The Danger of Face Validity

Hypotheses that flatter our own preconceptions and biases are incredibly seductive, and the temptation to accept them at face value can be nearly irresistible. But in a world that seems to be drifting away from analytical rigor and fact-based decision-making, the ability to resist that temptation is more essential than ever.

How Wrong Is Greta Van Susteren about Libraries?

Is Greta Van Susteren right in taking universities to task for building “huge libraries” and in characterizing them as “vanity projects” that have been obviated by the growing online availability of books and other scholarly resources? Obviously not — that’s the position of an ignorant philistine. Except…

Vindicated by Its Critics: The Kent Study in Light of Other Research on Library Circulation

In 1979, a study at the University of Pittsburgh Library found that 40% of the books added in the previous six years had not circulated. 37 years later, we librarians still cite that number and many of us use it (among other factors) to justify moving in the direction of patron-driven acquisition. A critic of that practice argues that many subsequent circulation studies contradict the Kent Study. But do they?