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Spoken Up

Weekly archive of questions from Speak Up.

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#1 Comment By aparent On December 4, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

#2 Comment By hwc On December 4, 2009 @ 9:34 pm

Here’s one for DKane. An article published today by a liberal arts college librarian predicting the end of the college library as a repository for physical objects:

From Stacks to Sites

A year ago, I would have said that as long as we continued to share with and instill a love of books and reading in our children, printed books would continue to be the preferred format for reading. As such, print culture would continue to thrive and with it libraries. Now, I’m not so sure.

Several weeks ago, at a Wednesday faculty lunch, 5 or 6 of the people seated at my table each took out their iphones and began discussing how they were using them to read newspapers, books, watch film clips, and basically stay informed. I was among those enthusiastic users. I had recently downloaded the “Kindle” online book app and had used it to read a sample of new novel, before deciding whether or not to buy it. Though I still get the New York Times in print every day, I tend to read the headlines on my iphone.

Within a decade, it is likely that most materials will be available on-demand in digital formats. The concept of building print collections will become increasingly irrelevant. A recent poll on our library’s web site found that 30% of respondents read books on some sort of mobile device and an article in the November 19, Daily Finance web site, cited some 33% of students are comfortable reading online, though 70% still preferred print to online (down 5% from the previous year). It’s likely that number who prefer print will continue to shrink as devices improve and costs decrease.

Within a decade, it is likely that most materials will be available on-demand in digital formats. The concept of building print collections will become increasingly irrelevant.

Pretty stunning stuff as this has not been the view of college librarians (or even this college librarian) in the recent past.

#3 Comment By David Kane On December 5, 2009 @ 7:30 am

Latest Eph college president.

#4 Comment By PTC On December 5, 2009 @ 7:48 am

hwc- I had an 8th grade computer teacher (1982) who told us that in our lifetime there would be no need for printed money and that printed books would become obsolete.

#5 Comment By PTC On December 5, 2009 @ 7:49 am

Funny thing is, I cannot remember the teachers name, or much of what he taught us, but I remember when he said that. It seemed so unbelievable…

#6 Comment By concerned On December 5, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

A note from Dick Swart ’56

I have put this comment through after substantiating that Professor Emeritus Richard Antoun was stabbed to death in his office at Binghamton University. Richard Antoun was the author of Understanding Fundamentalism: Christian, Islamic, and Jewish Movements and a mid 50’s grad whose name was immediately familiar to me.



His killer has been tentatively identified as Abdulsalam Alzahrani, a graduate student working on his PhD dissertation.

The lovely binghampton university prof who was murdered yesterday by an islamic militant was a williams alum

#7 Comment By PTC On December 6, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

Was the man who killed him really a militant? How so? Where was the killer from? Taliban?

#8 Comment By PTC On December 6, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

So far all I am seeing are some interviews with others who indicated this guy was creepy and the normal “nut job” reaction from the far right against Muslims… I did not find a hard connection with extremism through google… anyone else?

#9 Comment By frank uible On December 6, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

For you one or two fans of Williams wrestling – today Ryan Malo (Williams ’11) competed in the 197 pound weight class of the Penn State Nittany Lion Wrestling Open comprised of some of the great, near-great, aspiring-to-be-great and insouciant of current collegiate wrestling, there being about 43 wrestlers in the 197 pound weight class. He won 3 matches while losing 2. The experience in this venture should make him a better wrestler. He is to be commended for his initiative and confidence in entering this Open, and Dan DiCenzo for his pedagogy in going out of the way to facilitate this special opportunity for Ryan.

#10 Comment By PTC On December 6, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

Frank- Good for him. If he can get more of that prior to nationals and it will serve him very well… just amazing for a D3 wrestler to compete at that level.

Do you have the scores of his bouts and who he wrestled?

#11 Comment By PTC On December 6, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

Frank- I looked at his bracket… he made it to the top 16 in the upper bracket, got beaten, and then lost in the final 8 in the consolation bracket. The tournament featured some of the better D1 east coast teams… good showing.

#12 Comment By PTC On December 6, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

lol… he beat Mantella from BU 5-3…

#13 Comment By frank uible On December 6, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

PTC: I believe that Ryan and some other Williams wrestlers are entered in the Midlands (Northwestern University) at the end of December – arguably even stiffer competition than the Penn State Open. DiCenzo is ambitiously working hard to extend his squad.

#14 Comment By Diana On December 6, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

Note that the graduate student who killed Professor Antoun was 46 years old. What was going on there?

#15 Comment By Ronit On December 6, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

@Diana: Sounds like a loser.

#16 Comment By PTC On December 6, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

Frank- He is smart to do that… in Wrestling, you can enter opens a lot easier because they seed outsiders in qualification brackets… guys need to wrestle there way into the qualifying rounds…

They’ll have a bruising go of it, but it will increase their skill level tremendously. Smart call.

#17 Comment By PTC On December 7, 2009 @ 10:36 am

Was the murder religiously motivated?

#18 Comment By Ronit On December 7, 2009 @ 10:58 am

@PTC: we don’t know. I would suggest strongly that the best thing for EphBlog to do right now is to wait for the DA do his job. We will update when facts about the case (rather than speculation) emerge.

#19 Comment By Jr. Mom On December 7, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

If I remember correctly, Blu Dot ( furniture) is an eph venture. If so, here is a fun N.Y. Times magazine article regarding their very “outside of the box” bit of market strategy. “Outside” being the operative word.

#20 Comment By hwc On December 8, 2009 @ 10:25 am

Interesting WSO discussion on freshman entries:

http://wso.williams.edu/discuss/comments.php?DiscussionID=2185&page=1#Item_0>WSO link

#21 Comment By jeffz On December 10, 2009 @ 8:20 am

High schoolers involved with Williams summer program take third in Siemens contest (formerly known as Westinghouse):


Here is the website for the Williams program:


#22 Comment By aparent On December 10, 2009 @ 10:07 am

More disrespectful college behavior — but no demands or meetings yet for additional faculty or classes:


#23 Comment By JeffZ On December 11, 2009 @ 11:43 am

Eph named Director of Operational Energy Plans and Programs, Department of Defense. I don’t know what that is, but sounds pretty bad-ass:


#24 Comment By Parent ’12 On December 11, 2009 @ 12:20 pm

As these entries move to “spoke up,” I just want to express my appreciation for all the internet links to Williams connections, both near & far from campus.

I noticed in the Siemens article that 2 of the 3 students did not list Williams as a potential college destination. I wonder where the third student wants to study.