Money Issues

Time For Science To Overcome Fears And Kill Subscription Journals

You are Elsevier: time to overcome our fears and kill subscription journals
"Thus, people joining in the new boycott have no excuses not to follow through. There are plenty of viable OA options and it is simply unacceptable for any scientist who decries Elsevier’s actions and believes that the subscription based model is no longer serving science to send a single additional paper to journals that do not provide full OA to every paper they publish. So, come on people! If we do this now, paywalls will crumble, and we all be better off. So, come on! Let’s do it!"

Elsevier Filters Recommendation Engine to Show Elsevier Titles Only

As the Elsevier boycott continues to gain attention, a good example of what the company stands for: the Ex Libris bX service is a neat little recommendation tool that displays suggested citations, working from a known item and based on search traffic. It provides researchers with suggestions based on their area of interest, and the items displayed are usually additional relevant articles (similar to Amazon's "people who bought this also bought..." feature). The Elsevier ScienceDirect site embeds this service in their own custom application, but librarians noticed the results it was displaying were only for Elsevier titles. Here is the Ex Libris explanation:

bX itself is entirely publisher and platform neutral and sends and displays all relevant articles regardless of journal, publisher or platform. But those who build their own applications – like Elsevier did - can manipulate the data by filtering before displaying it. For the app on Science Direct Elsevier indeed filters the bX articles by those available from Science Direct.

Is it any wonder this company gets a bad rap?

Toronto Library Foundation gets $1.5-million gift from private donors

Toronto Library Foundation gets $1.5-million gift from private donors
Marilyn and Charles Baillie have contributed $1.5-million to the Toronto Public Library Foundation’s fundraising campaign, putting it over its $10-million goal.

The campaign, dubbed re:vitalize, was launched in May of 2009 in support of a $34-million renovation to the Toronto Reference Library. Part of the renovations will include a Special Collections Centre, which was supported by the gift. In recognition, the centre will bear their names.

Oxford library fine figures revealed

Oxford library fine figures revealed
Oxford University’s libraries accrued almost £130,000 in library fines last year.

Universities across the country amassed fines totalling £50 million, While Oxford’s takings are significantly more than that of universities such as Imperial College London, who collected just £26,703, they remain some way off the £1.8m amassed by the University of Leeds.

U.K. universities made £50 million from overdue library books

U.K. universities made £50 million from overdue library books
Freedom of Information requests revealed British universities took in £50 million from students whose library books were overdue or simply never returned. Some schools have policies that students owing fines cannot graduate.
The figure of £50 million (US$77.3 million) was arrived at after the Press Association filed Freedom of Information (FOI) requests with all universities in the U.K. The information spans a six year period, beginning with the academic year 2004/05.

Gift Cards for Library Employees a No-No

Good intentions. Bad idea. Those words summarize the recent attempt by Live Oak (GA) Public Libraries Director Christian Kruse to spend nearly $23,000 in library funds on gift cards for 166 employees.

The cards were valued at $50, $100 and $200 and were meant to recognize part-time and full-time employees after about three years of stagnant salaries and increased health care costs, Kruse said.

He said the cards were meant to be a small token for the work the staff does and were paid for with surplus revenue from a special fund from book sales, fines and fee revenue. Finance Director Neal Vickers later said revenue from copying and printing fees was used.

One problem is the gift cards may have violated restrictions on the use of public funds, according to state officials.

The gratuities clause of the Georgia Constitution prohibits the use of public funds for gifts or bonuses, said Ronald Watson, director of the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts’ education division. A state audit of the library probably would cite the purchase as improper, he said.

Any money that comes from library operations, which are state supported, should be invested in operations, and gift cards don’t qualify, Watson said. More from Savannah Now.

Oshkosh Public Library gets $1.1 million gift

Oshkosh Public Library gets $1.1 million gift
life-long Oshkosh woman described as an avid reader and movie watcher made a $1.1 million bequest to the Oshkosh Public Library.

The library board decided Thursday to use the money from the estate of Marjorie M. Drexler to establish a memorial trust fund.
Drexler died Aug. 16, 2010, at the age of 87.

[Thanks Mark!]

Libraries Learn to Raise Revenues

PALM COAST, Florida -- These days it seems everybody's trying to make a buck, including public libraries.

And library officials are coming up with some creative ways to do just that, such as handling passport applications and adding merchandise sales and cafes. Long-range plans at the Flagler County Library in Palm Coast call for creating an inviting atmosphere for patrons, with a coffee shop serving as the centerpiece. Officials also hope leasing floor space to a vendor will provide a little extra cash for the library.

"We want people to be relaxed and feeling good," said library director Holly Albanese. "People like to have a cup of coffee when they sit and read the newspaper or the first chapter of a book. We want them to be able to do that here."

Incorporating a casual café into the traditional public library mission of lending books, providing meeting rooms and offering classes to the public is part of a national trend, according to a study by the Primary Research Group, a private marketing company.

"Even the places that don't currently have one (a café) are looking to do it in the future," said Marcia Warner, president of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association. "We're kind of johnnys-come-lately. Museums have been doing this for a lot of years."

More ideas for selling your library at the Lib Success Wiki.

In Minneapolis, The Library is A Cultural Center Too

Third part in a series about Libraries in Crisis from Huffington Post.

In case you hadn't heard, books aren't quite as popular as they used to be. "So the question, and it's a huge question, is, 'What even is a library anymore?'" said Cesar Pelli, the world-renowned architect and designer of the Minneapolis Central Library.

While this large urban library has greater resources than many of its suburban and rural counterparts -- the building itself, which opened in 2006, cost some $138 million -- librarians across the country are looking to institutions such as this to show the way forward. For their part, the librarians here say their hope is that this library can be more of a cultural center than a book repository.

When visitors walk into the Minneapolis building, the first collection they see is about 300 computers, each of which is in use about 90 percent of the time. Nationwide, the number of physical books borrowed from libraries is slowly declining, although books remain a core reason why people visit their libraries. The staff in Minneapolis estimates that computer access is the primary reason that most patrons, especially low-income and unemployed people, visit.

Books for Sale at Library of Michigan

Early in its history the Library of Michigan collected books within broad categories of topics and circulated them in wooden traveling boxes across the state, especially in areas where there were no libraries. The books in the collection were categorized under the Dewey Decimal System. In 1987 when the Library of Michigan converted to the Library of Congress system, the original Dewey books were never rolled into the new system. In essence, they became a shrine to the Dewey system and were seldom touched.

Donald Todaro, who has overseen the auction as assistant director of the state library, said in the last several decades the collection saw little or no use, even though the books occupied nearly half of the fourth floor of the Library of Michigan.

When former Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration was looking for ways to save money it determined the library was an easy target. Ultimately, the library was hit with more than $1 million in cuts. It was able to maintain its Michigan and Genealogy collections while pretty much everything else was determined to be expendable, including staff: The library once had more than 130 employees, but that dropped to 32.

From the Lansing City Pulse, Library of Michigan wraps up its sale of 75,000 out-of-circulation volumes. The rare books however have mostly been culled from the collection.

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