Columbia University Libraries Welcomes Mark Phillipson, Association of Research Libraries Academy Fellow

NEW YORK, October 14, 2005 - Columbia University Libraries is hosting Dr. Mark Phillipson, as part of a program sponsored by ARL, the Association of Research Libraries, to recruit Ph.D’s to the profession of librarianship. Mark joined the staff on October 4 for a six-week fellowship assignment focused on digital library services. Phillipson comes to Columbia from Simmons College, where he is pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science degree.

“The ARL program is an extraordinary opportunity for academic libraries to bring in highly motivated teaching-oriented professionals,” said James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian. “Mark brings important technology expertise to the Libraries as well as a significant record of academic research and teaching.”

Phillipson is a visiting assistant professor of English at Bowdoin College and has written extensively on Romantic poetry, as well as on technology and education. His innovative work in applying the collaborative internet sites known as “wikis” to classroom teaching and discussion was featured in the July 15 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

While at Columbia, Phillipson will work with the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) and the Electronic Text Services (ETS) department. Phillipson’s responsibilities at CCNMTL will include consultation on the center’s Social Justice and Latin American Humanities curricula, as well as the Center’s support for the University Writing Program. In the Electronic Text Service department, Phillipson will assist in the preparation of a strategic plan for ETS and its transition to a Center for Computing in the Humanities.

Phillipson will be presenting “Wide Open: Implementing a Class Wiki,” as part of CCNTML’s University Seminar program on October 27 at 4:00 p.m. He will discuss the impact of educational wiki applications on peer interactions, modes of analysis, notions of authority, and course organization.

“Wikis allow professors to bring a new level of dynamic interaction into their teaching,” Phillipson said. “They get students more involved with the material and they help create little communities, whether they are defined by a class or a department or other pools of people.”

Phillipson has a Ph.D. in English from the University of California at Berkeley and will receive his M.L.I.S. from Simmons in December. He graduated from Columbia in 1988 with a B.A. in English. He said that he was eager to return to Columbia for his ARL fellowship work.

“I wanted to come to Columbia because library services are defined so expansively here — the way that CCNMTL works across the University in tandem with other library initiatives,” Phillipson said. “I have been off on my own using new technology in my teaching, and I recognized that teachers need a stable pool of digital resources, delivered by libraries, to bring into play in the classroom.”

Columbia University Libraries is one of the top ten academic library systems in the nation, with 9.2 million volumes, over 65,650 serials, as well as extensive collections of electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, and other nonprint formats. The collections and services are organized into 25 libraries, supporting specific academic or professional disciplines. Columbia Libraries employs more than 400 professional and support staff to assist faculty, students, and researchers in their academic endeavors. The Libraries’ website at is a gateway to its print and electronic collections and to its services.

The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning is the University’s award-winning design, development and research organization devoted to the evolution and extension of Columbia’s educational programs through the use of digital media and technologies. The Center, with over thirty-five full-time staff members, serves the entire University community.

The Electronic Text Service is a research and instructional facility of the Columbia University Libraries designed to help Columbia faculty and students incorporate computer-based textual and bibliographic information into their research, study, and teaching.

10/14/05 ICL