Saturday, January 06, 2007

Reading Reading Lists

I was going to write a post about a hypothetical academic library catalogue in which only faculty are allowed to tag and link items. But before I began I thought it would be best to search about aimlessly on the web on the topic of university reading lists.

You see, I have a half-baked notion in my head that a university education can be reduced to a professor helping a class work through texts to achieve familiarity in a subject. I have had this theory ever since I had a conversation with a colleague who told me that the coursework of Oxford and Cambridge is largely consumed by the act of reading and learning from daunting readings lists. And then I got distracted by all the reading lists I found online: those for preliminary reading for prospective university students, those to introduce students to the intellectual life of the university, those provided by libraries and those provided by publishers.

Before starting this post, I had assumed that most university reading lists were in locked in course management software (oh why did we call them 'course reserves' instead of 'reading lists?'). Now I'm not so sure. Perhaps there's still time to integrate reading lists into the very realm of reading.

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