Academic Libraries

The Library its academic

The Library, it's academic
"And what I am seeing, once the Ph.D. becomes a prof, is that they don’t ask the reference librarians for research help at all. Technical help using the databases, sure—but even then, a fairly narrow idea of technical help that doesn’t include, for instance, tips on advanced search techniques and the special crankiness of the Boolean operators on a particular site. No, it’s get me in to the top-line site, make my password work, link to the journal, and let me research. "

Via: Why it matters how faculty view librarians

What Students Don't Know

What Students Don't Know
Another possible reason was that students seek help from sources they know and trust, and they do not know librarians. Many do not even know what the librarians are there for. "I don't think I would see them and say, 'Well, this is my research, how can I do this and that?' " one senior psychology major told the researchers. "I don't see them that way. I see them more like, 'Where's the bathroom?' " Other students imagined librarians to have more research-oriented knowledge of the library but still thought of them as glorified ushers.

For some reason librarians were surprised by the results of this study...

Librarian's Web Site About the Metropolitan Opera Taken Down

The tale sounded like Goliath raising his heel to crush a spunky David. The Metropolitan Opera, irked by regular disclosure of its programming, far into the future, on a Web site’s page, asked its operator to cease and desist.

The script might have called for a First Amendment battle, heels dug in, lawyers engaged, acid news releases. Instead, with nary a peep, the Web site’s author — Bradley E. Wilber, a college librarian in upstate New York, film buff and crossword puzzle constructor — graciously agreed to discontinue that page. The Met offered inducements, but he accepted only the promise of opera tickets for his next trip to the city.

“I didn’t want to get into trading a lot of stuff for my compliance,” Mr. Wilber said in a telephone interview on Wednesday. “It’s really just a nice gesture.” Mr. Wilber’s opera page on his Web site was called Met Futures and dealt with subject matter that was seemingly obscure to much of the world but to opera fans was like red meat for hungry tigers. Mr. Wilber, 41, managed to sketch out the operas being planned by the Met, their casts and conductors often five or six years into the future. The subject is of passionate interest to opera buffs, who want to know whether their favorite singers are coming back, who is out of favor, what works are being revived from long ago and which operas are receiving new productions. -- Read More

UK Libraries reject raw deal on journals

Libraries reject 'raw deal' on e-journals
Major research libraries have told the two largest journal publishers that they will not renew their "big deals" with them if they do not make significant real-terms price reductions.

Research Libraries UK, which includes the Russell Group university libraries, as well as the UK's national libraries and Trinity College Library Dublin, have told Elsevier and Wiley-Blackwell that they will not renew their current deals when they expire at the end of this year unless the concession is made.

Big deals involve libraries paying a blanket fee for electronic access to a publisher's entire journal catalogue. They were initially welcomed by librarians when they were first introduced a decade ago.

The ILS the digital library and the research library

The ILS, the digital library and the research library. Great question from Lorcan Dempsey

" Responsibility for the integrated library system (or library management system) appears to be a part of each post, yet it is not foregrounded in the position description. For these libraries, maybe, the ILS is a necessary part of doing business, but is not the site of major development. Designing and developing digital infrastructure now includes the ILS but is no longer led by it. Or maybe there is some other reason .... ?"

One Library's Espresso Book Machine Experience

Our Espresso Book Machine Experience
"And almost two years later, I don’t regret it. However, in the spirit of “How We Done It Bad,” I want to share some of the lessons that we’ve learned from our experience so far.
Nothing is ever as good as it sounds.
Great concepts don’t print books; functional machines print books.
No matter how sexy the delivery mechanism, the content matters more.
You can’t predict what people will get excited about."

On Mistakenly Shredding a Prized Collection

Carla Tracy, director of the Thomas Tredway Library at Augustana College in Illinois writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

Shortly after I began my career as a librarian, the Web made its appearance to the general public. Even with the broad scope afforded me through my educational background, I didn't believe the Web would amount to much. I could not imagine that this unimpressive resource would shake the very concept of the library as it had been known for hundreds of years.

The shaking hasn't stopped yet. College librarians are faced with the challenge of expanding digital media and study space while reducing print media. That reduction includes withdrawing books from the shelves, which, in effect, means selling, recycling, giving away, storing off-site (for those who can afford it), discarding, or shredding texts. Suddenly college librarians, among the world's greatest lovers of books, are viewed in certain corners as book destroyers.

If a library is a growing organism, then I've felt the growing pains keenly on our campus these last few months. In leading our library staff through an effort to remove certain books used only once in the past 25 years, if at all, I stand at the head of a series of events that inadvertently sent part of a reprint collection, written in classical Chinese, to the recycling center.

More from Chronicle.com.

A Bookshelf the Size of the World

From the Boston Globe:

As the digitization of human culture accelerates, publishers and academics have had to begin addressing a basic question: Who will control knowledge in the future?

So far, the most likely answer to that question has been a private company: Google. Since 2004 Google Books has been scanning books and putting them online; the company says it has already scanned more than 15 million. Google estimates there are about 130 million books in the world, and by 2020, it plans to have scanned them all.

Now, however, a competitor may be emerging. Last year, Robert Darnton, a cultural historian and director of Harvard University’s library system, began to raise the prospect of creating a public digital library. This library would include the digitized collections of the country’s great research institutions, but it would also bring in other media - video, music, film - as well as the collection of Web pages maintained by the Internet Archive.

Why We Publish

Why We Publish
It isn’t to obtain tenure. And it isn’t for money. Although to some, that is what publishing has become. The rationale for why we publish is (should be) to communicate results to as great an audience as possible and advance our understanding of the world around us. At Mendeley, we started to wonder how we could help communicate results and bring new models to the publication ecosystem. We think that Open Access content, where the full-text is readily accessible to all, will be the standard communication model in the future. And as such, we are rethinking how we shape our discovery algorithms.
[Thanks G!]

A U. of California Librarian asks: What happened to the American flags on the moon?

"As a symbol of the Fourth of July holiday, it is easy for the conversation this time of year to turn to iconic American flags, like the flag the Marines raised at Iwo Jima; the one firefighters put up at ground zero; and the one that flew over Fort McHenry and was the inspiration for what would become our national anthem."

"As the space shuttle program comes to an end this week, CBS News decided to look into the flags the astronauts left behind on six trips to the moon. What's become of them?"

"The flags waving behind are now among the most defining images of our time. But what happened to them is a question University of California Santa Barbara librarian Annie Platoff has been trying to answer."

Full article and video from CBS News.

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