Harvard Law Library Director in the News

John Palfrey, Executive Director of the Harvard Law School Berkman Center for Internet & Society and new library director at HLS, was featured in a terrific story in USA Today on Wednesday, “Pioneers steer the course of cyberspace.”  The article references John’s forthcoming book, Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives

The digital generation gap

Berkman Executive Director John Palfrey posits the digital revolution’s most enduring change is neither the new business models nor Google’s search algorithms: It’s the massive generation gap between those who were “born digital” and those who were not.

Palfrey’s forthcoming book, Born Digital, is an offspring of the center’s extensive work on “digital natives,” children who were born into and raised in the digital world.

“We’re talking about the future behavior of human beings on the Internet,” says Palfrey, who is head of the Harvard Law School Library. “Digital natives use technology to either be more productive or distracted. The challenge is making the most of (their skills).”

One thought on “Harvard Law Library Director in the News

  1. Also consider Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder (New York: Times Books, 2007; 277 pages — including bibliographical references and index) by the Berkman Center’s David Weinberger.


    Philosopher Weinberger shows how the digital revolution is radically changing the way we make sense of our lives. Human beings constantly collect, label, and organize data–but today, the shift from the physical to the digital is mixing, burning, and ripping our lives apart. In the past, everything had its one place–the physical world demanded it–but now everything has its places: multiple categories, multiple shelves. Everything is suddenly miscellaneous. Weinberger charts the new principles of digital order that are remaking business, education, politics, science, and culture. He examines how Rand McNally decides what information not to include in a physical map (and why Google Earth is winning that battle), how Staples stores emulate online shopping to increase sales, why your children’s teachers will stop having them memorize facts, and how the shift to digital music stands as the model for the future.–From publisher description.

    From A to Z, Everything Is Miscellaneous will completely reshape the way you think – and what you know – about the world. Includes information on alphabetical order, Amaxon.com, animals, Aristotle, authority, Bettmann Archive, blogs (weblogs), books, broadcasting, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), business, card catalog, categories and categorization, clusters, companies, Colon Classification, conversation, Melvil Dewey, Dewey Decimal Classification system, Encyclopaedia Britannica, encyclopedia, essentialism, experts, faceted classification system, first order of order, Flickr.com, Google, Great Books of the Western World, ancient Greeks, health and medical information, identifiers, index, inventory tracking, knowledge, labels, leaf and leaves, libraries, Library of Congress, links, Carolus Linnaeus, lumping and splitting, maps and mapping, marketing, meaning, metadata, multiple listing services (MLS), names of people, neutrality or neutral point of view, New York Public Library, Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), order and organization, people, physical space, everything having place, Plato, race, S.R. Ranganathan, Eleanor Rosch, Joshua Schacter, science, second order of order, simplicity, social constructivism, social knowledge, social networks, sorting, species, standardization, tags, taxonomies, third order of roder, topical categorization, tree, Uniform Product Code (UPC), users, Jimmy Wales, web, Wikipedia, etc.

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