ideas encouraged or judged?
  • Trust and openness – are staff free to share ideas?
  • Discussion – are staff comfortable enough to discuss the idea freely?
  • Challenge and involvement – do staff feel that they own the organization and have a stake in success?
  • Idea time – do staff have time to work on new ideas as part of normal job?
  • Humor and play – are staff comfortable enough to be humorous at work?
  • Freedom – are staff macro or micro managed?
  • Risk taking – do staff feel they can fail and not be punished?
  • Degree of conflict – are staff in competition with one another or other groups within organization?

 Laurel suggested a few tactics to focus creativity:

  • Work backwards from the end solution.
  • Ask the question, "Wouldn't it be nice if…" to help define outcomes.
  • Ask the question, "In what ways might we…" to help define options.
  • Challenge an assumption by writing down its opposite, identify advantages that could come from the challenges of the opposite assumption, study the challenged assumptions and identify new opportunities.

She recommended the book, Ideas are free: how the idea revolution is liberating people and transforming organizations for further reading.

Information behavior of the researcher of the future

Every librarian and faculty member should read the CIBER briefing paper Information behaviour of the researcher of the future (2 MB PDF). CIBER conducted this research for the British Library and JISC . The report focuses on information seeking behavior of students born after 1993 (the Google Generation). The paper also ties in research from OCLC's Perceptions studies. You may also want to listen to presentation given and Q&A's when the paper was released on January 16, 2008.

Found via Stephen's Lighthouse

The buried book: the loss and rediscovery of the great Epic of Gilgamesh

I worked with a world mythology class back in April. I didn't run this group through the normal modified PBL activity. The class was in a tech enhanced classroom, so we did live searching using topics that the students were planning on researching. One student was interested in researching different versions of the great flood story. We found articles, but I think I would have had an easier time with the topic if I had already read The buried book : the loss and rediscovery of the great Epic of Gilgamesh by David Damrosch.

I finished The buried book during my first week of vacation. I highly recommend it if you are interested in the story of Gilgamesh, the history of Mesopotamia, or Victorian era archeology. Damrosch recommended the books below for further study.

Books about Gilgamesh

Akkadian literature

Mesopotamian history

Victorian Era Archaeologist Writings

Victorian views on the Middle East