On My Nightstand: Communicating in the 21st Century

Walden’s director of library services shares her top picks for summer reading.

Susanna DavidsenBy Jackie Krentzman
July 2011

Susanna Davidsen, Walden University’s director of library services, is responsible for one of the world’s largest online libraries, which offers access to more than 100,000 electronic books and 1.5 million dissertations. The library also houses more than 50,000 journals—many of which are now available to alumni. Davidsen suggests the following titles for those interested in learning about how we communicate in the 21st century.

CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS: TOOLS FOR TALKING WHEN STAKES ARE HIGH by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

Think about all the tough conversations you face in life: Discussions with your manager, a heart-to-heart with a family member. Are you getting the most you can out of these exchanges? Crucial Conversations gives you the tools you need to prepare for conversations where emotions run high and teaches you how to be persuasive and make it safe to talk about anything with anyone.

THE CASE FOR BOOKS: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE by Robert Darnton

Darnton, the director of the Harvard University Library and a history scholar, is conflicted about how he feels about paper books—his first love—and about all the tempting opportunities the digital world offers. It’s easy for librarians to conserve space by scanning and digitizing old newspapers, for instance, but is that system infallible? You can see his gears working as he writes about whether print will go away, and what it will mean for society if books do disappear.

BORN DIGITAL: UNDERSTANDING THE FIRST GENERATION OF DIGITAL NATIVES by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser

Our lives are filled with technology—TVs, personal computers, smartphones, and above all else, the Internet. Consider these advancements from the perspective of “Digital Natives,” children born after 1980: They learn and think differently than previous generations because they were born into it. This book will teach you how to connect to Digital Natives and advise them on matters of safety, privacy, and data protection.

Alumni now have access to many journals in the Walden University Alumni Library. Join www.myWaldenAlumni.com today to continue your research.