Students at computer


I teach in the Information School at the University of Washington where I train information professionals. In recent years I have mainly taught three courses:

  • History of Recorded Information (LIS 508). Loosely based on my book, Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in a Digital Age (Arcade 2001) and co-taught with Sandra Kroupa, the UW Book Arts librarian, this course explores the role that written forms have played in the shaping of culture. Topics include the rise of bureaucratic documents, the letter and the genres it has spawned, and the history of the book. The course includes several hands-on elements: Sandra regularly brings in historical items from Special Collections; I teach one session on Western calligraphy (the use of the broad-edged pen); and Katie Dodsley, a local bookbinder, leads students in sewing and binding a blank book (codex).
  • Information in a Social Context (LIS 550). A core course in the MLIS curriculum, this course gives students a grounding in some of the major information issues they will encounter as information professionals, including privacy, intellectual property, and intellectual freedom. In my teaching I focus not just on these specific issues, but on a more general problem: how to solve information issues as they arise in institutional settings.
  • Information and Contemplation (INFX 554). A course that explores how contemplative practices can serve as a lens to observe and critique current information practices and concerns.