Welcome to Jim Marcum's "idea-space"*

These are things on my mind these days:

    • What is Information Culture?
    • What kinds of “futures” lie in store for libraries? And librarians?
    • What is the future of “the book”? And reading?
    • Is “engagement” the key to organizational and business—and library— success?
    • Why do so many businesses and organizations need to “turnaround”?
    • Does ‘North Jersey’ have an identity problem?

*Idea space alludes to the influence of Richard Ogle’s Smart World, a book proposing a New Science of Ideas (Harvard Business School, 2007). The key idea, for me, is that innovative ideas today come primarily from successful exploitation of the “intelligence networks” characterizing the participative network connections enabled by the internet. I am constantly stimulated, challenged, provoked, annoyed, and corrected by the people and discussions I constantly (and inadequately) discover while reading or sitting at my workstation.

Thinking Bigger: Information Culture Literacy

It’s time to move beyond information literacy and take up the task of understanding and disseminating information culture.


Dynamic Learnind Styles: Franklin and Hamilton

Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton grew up and attained their learning more than 200 years ago. Is their example relevant, useful to our time and place?


Genius or Dynamic Learner? Benjamin Franklin’s Path to Greatness

While the remarkable accomplishments of Benjamin Franklin stand without parallel, the means of their attainment can be considered more accessible to ordinary people and not necessarily attributable to a special genius. The steady development of Franklin’s knowledge and skills are traced in light of a new model of “dynamic learning,” which is a method that can be followed by many. The method involves reading, writing, collaboration, and active, “hands on” experience. Simple steps are suggested for testing the method in the classroom.



North Jersey Story: Envisioning a Dynamic Future

The goal of Finding North Jersey—both the book and the program—is to determine what people love about the region, what they are most proud of. Then, following considerable discussion, to set forth a vision of the future they want to realize, and third, to brand that vital essence of the region to guide the creation of that future with purposeful action involving the people, businesses, associations, and organizations by pursuing that vision. Read more »


Cogitations on the Future of Library Education: Preparing Librarians for a New Age

What a day we live in; what opportunities it offers our profession. In one view (Robertson) the quantity and dissemination of information in our time ushers in a new, higher level of civilization. He views information as representing civilization, and its explosive growth, spread, and utilization signal a qualitative transformation of the conditions of human life, amounting to no less than a new Renaissance. The impact of the network and the resulting collaboration in work, learning, play, and life is characterized, at its core, by enormously increased connectivity and participation. Whereas my generation assumed they personally must know everything needed for work and life, today’s young people assume such knowledge is not only impossible but unnecessary. Read more »


Library Futures

    • Does the 'library' have a future? What kind of future?
    • Is the book dead?


Does ‘North Jersey’ Have an Identity Problem?

  • Why do Saturday Night Live and late night TV pundits constantly crack “New Jersey jokes”?
  • Do The Sopranos and Jersey Shore reflect north New Jersey reality?
  • Is the 1922 Edmund Wilson characterization of New Jersey as having “no independent life” but simply where people “sojourn on their way to something else” still valid?
  • Why is the perception of the area by outsiders generally negative?
  • Why do people who live here love it?
  • What is the REAL North Jersey story? Does anyone care?

Finding North Jersey intends to change all that. Interested? Send me your e-mail address for follow-up, a survey, and possibly a Meetup group when we get a discussion started.

(more to follow)


Knowledge and the University Presentation

After centuries of stability—if accelerating change—the very nature of knowledge itself is changing dramatically. What does that pertain to the library? Read more »


The Internet Has Changed Everything

In a mere 20 years the internet has moved from a high-tech curiosity to a basic element of modern life. It changes how we live, from how we shop, communicate, do business, learn, and, in some cases pray. It has transformed information from a scarcity to a glut, brought the world right into our homes and offices, and become a necessity. To take a few examples, consider the following: Read more »


University of the Book – The Vision


In the information age the challenge is to break through the information glut to find the useful knowledge, meaningand understanding needed at that moment. University of the Book (UBook) offers an easy path to educational, vocational, civic, or hobbyist knowledge; a path guiding “searchers” to the information they need right now, for work, play, or life. Read more »