Discuss the Plenary Presentation
Discuss the Plenary Presentation here.
I'd like to join with others to thank Jim for putting together such an excellent Workshop. I certainly feel that we learned a great deal from each other, and I appreciate the enthusiasm and ardor that has gone into the development of diverse projects based on reading and circulation records. Jim's big questions, "How do we go beyond the most borrowed books?" and "Who are our audiences?" are reflected in the papers and subsequent discussion, and these questions should remain ongoing ones that we can return to in future gatherings, whether on-line or in-person.
However, for present purposes and in order to generate discussion as we round off the present Workshop, I'd like to play the devil's advocate by questioning the extent by which we can, in Jim's words, "connect our projects." He made the point that books can be approached as "nodes", and that, substantially, we have two kinds of data on which we are working, namely (i) the documenting of the experiences of various readers (the prime example here is RED), and (ii) the documentation of particular selections in the library (as presented in the Australian Common Reader project and WMR). Jim then ventured that we should be seeking to make more systematic connections between these two approaches. I nurture some skepticism as to whether that can be done gainfully (except perhaps in the rare cases where we may have the reading diary of an individual, of which Mark's keynote provided us with a fine example, or the journals kept by a small number of WMR readers). In this final part of the Workshop, I'd really welcome some conversation that may help to allay my doubts about what may be gained from a "more systematic" linkage of these two kinds of project!