UAS Ketchikan Campus invites you to read with us!

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Where’s the Town Square?

In the introduction of David Carr’s most recent book, Open conversations: Public Learning in Libraries and Museums, 2011, he invites us to think with him:

     We need to replace ruthlessness and selfish individualism with becoming something together.   As we can see in pockets of our past, it will not be the first time we have done this.  It will begin with stories told in places where we live, to others who sit near us.  Over time, we all will be unafraid to speak in the safe places we have made for discoveries, reflections, and voices.  If we teach ourselves to speak, listen and think together, our places, our libraries, will open us to ourselves–to something courageous within ourselves–and move us toward the possibilities of self-rescue than every civilization needs.

As we discuss the gains and losses from our use of technology, Carr urges us to remember the value of the agora, plaza, or square and pursue the type of open, non-polemic discussions in the life of a democracy that lives there.

Where are these conversations held now?


Let’s do lunch

Sherry Turkle was interviewed by NPR’s Fresh Air host, Terry Gross last week.  Turkle said this about our connected children: “Children are getting these phones earlier and earlier. These are years when children need to develop this capacity for solitude, this capacity to feel complete playing alone. If you don’t have a capacity for solitude, you will always be lonely, and my concern is that the tethered child never really feels that sense that they are sort of OK unto themselves; and I talk to college students who’ve grown up with the habit of being in touch with their parents five, 10, 15 times a day. And it’s no longer Huckleberry Finn as a model of adolescence, you know, sailing down the Mississippi alone — we’ve developed a model of adolescence and childhood where we sail down the Mississippi together with our families in tow.”

Do you remember the first independent, grown-up thing you did without a parent by your side?  Taking the bus somewhere or walking to the store or library?  If anything came up, you relied on your own abilities.  You gained confidence and a stronger sense of self. Would it have been the same result if you had a cell phone in your pocket?

Remember, we are having a noon-time panel discussion this Wednesday, Oct. 24th moderated by Professor Urquhart.  Join us at the Campus Library for some interesting conversation over lunch; refreshments and coffee provided. For more information call me at 228-4567.

Posted by KJ Bolling, LAII

Sherry Turkle Interview on Fresh Air Tomorrow!

Thanks to phone calls from a couple of One Ketchikan One Book faithfuls and from Maria Dudzak of radio station KRBD, we’ve been made aware that author Sherry Turkle will be the guest of Terry Gross tomorrow, Thursday, October 18th, on Terry’s NPR show, Fresh Air, which airs at 9 a.m. on KRBD.  If you can’t listen at that time, go to anytime after late afternoon tomorrow to find a link to the complete broadcast.

Most of us can find KRBD on our radio dials at either 105.3 or 107.1, depending on where we live in town, or you can go to their website at, and click on the “Listen Live” link if a computer, rather than a radio is your preferred technology!  What a wonderful, and timely opportunity to listen to our author speak with Terry Gross about our One Ketchikan One Book title, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other.

Posted by Kathleen Wiechelman, Campus Librarian

The next event in our One Ketchikan One Book program is a panel discussion, moderated by Assistant Professor of Sociology Bill Urquhart.  This event will take place on Wednesday, October 24th, between noon and 1:00 p.m. in the UAS Ketchikan Campus Library, upstairs in the Ziegler Building, at 2600 7th Avenue, Ketchikan, Alaska.  Our panel will be made up of members of the community with a variety of backgrounds and unique perspectives concerning technology and related issues, both negative and positive!

We hope that you’ll join us, whether you’ve read Alone Together or not; an interest in listening to our discussion and/or participating in the discussion is all that’s required.  Light refreshments will be served, and all are welcome.

Posted by Kathleen Wiechelman, Campus Librarian

Have we lowered the bar too low?

Okay, I’ll admit it here — I watch Comedy Central’s show, South Park, with my husband sometimes.  The theme of last night’s episode, called “Raising the Bar”, while not spot on to our book, made me think of our book’s themes, as it had to do with our everyday interactions with one another and how they change .  One of the characters in the show asked another if perhaps we haven’t lowered the bar too low in some cases, without even noticing.  In other words, do we get so used to gradual cultural or societal changes, in our case, those made by technology, that we don’t even notice them, and we accept and incorporate new behavior into what’s acceptable and  appropriate?

We polled the audience at our event last week to see if they thought it was okay to text while you’re at the family dinner table or at a restaurant with friends or family.  Nearly everyone thought that no, it wasn’t okay to text during a meal, unless it was an emergency, but how often are you having a conversation with a friend or co-worker, and they’re constantly looking down at their phones for messages, or even texting while they’re talking to you?  Young women announce their engagements or pregnancies on Facebook, teenagers send thousands of texts per month, and instead of saving us time, we’re SO connected by technology that it’s hard to get away from it!  I have to agree with Sherry Turkle’s overall statement that we have to control or drive our technology instead of letting it control us.  And your opinion?
Posted by Kathleen Wiechelman, Campus Librarian

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