Aug 22 2008

Visiting with University of Puerto Rico librarians

It was really hot on August 13, the last day of my vacation visiting my brothers in Puerto Rico. But, in more ways than one, it was really cool inside the library at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, where all of my friends from high school went to college.

I was hosted by José Sanchez-Lugo, a UPR professor I met in the Connected Futures workshop last May. He and his colleagues are doing fascinating work. They are way beyond the “ills of bestness” that Patrick Lambe describes. When I think of fights I’ve had with program evaluators who are trying to make a community of practice initiative fit into a neat pigeonhole, it’s inspiring to see someone launching a bunch of active communities with the original funding from an evaluation effort. Not only have they developed their reflective practice in areas such as collection development or research support, they’ve cooked up new directions for innovation, such as virtual reference or uses of Second Life.

Here’s Liz Pagán’s report (titled, roughly, “yet another distinguished Puerto Rican” :-).  There is a lot of activity in the various blogs and wikis of the communities launched by this project.  (One great thing about this visit, apart from a couple hours with José himself) was that it gave me the chance to practice my “communities of practice” vocabulary in Spanish a week before a project in El Salvador.  Talk about just in time practice!)

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