Academic journal article Alexandria

University Libraries and Digital Learning Environments

Academic journal article Alexandria

University Libraries and Digital Learning Environments

Article excerpt

Dale, Penny, Beard, Jill and Holland, Matt (eds). University Libraries and Digital Learning Environments Farnham: Ashgate, 2011. 304 pp. ISBN: 978-0-7546-7957-8. £60

Readers of University Libraries and Digital Learning Environments may assume, from its title, that they have seen and read it all before - that the book says everything about the subject which has already been written. However, its editors Penny Dale, Jill Beard and Matt Holland bring to us an impressive range of work, some touching on theory, some on the practical application of technology. They successfully steer contributions away from the hyperbolic prose, information overload and technological jargon often found in such books. Instead, they allow writing to be interesting, relevant and suitably balanced between being descriptive in the way technology exists, and predictive in the way we should sit up and take notice of it in the future.

Most impressive is the depth and range of material on offer. A highlight here is the scene-setting chapter by Sue McKnight (Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning Resources at the University of Canterbury), 'Here Today and Here Tomorrow', in which the opportunities and challenges presented for libraries by technology are discussed. Also, the similarly placed chapter by Jill Beard and Penny Dale, 'The Reading E- volution', which discusses how technology changes how those that use our services view and interact with our space, both physical and virtual - views echoed in the chapter by Liz Waller on 'The Library Chameleon: Physical Space'. …

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