Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Dean Starts at University of Toronto's Faculty of Information

I just received the press release below about the new iSchool dean. I have been impressed with the school as of late, all the positive forward-looking changes, and have to admit feeling jealous of the students attending today. They are learning some very interesting things! I find some of the new dean's thoughts interesting, especially the idea of establishing an undergraduate program. As many of you know, information studies have for years been at the graduate level. I'm curious to know what he has in mind.

For immediate release from the University of Toronto
January 21, 2009


(Toronto, ON) –– The Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, is pleased to welcome Dr. Seamus Ross as its eighth dean, for a seven-year term. He commenced his term on January 1, 2009.

Dr. Ross' areas of research include preserving cultural heritage and scientific digital objects, humanities informatics, and the application of information technology to libraries, archives and museums.

“The Faculty of Information had what I was seeking in my next challenge ― contributing to research and teaching in a highly relevant field given society’s reliance on information consumption, a young faculty offering fresh ideas and insights, and graduate students eager to contribute to society,” says Dean Ross.

His top priorities include increasing research initiatives and grants, expanding facilities and space, and establishing an undergraduate program. Dr. Ross also hopes to build upon the Faculty’s long-standing commitment to students by hiring more faculty members to offer an even broader range of learning opportunities.

Dean Ross is the founding director of the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII), at the University of Glasgow. Under his leadership, HATII conducted innovative research into the use of information and communication technology (ICT) within the humanities, archives, libraries, and museums, and promoted collaborative IT-based research within the Arts and Humanities. From 2004 until the end of 2008, Dean Ross was also the Associate Director of the United Kingdom’s Digital Curation Centre.

This news item is also posted here. See also the appointment notice from the Provost's Office (May 2008).

Monday, January 19, 2009

New: Lawyer Addiction Blog

For a change of pace my colleague Steve Matthews, known for hard-core legal information blogs such as, Canadian Law Blogs, Florida Lawyers Blog Watch, and the DUI Lawyer Blog Watch, is now giving back to the legal community by using his skills to create and run the new Lawyer Addiction Blog. Billed as "Information Supporting Recovery", this blog pulls together resources in the U.S. and Canada for Lawyer Outreach and Lawyer Assistance Programs (LAP). It is already a great little resource, and gradually will be built up as Steve reviews the various programs available in the states and provinces.

In his Stem Legal news release, Steve explains:
According to the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, the rate of addiction amongst lawyers is estimated to be 50% higher than the general population.
Steve is teaming up with his newest client, The Meadows Addiction Treatment Center in Arizona, to work toward these goals with the Lawyer Addiction Blog:
  • to increase general awareness of Lawyer addiction problems;
  • to raise the profile of related web content sources, including the growing network of Lawyer Assistance Programs based in North America and around the world;
  • to help align The Meadows brand and professional staff with the modern web publishing and the flow of information to the legal profession.
I remember blogging about mental health over on Slaw a couple years ago. It is easy to ignore (or try to ignore) health issues in ourselves or others. If you are seeking information about lawyer addiction, the new blog makes a great starting point.

Congratulations to Steve on a significant addition to the Stem Legal roster.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Seen Reading: Torontonians are still reading books

Anyone who rides the Toronto transit knows that people find ways to close themselves off from everyone else, usually either by wearing headphones to listen to music (if you see me with headphones, I'm more likely listening to business podcasts) and by reading.

Julie Wilson, who works in the publishing industry, likes to observe what people are reading as well as who is reading, and she makes note on her blog Seen Reading. As a writer, she takes some poetic license by writing the person into a little scenario. Her blog is very readable, especially if you are interested in books and people as I am.

Adam Schwabe of Dear Toronto blog created a video allowing Julie to explain what she is doing and how she puts her blog together:

I thought this would be interesting to all of us in the book business, whether publishing or library.

This video and another write-up of Seen Reading was found via Jaime Woo.