Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Simplicity vs complexity

StevenB on the ACRLog has an interesting thought that pricked my interest in the light of our focus groups that we're going to run. He's been to a commencement ceremony and heard a speaker:
Among the points of advice he gave to the graduates he included “Do not be scornful of complexity.” We challenge our students too infrequently in their undergraduate education for fear that we will alienate them. I like that the president reminded the students that anything worthwhile they’ll achieve in their lives is going to take hard work and devotion - and certainly some complexity will be encountered. While academic librarians should endeavor to avoid making using their libraries unnecessarily complicated or complex, what more can they do to challenge students and prepare them for the complexities of life after college.
This is interesting. On one hand, I have had librarians arguing that our web pages should be as simple as Google. On the other, we have a University President encouraging folks to step up to the challenge of complexity. I wonder what our students will say.

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