Greg Walsh

A blog since 2002

Class Reflection

Wednesday February 11, 2009


This week, we talked about the 1968 Borko article $Information science: What is it?$ and Henry's $Influential evaluations$. The first article was an attempt at identifying exactly what information science is while the second article described evaluations as a type if research method.

I liked the evaluations article more than I thought I would. As I started to read it, I couldn$t help but think that this material seemed more appropriate for Public Health than for Information Science (should I capitalize them???? I will$) The article discussed three ways that evaluations could be used: to identify the public good, to chart a course of action, and to modify a course of action. By looking at research and evaluating it, researchers are able to do these things. The part I will always remember about the article is that it referenced Stephen Glass's article about D.A.R.E. in New Republic and yet we know that story contained material he just made up. Oh, and the Henry article was written in 2003 and Glass's article was from 1997, the year he was busted.

I really thought that the Borko article was interesting. I$ve always been into reading about the start of things and here is an article describing what information science is for the first time. He talks about the transition from $library science$ to $information science$ and the differences between the two. What was most interesting is that iSchools are still having those same discussions forty years later.

The other reason I liked the Borko article was looking at it in context of other information science/technology things going on at the time. Did Borko know Douglas Engelbart? When you search for them, their names are often in the same article or cited by the same paper. Engelbart's ground breaking demo of the NLS ( showcased the mouse for the first time, terminals, and collaborative editing of text documents. These innovations are similar to what Borko wrote at the end of the Information Science article. It was the year before the moon landing and the invention of UNIX so I think it was a rather exciting time for information technology$ it was also four years after the 1964 World's Fair which was basically a pre-EPCOT in Queens, NY and everyone knows: EPCOT is the greatest place on Earth.