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Archive for November, 2011

Peter and Donna Thomas of Santa Cruz, California are living the dream–well, one of my dreams at any rate. These two book artists had a gypsy wagon or vardo built and traveled around the Western United States in it during 2010-2011. Besides being a very cool RV, the wagon, named “Paloma”, also served as a rolling advertisement for their art books and workshops. Who were their hosts more often than not? Why, libraries and librarians, of course.

Here’s an interview with the artists themselves. Check out the accordion and ukulele books:

Now here’s what everybody wants–a closer look at “Paloma”.

You can read their blog here and you can see Peter speaking more at length about the book arts here.

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As an academic librarian and a college graduate, I was intrigued by this Oct. 12, 2011 topic on Intelligence Squared: “Do Too Many Kids Go to College?” Check out the audio and the transcript of the debate here. The title is a bit misleading since all of the debate participants agree that some schooling after high school is absolutely necessary. At the heart of the debate, however,  is the question about what a post-high school education is supposed to do. Is the purpose of a college to create a well-rounded individual or to teach vocational skills? Can a two year vo-tech degree really prepare graduates for the 7-10 career changes they will experience during their working lives?

One of the things prompting the debate–and one of the things that the debaters don’t really address sufficiently–is the high cost of college/technical school. No student, in my opinion, should graduate in debt yet the rising cost of a post-high school education puts students in a financial dilemma. Either they put themselves in debt to complete their education now or they pay as they go which winds up costing more since it takes longer.  Not talked about are the factors pushing prices up and what we can do to keep costs down.

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