This edition of Keeping Up With... was written by Steven J. Bell.
Steven J. Bell is Associate University Librarian at Temple University, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the risk of stating the obvious, academic librarians need to keep up with higher education
Once we agree on that, it’s then a matter of how much time academic librarians need to invest in keeping up activity, the resources they should routinely consult and how they go about getting it done. We likely all also agree that it needs to happen in the least amount of time possible.
Academic librarians that find themselves neglecting it to the detriment of their professional development could benefit from some guidance. With the right sources, it can be downright easy to do.
My personal philosophy as an academic librarian is that it’s essential to maintain a personal regimen of keeping up – one that centers on librarianship first, higher education second and then supplemented by additional resources from fields as radically different from those two as possible. Design, business, psychology, popular culture, technology and more are all likely candidates for where to invest time for a keeping up strategy.
When it comes to keeping up with higher education most academic librarians will start and stop their routine with two publications, Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. If you call yourself an academic librarian those are two must read publications. But there’s more beyond that. This edition of Keeping Up With... identifies additional resources that academic librarians can add to their keeping up regimen for higher education. All the newsletters described below are delivered electronically to the inbox and are offered as free subscriptions.
Education Dive: Higher Ed –
A daily email that points to roughly a dozen news stories. The top stories usually come from core higher education publications but it’s also a source for items that come from outside that core – or from non-higher education publications.
A weekly report that contains five to six essays on a higher education issue, such as retention, enrollment or international students. The essays are written by experts in the field, usually academic administrators at U.S. colleges and universities.
Smart Brief for the Higher Ed Leader
A daily email report on top stories related to higher education. No, you don’t have to be a leader to take advantage. It usually comes out later in the day, so by then a few of the stories are repetitive. Since it carries just seven to ten items it takes little time to scan.
College Planning & Management
An occasional e-mail newsletter that describes itself as a “5-minute insight into higher education”. Its focus leans toward facilities issues, such as buildings, security or sustainability. While it may sometimes offer a library-related story, it’s value is in providing insights into campus facilities management.
Higher Ed Impact: Daily Pulse
If you are already checking higher ed news daily this one will be more marginal, though I still follow it because it usually points to an article I have not seen elsewhere. If you are less rigorous in checking other sources every day, this is a daily newsletter that will help keep you keep up with current events in higher education. It also points to special reports that may be worthwhile reading.
Sample: No web version available to sample
EdSurge Higher Ed
A leading news source for everything educational technology, EdSurge specializes in covering the latest developments in the fast-changing field of edtech. It now offers a weekly email newsletter focusing on higher education. Keep track of the new start-ups, technology conferences and teaching technologies positioned to impact the future of higher education.
Converge Higher Education Newsletter
Converge is a monthly magazine that primarily focuses on the application of technology in higher education. It typically features case studies of institutions and how they are implementing new technology or services. Their higher education newsletter leans toward technology matters as well, but learning methods, academic programming, and data and privacy issues are examples of the varied topics covered each issue.
Campus Technology News Update
The name of this newsletter might have you think it is limited to technology issues, but it serves as a daily update about all types of higher education developments. The coverage ranges from administrative issues, such as enrollment and assessment, to challenges confronting faculty and students.
Strategic Directions in Higher Education
Also from Campus Technology, this weekly newsletter focuses on higher education institutions that are rolling out new programs and services. It can read like a hodgepodge of recent developments at institutions offering new learning approaches, higher education legislative developments, news of reports and studies on student performance and technology issues as well. It also features updates on grant and conference opportunities.
Subscribe/Sample: https://campustechnology.com/newsletters/higher-education.aspx (note: the sign-up page has a link to a sample)
This daily newsletter is a mix of special reports produced by the publisher, surveys and reports published elsewhere, and a selection of higher education stories pulled from nationwide newspapers. There are other features such as recommended reading and higher education conferences. This is a quick read that usually offers a few unique higher education articles.
Sample: not available
Though light on content, usually just three or four items per week, SCUP usually points to higher education news and reports not covered elsewhere. As a SCUP publication, expect more articles related to planning and administrative issues. It also promotes articles in SCUP journals but these are often paywalled.
Compiling the right mix of higher education resources is the challenge. It requires just enough to stay well informed while avoiding an avalanche of repetitive or irrelevant information. Though the content is free, the payment is agreeing to receive promotional email. Count on at least one email a day or week from any one of these sources advertising other content or services. To my way of thinking it is a small price to pay for the luxury of being among the most kept-up academic librarians in your organization.
Beyond subscribing to email newsletters, academic librarians can establish a personalized “keep up with higher education” regimen using RSS feeds, search engine alerts or following Twitter experts to capture the many articles about higher education that appear in the mainstream media. Along with major papers such as the New York Times and Washington Post that have dedicated education writing staffs, magazines such as The Atlantic and New Yorker have expanded their coverage of higher education. Keeping up with higher education, while not a full-time preoccupation, done comprehensively, could certainly leave you with little time to get work done. It’s all in the balance of keeping up and getting things done.