November 24, 2015

Symposium Report and Video: Note Taking in a Clickable Age

From the Harvard Gazette:

An observer only had to glance around the Radcliffe Gymnasium to understand the tactile nature and evolving techniques of the subject, literally, at hand. Some people tapped away on laptop computers, others used iPads to jot down thoughts. Many fumbled with the small buttons on their smartphones. A determined few resorted to paper and pen, even pencil.

The note takers were all part of a daylong symposium aptly titled “Take Note,” and organized by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study earlier this month to explore the art and importance of effective note taking. The conference, the culmination of a four-year effort at Radcliffe to examine the tradition of books and their prospects in a digital age, brought together scholars from a range of disciplines.


The session also raised an important question, one that attendees and panelists agreed lacks a definitive answer. While many participants acknowledged that notes will continue to be an important part of the digital age, they were less in agreement about how private or public those notes should be. In the digital realm, privacy rights are increasingly a concern, yet those with Internet access can blast their random musings into cyberspace for anyone to see. Because of that, the question arises: Should note taking be confined or redefined? If so, how?

Read the Complete Article

Virtual Exhibition: Take Note (An Exploration of Note-Taking in Harvard University Collections)

Additional Symposium Resources and Information

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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