Erin Dorney

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Some Upcoming Projects

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With a more relaxed schedule (I am on winter break until mid-January), I have been able to spend some time planning for the spring semester. Here are some different things I’ll be working on:

  • Three different interviews for my C&RL News Job of a Lifetime column for 2011 – featuring an Outreach Services Librarian, a Research & Development Librarian, and a librarian from ipl2. As soon as the columns are published I will be sure to link to them here. And as always, if you or someone you know has the job of a lifetime, contact me!
  • Over the summer I started working on a collaborative research project and just this week finished the data collection stages with my research partners. We’re doing a content analysis of select academic library websites in order to investigate the unintended messages created by design decisions and use of space. I have had the pleasure of working with a friend (and mentor) and am looking forward to our analysis over the next month. We hope to have some conclusions published in a peer reviewed journal sometime in the future.
  • This summer I will be supervising my first LIS student intern from Rutgers University. Over the past few weeks I have been working with her to put together an internship plan of work (taking into account all of your fabulous comments from my previous post on library internships for undergrads!). It’s a work in progress at the moment, but I’m hoping to give her some projects relating to outreach regarding the renovation (slated to start in fall 2011), information literacy (possibly teaching a few sessions), research assistance (at the help desk) and social media things. She has a background in PR and is a fantastic writer, so I might also try to find communication/design projects as well. I am really looking forward to working with her, and I think I will end up learning a lot as well.
  • I’m going to have another undergraduate intern from Millersville this spring (my third!) so I have been putting together some projects for him as well. He’s going to be shadowing me at the research help desk and in instruction sessions. I think he is also going to work on some writing projects for our Renovation Website (particularly showcasing different issues from an informed student perspective). And informational interviews to learn more about the field of librarianship.
  • Only two creative writing workshops and my thesis project stand between me and my second master’s degree! This spring I am taking a poetry workshop with Kim Bridgford (who has also kindly agreed to be my thesis committee advisor). I am beyond excited to work with her in the coming months. Our required texts include Archaic Smile: Poems by A. E. Stallings, Murano by Mark Doty, Playing At Stillness by Rhina P. Espaillat and Thomas and Beulah by Rita Dove. Have you read any of them?

So what projects do you have planned for the upcoming months?  Also, does anyone have advice for supervising an LIS student intern? I want to make sure this is a valuable and productive experience for everyone.

Written by Erin Dorney

January 3, 2011 at 7:40 PM

ACRLog guest post

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I have a guest post over at ACRLog today, so check it out if you have a few minutes! I decided to talk about our upcoming renovation project since it’s the thing I’ve been spending the majority of my time on at work lately. As outreach librarian I have been coordinating lots of communication about the project (including its spot in the University Soar to Greatness campaign) as well as the transition and design planning.

My thanks to Richard James (@DElibrarian), Jason Dean (of The Dean Files), and Lindsey Main (@librarianlinz) for offering valuable feedback on a draft of the guest post.

Written by Erin Dorney

December 8, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Want some mail?

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christmas cat

CC image courtesy of Keeki on Flickr

Inspired by Lisa’s post at the lisa chronicles, I have just (at this very moment) decided to do a holiday card exchange! If you’re interested in sharing some winter cheer via post, send me an email or post a comment with your address. I promise to send you a non-religious card before December 25th.

I love getting & sending mail. I hope you’ll join me! Any and all are welcome to participate :)

Written by Erin Dorney

November 15, 2010 at 9:02 PM

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C&RL News – Job of a Lifetime – Tina Hertel

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My fourth interview for the Job of a Lifetime (JOAL) column in College & Research Libraries News is now available online! I spoke with Tina Hertel, help desk/Web support librarian at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Our discussion about her involvement with Lehigh’s Technology, Research and Communication (TRAC) Writing Fellows program was particularly intriguing, and could be looked to as a model for other libraries. Check out the interview here:

Job of a Lifetime – Tina Hertel: Rocket scientist librarian, at your service!

A big thanks to Tina who is beyond phenomenal and has been both a personal and professional inspiration to me ever since I moved to Pennsylvania in 2008. She recently received a Certificate of Merit Award from the Pennsylvania Library Association.

Do you have the job of a lifetime? I’ll be starting the next interview shortly, so if you think it should be you, contact me. Enjoy & feel free to leave comments!

Related posts:

Written by Erin Dorney

November 12, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Charleston Conference (Sat)

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I had a fabulous time at the Charleston Conference this week. I decided to post my session notes from today while waiting for my airport shuttle. Should be back in PA by nightfall :)

Saturday session notes:

Jumping into the New Waters of Librarian Promotion and Appointment: How We Dove in and Survived

Bridget Euliano (Acquisitions Librarian, Duquesne University) & Carmel Yurochko (Serials/Electronic Resources Librarian, Duquesne University)

-They were a flat organization to begin with – considered non-tenure track faculty
-Pittsburg PA – private – 10,000 students – 12 FT librarians & 1 university librarian
-Wanted a tiered system for promotion for librarians
-Lots of waves: How do we create a system from scratch? Will we be reviewed fairly? Who will review us? Why should we do this?
-Timeline: took them 6 years (!)
-2002 – task force to develop documentation (looked at and cherry picked from other libraries
-2004- task force presents initial document (some people were happy, some people picked it apart)
-2005 – second task force to revise document (every task force had a different group of people)
-2007 – third and final task force (stumbling over certain words – RANK, for example)
-2008 – librarian tier process was implemented
-Initial process: everyone was considered Librarian 1 and you had 5 years to apply for promotion
-Had levels 1-4 with different requirements.
-After a year and a half, no one had applied yet
-So they created “The Expedited Process” – portfolios would be reviewed only by the University Librarian and Provost (removed intimidating aspect of traditional peer review by colleagues)
-Created informal positive peer review support group to make this a positive learning process
-2 options – initial process or expedited process
-All of the librarians except one decided to do the expedited process – all who applied were successfully promoted
-Euliano’s experience – was a new librarian there, had promotion experience from another institution, was told during the hiring process
-Yurochko’s experience – had never been through promotion process anywhere before, was told if she didn’t do this it would likely qualify as insubordination (!) because she was thinking she might retire before the application deadline, saw the organizational need for tiers so decided to participate
-Peer reviewed each others’ portfolios
-Was there a money incentive attached to tiered promotion? No guarantee at the beginning because it was new to the university and not yet, but it may come later.
-Administration didn’t know what librarians were doing, sharing the portfolios helped them learn about the publishing, presenting & research that was taking place
-Lessons learned: They want to revise the guidelines (use terminology to match that used at the university level; more clearly define which categories are appropriate for various accomplishments)
-Lessons learned: Importance of service opportunities (make them more widely available, particularly for newly hired librarians; actively seek new avenues of engagement at the university)
-Now in recruitment they can clearly delineate expectations for advertised positions
-More in line with other academic libraries

Tackling the Evolution of Libraries

Stephen Abram (Gale, Part of Cengage Learning)

-Major legislation is happening on copyright
-Moving from financial to information economy
-Google Editions – launching in the next 8 weeks – have built and algorithm to sell lower than anywhere else on the web
-What does it mean when all of the books are online? What happened when articles all went online? No one is begging for the paper copies.
-We should not be encouraging serendipitous browsing but immersive, targeted research skills
-We’re working in a non-fiction publishing space – you don’t read it from end to end (we don’t & student’s don’t)
-Each article has value on their own, but not really as a unit
-Format agnostic generation – they don’t care, it’s not helpful to them
-Geo-tagging on ads impacts what results you get
-They can contextualize ads based on the books you’re searching for/looking at
-Should we still be organizing our collection by format?
-If majority of learning is hybrid, what does your library team look like? What’s the depth of that talent when students’ primary access to learning is at the class level not the university level.
-We overwhelm them with how “smart” we are – i.e. offering 60 ways to cite instead of asking faculty preference and focusing on those three, creating widgets for their course guide
-FCC whitespace decision – people will be able to connect
-E-paper = more imagination, plasma screen = more experience
-Bloom’s taxonomy of learning – most librarians are probably text-based
-Universities are more full with more people with more learning styles
-How do libraries support this?
-Heart survey – which would make you feel better – I read the article last night OR I watched the video
-How can we support experienced based learning styles?
-15% of students at universities require some sort of adaptation
-Are we making decisions based on our end user preferences or our own preferences?
-They like to explore in layers rather than tabs (interface)
-We’re good at supporting text based learners, but how do we move beyond that?
-We have a smart generation – roe v. wade (every child is wanted), gaming, no lead paint
-Gaming changes the dynamics of how your brain works – spend 40 days to solve a videogame – this is episodic learning. This is reading.
-Print is a corpus that needs to be archived  preserved.
-How and why is library business, not who, what, where, when (that’s what Google is for)
-Most people are offended when you ask them if they need help – libraries can learn from this – connect with them as a person first
-We put our OPAC out there to show our inventory instead of inviting them to have an experience
-Do we know our top 10 reference questions? No business would ignore this – they would have the answers down pat.
-Someone looking for information about pregnancy – we can give them a better experience/better help if we know their gender
-Our value add – social dimension
-The people (librarians) are the value – how many pictures are there on the library website? How many links to Facebook are there? Are we saying we’re just a search engine?
-Social software – social institution (we can relate socially to our users)

Hyde Park Corner Sound-Off and Closing Remarks

Anthony Ferguson (University of Hong Kong)

-The Charleston Conference: “A Wonderful Place to Steal Ideas”
-Genius actionable ideas:
-Just in time print and electronic information killer APP: user initiated document delivery + purchase on demand/pay per view = you can save a lot of money
-Just in time collection development on steroids – Espresso Book Machine & Lightning Source
-Remote storage isn’t just a solution for homeless books – collaborate with other libraries for storage/access so that library as a place for study can be emphasized
-University of California’s e-scholarship program which cohesively packages Open Access components (http://escholarship.org/about_escholarship.html)
-Put discipline specific critical library information on flash drives and give them away to new students
-Catchy collection development motto: “Get it at Cal State Libraries”
-Hathitrust + Google Books = everyone can have a Harvard-like collection but without the stacks headache
-All collaborative projects should generate some income in order to be sustainable
-Avoid “free riders” in collaborative projects because they take up time and energy
-Mobile devices are growing – short treatments of serious topics are being sought. Condensed books.
-Support growing for bookless branch learning commons libraries (both inside and outside the field)
-Adopting a single discovery interface (Worldcat Local, Summon, EDS) is the most radical and potentially fruitful way of connecting readers to materials
-UC San Diego demonstrating the role of the library in providing stewardship for the scholarly record by giving away a single terabyte of memory to departments across campus
-Find out what it is about the library that your president values and build upon that
-Big concepts/no immediate application:
-Delivery speed is the single most important factor for cooperative collection development
-As a profession, when confronted with a lack of funding, where are our revolutionary ideas?
-It all comes down to trust, particularly in branding
-Look at the annual Edelman Trust Barometer for ideas on how to increase trust
-Some surveys show that people miss the ability to browse (then again, other surveys show different results)
-People want information, not formats
-Readers need help with information overload. They want it to be easier
-Look for the results of the European Community SOAP (survey of open access publishing) Researchers seem to want it, but funding is an issue

Written by Erin Dorney

November 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Charleston Conference (Fri)

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On Thursday evening I had dinner with my conference roommate (another librarian from the PASSHE) at Swamp Fox Restaurant. I had sauteed local Carolina shrimp served in a lobster and Tasso ham gravy with sauteed bell peppers and vidalia onions over stone ground Adluh pepper jack grits.  Yum!

Friday session notes

Full-Spectrum Stewardship of the Record of Scholarly and Scientific Research

Brian E. C. Schottlaender (The Audrey Geisel University Librarian, University of California, San Diego)

- Ross Atkinson defined the scholarly record in his 1990 article “Text Mutability and Collection Administration” (That which has already been written in all disciplines)
– Types of digital scholarly resources (2008 ITHAKA study) e-only journals, reviews, preprints, reviews, encyclopedias, dictionaries, data resources, blogs, discussion forums, professional and academic hubs, working papers (note that 2 years ago, e-books were not on this list)
– Traditional scholarly publishing is stable because we know where/how libraries and trusted third parties fit in
– However, there is another end of the continuum – scholarly raw material (archives/data) which is less stable because some is resident in libraries, some is  not
– The scholarly record is really a continuum of inputs, operators and outputs encompassing scholarly and scientific
– Scholarly inquiry/discourse is where we find things like blogs, wikis, open notebooks, etc and that is in the middle of the continuum. Scholars and scientists are increasingly making use of these things in their research. It is not clear who should steward this part of the record – very unstable, who is responsible for this sector?
To Stand The Test of Time (2006 report – available on the web) – need for close linking between digital data archives, scholarly publications and associated communication. Research libraries can address these linkages.
– Stewardship models (there are tons if you Google it)
– Actors/stakeholders – experts, users, archives, data centers, libraries, developers, preservationists, institutions, professional societies
Migration from print to digital environment has disrupted the practices and responsibilities we have traditionally performed. What should be stewarded and who ultimately has the responsibility for it?
– We need to have a more expansive view on what constitutes the scholarly record, who the various stakeholders are, and the scope of the infrastructure needed to manage the record – more distributed, interoperate, and in need of much broader attention.
– Stop talking about it and do it  – success grows from success – curation is more than storage
– There is a big need for library school graduates with data archiving/data curation instruction – LIS schools should be paying attention to this

Executives’ Roundtable

Moderator T. Scott Plutchak (Director, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham); Youngsuk (YS) Chi (Vice-Chairman and CEO Elsevier, Science & Technology); Kent Anderson (CEO/Publisher, The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, Inc.)

Question 1: What is the role of publishers with this supplemental data?

  • Chi – Publishers are challenged… they don’t quite know how far to take it. We are for adding as much supplemental data as possible but we’re not sure we’re the ones to draw the line on how much. Depending on discipline, there are places that are willing to put priority on data. It can’t be rolled out full-scale but brewed from bottom-up.
  • Anderson – You can’t give data a free pass. We get sporadic data sets with various structures and don’t have skill sin house to edit or store it. We don’t do data well, so it’s hard for us to stand behind it and do it well. Taking it on to articles seems like a fairly weak approach – we need to fish or cut bait on this. We’re good at mishandling data – we need to become better.
  • Plutchak – What is the article and what is supplemental is becoming very fuzzy. How does this relate to the trust process? We trust the published literature because it has gone through a process of verification. If publications are saying they don’t have the resources to put that process into place, what happens? Does it become an institutional responsibility to state that the data is solid?

Question 2: Why haven’t digital technologies impacted scholarly communication/publishing?

  • Plutchak – Culturally entrenched values have not transferred.
  • Anderson – We play fast and loose with “disruptive” – How do we get there? Who are the players?
  • Chi – For us to really have a major disruption, there needs to be a disruption in the authoring tool. We’re still based in Microsoft Word. We haven’t integrated fully yet in terms of authoring. We need a revolution there before it trickles up. In academe, how you assess the impact of researchers’ work impacts the fruitfulness of this disruption (tenure/promotion). Numeric evidence cannot drive the decision.

(Anderson)
– Look up The Scholarly Kitchen & his self published books
– Staffing needs: Looking for staffers for whom technology is a second nature. Personality, tech background, broad expertise in humanities. Understands the soft pieces.
– Do you want traffic or do you want revenue? Publishers need to get better at not publishing, but finding ways to provide value.

(Chi)
– Staffing needs: Looking for people who know the true editorial/curatorial work required to ensure quality for our organization. Domain expertise. People who will stay for a while. People who LOVE technology and know how to deal with it. Not technologists, but people who aren’t afraid to use it. That combination is extremely hard to come by when competing with software companies (salary, stock options, etc). Our future is in how we use and reuse primary content accurately and quickly. People who can do domain specific vertical solutions.
– Traditional will not be abandoned, but we need to provide what users want. They want a way to swim through too much information. Need tools. Developing countries have a huge need for more access to information.
– Content should not be dead, but alive.
– Cloud will inevitably play a much bigger role but it’s a technology question, not a business question. When do we hand it over to someone else?  In the next 5 years, it’s going to go from mass transaction to micro-transaction.
– Institutions need to back their university presses – should not have to self-fund. They are conveyors of scholarly knowledge.

(Plutchak)
– Line between book & article is blurry – everything is sort of a serial.
– Staffing needs: People who can help change the organization.

When Rubber Meets the Road: Rethinking Your Library Collections

Roger Schonfeld & Sue Woodson

(Schonfeld – Research Manager, Ithaka S+R)
– Sustainability of digital resources, The role of the library, Practices and attitudes in scholarly communication, teaching and learning with technology, Scholarly publishing
What Users Want (2009 faculty survey) showed:
– Support for canceling local print subscriptions in favor of online-only access has grown steadily with the exception of a few disciplines (art history, etc)
– Faculty are increasingly enthusiastic about this change in access format
– E-books are still seen as less useful than e-journals
– Not many faculty think that e-books will replace physical items
– Libraries must take a more vital role in the lives of their users, more than just managing subscriptions
– Is there a trade off between reducing print collections investment and maintaining shared values?
– Achieving consensus on shared values – not always well-specified, visions can differ tremendously – a research-based, scientifically driven model can help
– UK Research Reserve – 1-3 print copies in the UK
– U of California – shared print archive – 1 copy validated in the UC system
– Ithaka S+R’s approach – risk-informed, research-based, science-driven
What to Withdraw paper details all of this
– Modeling sustainable trust networks for collaboration
– Some libraries have created regional print repositories for space-saving or last-copy retention – if we can share information about these activities and take it into context, an individual library can determine whether or not to withdraw items
– How do we pay for this decentralized model? Is print preservation as a long-term incentive enough?
– Ithaka proof of concept project – focuses on JSTOR-digitized journal titles, freely available online, permits libraries to assess what can be withdrawn without preservation risk
- fdlpmodeling.net (look up)

(Woodson – Associate Director of Digital Collection Services, Welch Medical Library, Johns Hopkins Medicine)
– Goal of the library was to shrink print holdings by 80% by 2012 leaving them with about 83k volumes in the building
– Wanted to improve service to our community – all collections online, serviced embedded in departments, excellent discovery tools
- The library is not the building – take the library to the patron
– Gate count decreasing because they are in surgery, in class, not coming to the building – not centrally located, dated facility
– Building designed to hold 12 staff, will be up to 60 staff by 2012
– On staffing – jobs going away: cataloging and acquisitions, shelving, in-person reference, security guards
– New jobs – off-hours phone reference, aiding systematic reviews, publicity (YAY!)
- We collect for today. If we don’t have it, buy it or ILL it. If our users no longer use it, we don’t want it.
– SE/A – Print retention task force recommendations
– What becomes of print when it is no longer valuable to Medicine? Will it be valuable to other people? What other communities?
– Welch Medical Library…Wherever you are
– Informationists model – have 10 now, moving to 12 by 2012. Evaluated in part by collaboration – co-authoring publications, grant proposals

Publishing in the post-Web World: Some organizations think outside the box. Can we?

John Sack (Associate Publisher and Director, HighWire Press, Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources)

- Based on user-research they have been doing
- Everyone loves the box – we understand it, our systems work with it, business models revolve around it but it hasn’t changed in 15 years
– Apple – computer box, Google – search box, Amazon – books box (they have all moved beyond their initial boxes) Looked at their core competencies and located where that intersected with their users
– Library – stacks box, Web – browser box, Mobile – phone box, Cable – TV box, News – paper box (most of these are moving beyond their boxes)
– What readers want is information. We give them a container. Difference between an article and the information in the article that the user wants – this is how we can move out of the box.
Wired article – “The Web is dead.”  – more and more of the users time is not working with the web, but with other things. Time and attention is shifting away from the box.
– Innovations in scholarly publications – make it more fitting for the task users are trying to accomplish
– Mobile fits well. Small devices, fast to use, no booting up, bite-sized task accomplishment
– Do articles, issues, journals, books fit well?
– Have interviewed 25 Stanford researchers (not students) Age and gender demographics pretty evenly split
– Communication and devices – laptops predominate (they are already mobile), smartphones (3 in 8 – 37% are using them & all were iPhones), Skype
– Discovery tools – PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Google (“I use Google to vacuum around the edges of the carpet”). No one mentioned publisher portals or library catalogs (1 person). People are searching Amazon and Google Books for discovery of books. Books used to “unfamiliar topics” and articles used for “keeping up.”
– Keeping current (macro) – more automated (alerts); “reading” journals (emailed TOC, not the physical journal); liked annotated TOC; gossip (recommendations by colleagues); missed thematic connections online (special issues); RSS feeds (but sometimes subscribe and never look); timing influences reading habits (Sunday mornings are best); using Facebook (self forming groups to keep in touch); missed discovery, browsing, serendipity; love/hate relationship with technology (print at home = leisure/computer = work); very low use of social networking like blogging
– “I don’t read journals, I read articles.”
– “I don’t read books, I use them.” – indexes, remixing
– Reading (micro) – not reading as narrative anymore; reading more things but fewer things intensively; the first thing they do is check to see if they’re cited (haha); print PDFs to read them & store them on their laptop for reference; skimmer touch points = abstract, figures, figure caption, introduction, conclusion, subheadings; “key points” summary is desirable
– New media is important – podcasts in the car/commuting
– HTML is marginalized – looks cheap, no visual cues, can’t be saved, doesn’t seem like a real paper
-Keeping track of reading – collections of PDFs; folders on laptops; not a good way to annotate/take notes; want flexibility to access anywhere
– Recommendations – play well with others (interoperable tools); search and send (people use email, make it look good); open (to annotation tools, to data mining for extraction – not proprietary!! people just don’t care about those); integrate (other types of content that doesn’t fit into the “article” container – PPT); experiment (in skimming, visual abstracts); mobilize (don’t wait, start now to get feedback)
– Librarians are using COUNTER stats for full text downloads but if users aren’t using articles in that way (more skimming, etc), how can we actually gauge use?

Changes in Print Paper During the 19th Century

AJ Valente (Author)
– conservators are faced with a number of challenges in identifying papers from the 19th century
– To know your papers is to love them
– 1st papermill in the US was the Rittenhouse Mill near Philly (initially underwritten by a publisher in Philly) By 1755 they were using water power.
– 1696 – poem about the Rittenhouse Mill
– 19th century was the century of change from linen paper to wood pulp
– Librarians/archivists/conservators need to know about this shift because dating a piece of paper is critical for preservation
– 19th century – rag paper, manilla paper, straw paper & wood pulp
– Experimental papers – India paper
– 2 types in beginning of 19th century – Writing paper and printing paper (pasteboard for boards for books)
– Making pulp by hand took a whole day to make enough for a half a ream of paper, they needed industrialization to speed things up
– How do we identify if a mill was industrialized? Presence of water wheel.
– Rag engine/beater – invented in Holland as an alternative to mechanical stampers – powered by windmills – “the Hollander”
– Some American mills installed the Hollander
– How did they get the rags? They had a collector who went around, people were paid by the mill for their old rags. Sometimes merchants had rag bins where people could drop them off and get a certain amount taken off their bill (18th century).
– As we had more mills, there was more competition and rag warehouses developed (19th century)
– Documented communications between textile mills and paper mills – didn’t generate for them but gave them scraps (through established personal relationships)
– Rags were an important added source of family income
– Fine clothing was made from linen – grown locally, made from flax – most people owned 2 sets of clothes (every day and special occasions)
– Cotton fabrics came into play at a lower cost – average person could afford more outfits, particularly in coastal towns
– Rag collectors began to separate their piles
– Wove mold – for book paper because quatro folio was easier to letterpress print on than chain mold
– Customer would specify what they wanted from the mills and even provide their own molds with watermarks on them
– “high rag paper” = 99% rags
– “linen-cotton composite” – linen and cotton
– Paper machine invented in France, re-engineered in England – “moving wire machine”
– Competing machine “cylinder wire machine” w/fewer moving parts (vacuum)
– US was not allowed to have this machine imported in because they were an ex-colony
– Brandywine Mill – 1,000 ft long roll of paper, machine was patented
– By 1830 there were 60 paper machines in operation in the US
– Paper was the preferred form of communication in those days, so people were picky about the quality of writing paper.
– It was more difficult for mills to create this fine paper, so they focused on book paper
– Machines increased speed and volume of paper production – it was also cheaper
– Huge industry in recycled paper – lots of early documentation (particularly govt) was lost
– 1827 – Meadville PA  farmer tried making pulp with straw @ Shyrock Mill
– Imperial – large sized paper used for newspaper
– 1830′s – Rags were scarce because number of machines doubled
– Invention of manilla paper – panic of 1837 – put manilla rope, hemp sails, bale rope into the beater. Beating time increased but it worked. High tinsel but couldn’t be bleached white.
– Late 1850′s = decline of handmade paper
– How did they bleach rags/paper? Bleach boiler
– Paper mills were fairly environmentally neutral in those days (until chlorine processes were introduced)

“I Hear the Train A Comin’ – LIVE” session

Greg Tananbaum & Joseph J. Esposito

(Tananbaum – CEO, Scholarnext)
– Writes a regular column for Against the Grain
– Questions below posed to a roundtable of experts in the field of scholarly communication
(1) What is the single biggest game changer that will alter scholarly communication in the next 3-5 years?
– Technology-driven reinvention – Storage and bandwidth; Mobile devices (how, where and when, publishers loosening control over traditional distribution methods); Semantic web/data mining (new ways to assess content quality)
– Economics-driven reinvention – Proliferation of market data makes change less intimidating (theoretical and practical data for them to draw on that could impact business practices. Move away from traditional business models towards things like open access and collaboration with libraries)
(2) What is the most over-discussed scholarly communication issue and why?
– Open Access – Trending downward; Practicality vs. ideology (ideology often overshadows practicality)
– Library-press collaborations (disproportionate to actual results)
– “Death of print” (reduces to tabloid headline form instead of explaining how the digital environment can expand access to scholarship)
– Better scholarly communication tools (always room for improvement, but we have a ton of tools already)
(3) Is there still a scholarly communication crisis? If so, what is it?
– Challenge vs. crisis – Libraries (information overabundance – how does the library balance traditional with emerging resources?); Publishers (adapting to change)
(4) Does traditional scholarly publishing still matter?
– Yes, but what is “traditional”?
– Form vs. function (these functions impact research funding, tenure and promotion, etc.)
(5) In one word, how would you describe the future of scholarly communication?
– Dynamic, multi-faceted, torrent, networking, exciting, flux, reinvention, necessary, different, vital, experimental

(Esposito – CEO, GiantChair)
– We’ll eventually see 2 competing forms of publishing: supply-side and demand-side
– Punctuated equilibrium – Stephen Jay Gould – period of abrupt change, followed by a period of relative stability – and then another disruption
– Look beyond the disruptive – i.e. growth of personal computer, now we have another asteroid (Google cloud computing, mobile)
– Trendspotting 1: Funding – budget pressure, authors looking elsewhere for publishing venues because of dropping readership
– Trendspotting 2: Library Bypass – Publishers seeking growth in new territories, at directed individuals, government entities
– Trendspotting 3: Supply-side Publishing – Author pays model (you pay to get published – not vanity), growth of research and requirement to publish is creating a strain because traditional options are decreasing but research is increasing.
– Trendspotting 4: Direct Marketing – selling directly to end-users bypassing bookstores & libraries, privacy issues loom because you need to create and manage customer database
– Trendspotting 5: Proprietary Systems – Copyright concerns. It’s inevitable because an ecology requires that someone profit from it.
– Supply-side Publishing – Evolution of open access; post-publication peer review (authors post, review takes place via commentary)
– Demand-side Publishing – user pay, migrating towards direct marketing, emphasis on collecting customer data.
– D2C (direct to consumer) – Netflix
- “monopolizing attention” – I paid for it, so I might as well use it. You stop doing other things and focus on what you paid for.

Creating a Trillion-Field Catalog: Metadata in Google Books

Jon Orwant (Engineering Manager, Google Books)

- How and why Google scans books
– In the business of answering your questions (which could take place on the web)
– Publishers want people to find their books online (not necessarily read) – they send books to Google & they are scanned
– Libraries don’t want you to slice their book spines off, which makes scanning more difficult/costly
– Stereo-scanning = as little damage as possible (about same as a person reading it)
– About 20% of the world’s books are in the public domain
– Use “snippet view” for books under copyright (you can search for the phrase and Google will tell you where/when it appears and then use Worldcat to find the book in your library)
– Google book scanning workflow = scan, image process (clean up dirt), optical character recognition (OCR), tag, metadata, rank, index
- What happens to written marginalia? They make nuanced decisions. (interesting – implications for historical research – talk about this in class)
– Statistics: 15 million books scanned; 4 billion pages; 2 trillion words; working with over 40 libraries and 30 thousand publishers
- Metadata
– They collect metadata from over 100 sources, parse the records into internal format, cluster the records into expressions and manifestations, create a “best of” record for each cluster and index and display elements of that record on books.google.com.
- Google has a real estate unit just to purchase server farms
– Multivolume works are hard because there is little uniformity, the information is in a variety of different fields.
– The world needs a better way to identify boundwidths
– Some fields don’t matter to them (paperback, acid-free, etc)
- ISBN 7533305353 is shared by 1413 books (what the… look this up)
– Developing an author database
- Have scanned books in 483 languages – 3 in Klingon (haha)
– Cover generation – algorithm for beautiful images, then created a composite cover generation with the author and title
– Structure – annotated flaps, magazine fold-outs – try to maintain the original intent of that author
- From pages to ideas
– Google maps/books mashup – identify place names referred to in the book, then map it
– Linguistic analysis – evolve over time and across genres – look at grammar books to identify trends – data mine common usage
– Trove of data – need to expose to researchers
– Insights into human progress – word lists “trigrams” – can indicate new/old books & cultural trends
– Digital Humanities Awards (Google has data, loves to work with it, but doesn’t know what to ask/use it for, so they accept research proposals to fund)
– Cohen & Gibbs, GMU – Reframing the Victorians (Plot the instance of words of interest to scholars of the victorian era over time)
– Efron, University of Illinois – Intralanguage translations (Training corpus to translate between different years of a language)
– They’re doing a lot of data visualization (for researchers, for libraries they’re partnering with)
– Q: Do you have an API that publishers can access? Not really for data mining – Google never announces upcoming products but stay tuned ::wink:: We want APIs and we will be exposing a database like layer on top of this data.
– Q: How does Google pay for all of this? Advertising. They share some revenues with publishers when they donate books for scanning.
– Q: How do you identify languages and is it possible for end-users to search by language in Google Books? It’s possible on the advanced search feature to narrow by 60 languages. We identify through metadata & language-based OCR boxes.

Written by Erin Dorney

November 5, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Charleston Conference (W/Th)

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I’m in South Carolina for the 30th Annual Charleston Conference. Check out the Twitter hashtag (#chsconf10) and I’ll also be posting session notes here over the next few days (it will probably get annoying… sorry!). I have italicized the ideas/quotes I find most intriguing.

Wednesday

  • I arrived, checked into my hotel, registered for the conference and met up with some of the CREDO Reference crew for their dine-out at The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene. I had sweet tea, grilled shrimp, red rice, a fried hominy square, key lime pie, and fried oysters (my first time trying oysters, delicious!). The food was great & many thanks to CREDO for inviting me along!

Thursday session notes

Let Them Eat… Everything: Embracing a Patron-Driven Future

Rick Anderson (Associate Director for Scholarly Resources & Collections, University of Utah)

- With scholarly communication, we need to move from insane to more sane – profession suffering from Stockholm Syndrome
– Less sane = ILL (failure to buy the right collections, not failure of the service), big deals including subscriptions & approval plans, reference/bibliographic instruction (not scalable – 20 ref librarians trying to educate 34,000 students?) cataloging (redundant – one pretty good record is good enough!), print run (unsustainable, nonsensical)
– Problem is not that these practices are old, it’s that they don’t make sense
– More sane = article purchase (better pricing model), Wikipedia (model of information creation & distribution – hive mind – returns manageable & reliable, authoritative results), ease of use, patron-driven acquisitions, print-on-demand (buying/printing only what is wanted)
-Definition of libraries through the 19th century (OED/Merriam-Webster) – building, room, set of books, place, literary materials, kept for use
– Definition from Wikipedia – collection of sources and services, structure in which resources are housed
– Definition of a library is getting fuzzier but still thought of as a physical place filled with a collection.
– Introduction of the Internet – scholarship accessed online (radical change)
– Now… library walls are very fuzzy – more postmodern definition
– Game changers for next 5 years – continued budget declines, Google Books (discoverability & availability – unrestricted), Hathi Trust (robust, trustworthy archiving with effective metadata), patron-driven (ebooks, articles, print-on-demand)
– U of Utah has an Espresso Book Machine – physical processes work.
– Surprises: demand for POD, demand for blank books w/images from their digital collections (survey incentive, now they sell them!), opportunities for commercial publishing.
– Plans for the future: U of Utah Press backlist, making unique digital collections available (pioneer diaries), on demand book content into their catalog.
– Why are we still building collections anyway? We’re going to see a more distinguished line between regular and special collections (physical curation); budget management; not everything can be purchased immediately.
- The unattainable ideal: every book, article, data-set ever published easily & immediately findable at the point of need
– What can we do in the meantime? Share, expose & purchase what the patron wants, by-the-drink purchasing for journal articles

A Consortium for Sharing Primary Materials

Joseph J. Esposito (CEO, GiantChair)

- Create consortium of academic institutions to digitize and share important collections with other members
– Start w/ 5 founding institutions, each digitize a particular collection & commit to ongoing maintenance, invest money for management… benefit = access to other members’ collections.
– Benefits: eliminates free-rider problem (insist that people step up), leverage (one investment yields many), cost is steady while value continues to grow, unlikely to be de-funded because of scalability and value
– Problems/goals: intellectual property, does collection have the proper scope/is it sufficiently comprehensive, project management, protecting materials, vendor relationships (many more).
– Biggest is how we’re going to pay for this:
– Research & planning costs (one-time), do a feasibility study,
– Start up costs (one-time), hosting firm, digitization, management team
– Maintenance (ongoing), hosting fees, curation fees, MARKETING (“demand creation”)
– Enhancement costs, new features, technologies, business developments (international v. US), retrospective redigitization
- “Sometimes thinking big gets in the way of starting small”
– Objections: how do you deal with unaffiliated scholars? What about institutions who want access for teaching but can’t afford to curate? (subscription basis) Why restrict access at all? (great idea but back to free-rider problem)
- “We talk sufficiently about benefits of being a community. We talk insufficiently about the responsibility of being a community”
– Why primary documents? Potentially fewer IP issues, public domain books already being covered, not likely to be comprehensively covered by commercial sector & you have to start somewhere
– Small, strong management team to implement these things – not via board
– What would we call this new service/product?

Who Do We Trust? The Meaning of Brand in Scholarly Publishing and Academic Librarianship

Moderator Anthony Watkinson (Senior Lecturer, Department of Information Studies, University College London); Kent Anderson; Dean Smith; Hazel Woodward & Allen Renear

(Anderson – CEO/Publisher, The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery)
-Is trust a binary thing? No, there are shades of gray
- Relationship of trust between authors, sponsors, peer reviewers, editors, journalists, policy makers, brand, & process
- Public access to research has been confusing, troublesome, edifying – they are creating their own “trust markets” in Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- “Doubt is the father of innovation” – Galileo

(Smith - Director, Project MUSE)
- Print-only, print/digital, and digital all have different characteristics and relationship dynamics
- Students want to share things across their own communities and develop authority amongst peers by consistent posting

(Woodward – University Librarian Cranfield University UK)
- Academics, students and brand trust
- Researchers of Tomorrow study – UK (look up) looking at doctoral students and how they undertake research. One thing is that supervisors exert a powerful influence over the students’ research process.
- They are comfortable with technology but they don’t equate ease of access with quality of resource
- We’re the purchasers but not necessarily the consumers – we need to make it easy to find, access, use
- A.J. Pickard “Users’ trust in information resources in the web environment” JISC (look up)
- Publishers and brand trust – much of current credibility is rooted in offline presence, need to retain that as they transition to online only
- “Trust: the smallest word that makes the biggest difference”

(RenearAssociate Dean for Research and Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
– Researcher perspective – importance/nature of trust varies by discipline
– What is trust, really? The property X confers trustworthiness with respect to Y=df
– Importance of trust in the traditional sense is something that may be exaggerated at least for some fields or tasks
– Low motivation – funding, career advancement (trying to find something that’s worth our time)
- Trend away from searching for and then finding a relevant trustworthy article to read, towards text mining, strategic reading (without sustained sequential reading of the narrative text)
– “the search trance” sub-cognitive, video-game like

Charleston Conference Observatory: Are Social Media Impacting on Research?

David Nicholas; Ian Rowlands & Deanna Wamae

(Nicholas - Director of the Department of Information Studies, UCL Centre for Publishing and CIBER Research Group)
– Did a study on understanding how social media impacts the research workflow
– Used online surveys and follow-up focus groups
– 4,012 people surveyed from 215 countries
– They will be producing a published report

(Rowlands – Professor of Information Studies,  University College London)
– There is a gap between awareness and use
– 85% of respondents are using at least one social media tool for research
– Most popular tools are well known, generic & free (Skype, Wikipedia, Google Docs, Twitter, You Tube, Doodle)
– How useful is social media in the context of the research cycle? It is valuable in all stages except for analyzing research data
– Needs: simple tools to support analysis of research data and easier way to identify grants
– Perceived benefits: communicate internationally, increase speed of disemmination, connect with people outside of academe
– Social media drivers: personal initiative/curiosity/experimentation, technology, need for speed
– Differences by age group? No clear ‘digital native’ effect – very complex. Highest age group using social networks for research is the 46-55 range
– What do researchers want to see from publishers? Content readable on all platforms, links to the data behind the published articles, greater use of multimedia
– What do researchers want from libraries? Index full text library holdings, socially tag library catalogs

(Wamae - Senior Vice President of the Americas, Emerald Group Publishing Inc.)
– Consumption of content is still over static technology (vs mobile)
– Blogs, social networking & microblogging are growing in preference among the research community in terms of dissemination
- The tools that are being used are designed for mass consumption (not academics) and are being adopted from personal spaces
– Social media use seems to be focused on the beginning and end of the research cycle

Library Connections: A Non-Linear Approach to Planning, Marketing and Creating the Positive User Experience

Leah Dunn (Guilford College)

- Perception study showed a gap between employee and student satisfaction rates bu 87% of students still said the library is important to them… why?
– Find out what students are interested in (NOT library related) – fair trade coffee, study abroad, socializing. Then figure out how the library can be a part of that

Remainder of the session was a discussion where everyone talked about ideas for marketing/outreach:
– Most faculty list the writing center as a resource on their syllabi -  how can we get the library listed there?
– Ask for student feedback on policies (i.e. cell phone usage in the building) – make them a part of it
- Hand out valentine’s day cards to students “you library loves you!”
- Have your marching band walk through the building playing – beneficial for both organizations
- Look at faculty or student paper citations, see who used library resources, use that in marketing

EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) vs. Serials Solutions Summon Faceoff

Moderator George Machovec (The Charleston Advisor); Tim Bucknall (UNC Greensboro); Jane Burke (Senior VP for Strategic Initiatives, ProQuest); Mike Buschman (Senior Product Manager, Summon); Sam Brooks (Senior Vice President, EBSCO); and Michael Gorrell (Senior Vice President, EBSCO)

Question 1: Why do libraries need discovery tools?

  • Summon – Are you facing decreased collection budgets? Ar you trying to revamp your library brand? It has been challenging, interesting, thought-provoking initiative to bring Summon to the market. Last year David Lankes quoted the library mission to be “improve society by facilitating knowledge creation in our communities.” We believe that Summon is an essential element of that mission statement. Faculty know the information is at the library, but it’s so difficult to find, they turn to the open web.
  • EBSCO – Due to the success of Google and increased user expectations, vendors need to help libraries compete. There are 3 historic options for information discovery: library catalog, federated search, individual subject indexes. None are ideal. A single search box will help libraries compete.

Question 2: What are 3 primary reasons a library should choose their discovery tool

  • EBSCO – Superior depth of coverage, superior breadth of coverage. Ask 3 questions when considering a discovery service: What is the true number of un-duplicated journals covered? What metadata is being searched? ::shit, I missed the third one:: Which subject indexes are included? EDS has widgets, skin-ability, search history, comprehensive faceting, and more. Take a full trial of each of our services and let student, faculty test. A service w/ subject indexing will produce more relevant results.
  • Summon – We created something Google-like: simple, easy & fast. Good user interface. No authentication needed (you don’t need to log into Google to start, right?). Delivers results in a single index very quickly with no stragglers. It meets today’s end user expectations. UNECO compliant. Not as important to get to the record level. Summon has a recommender to facilitate discovery. Built with open source and built to scale. Announced 2 years ago at ALA Midwinter – now it’s being used in libraries. Proven value. Configurable & customizable – stand alone or nestled in. Summon can become the library’s digital front door. We offer coverage analysis reports to all customers/potential customers & have a list on our website.

- Live portion where Summon and EDS did test searching on large screens.
– Summon – Persistent URLS that keep your exact search (facets and all) – cool! AZ State, Dartmouth College used as live examples, can include institutional repositories, institutions have used the Summon API to build/skin their own.
– EDS – James Madison University Libraries, University of Georgia used for live example, can’t access anything as a guest – need to authenticate, customizable, can choose different default search screen. Federated searching on EDS is optional. “Publisher bias” – any system will have biased based on the metadata that’s available.

The Tower and the Open Web–the Role of Reference

John Dove; Phoebe Ayers; Casper Grathwohl; Jason B. Phillips & Michael Sweet

(Dove – President, Credo Reference)
– How can publishers and aggregators collaborate with open web players to the benefit of libraries?
– What is reference? Must encompass librarians, desks, books, rooms, interviews, etc.
– Reference is an intermediary between a person and a body of knowledge
– Google mindset is that there should be no intermediary between an individual and information
– What about information overload in the context of the student body/higher education? Filter failure.
– Is institutionally-sponsored reference dead?
– Google’s intermediary =context sensitive results  (how can libraries do this?)
– If you could control the open web life of your students, what would it look like? Where are the places where students get stuck? Leading response is that students don’t have the vocab to even do a search in the resources we’re providing.
– The user has moved. We need to be right beneath their noses.

(Grathwohl - Vice President and Online and Reference Publisher, Oxford University Press)
– Knowledge delivery systems have layers of authority in which movement is fluid
– How do students use Wikipedia for research? 82% to obtain a summary (First Monday report by Head & Eisenberg) We need to give them more credit!
– Wikipedia is a way that faculty can reach beyond the boundaries of their discipline

(Ayers – Wikimedia Foundation / University of California at Davis)
– 1st librarian elected to the Wikimedia board
– Wikimedia’s vision – every single human can contribute to the sum of all knowledge
– “community curated work”
– Take their librarian survey! http://survey.wikimedia.org/index.php?sid=16818&lang=en

(Phillips - Librarian for Sociology, Psychology, Gender and Sexuality Studies and American Studies, New York University)
-Planning an empirical study to interview NYU undergrads – their familiarity with different types of reference resources, correlate the ability to identify social and cultural arguments with coursework trajectory, information seeking behavior and/or library contact.

(Sweet – CEO, Credo Reference)
– We need more than a faithful reproduction of a printed text for online reference (LJ October 15, 2010)
– Discovery – visibility for your library – search engines, news sites, mobile, Facebook, etc.
– Context – overview, summary, vocab from MULTIPLE perspectives
– Connection – seamless integration
– Innovate – smart use of technology, where are the users?
– Information landscape 5 years from today? Online reference can bridge users from the open web to the library world

Written by Erin Dorney

November 4, 2010 at 9:31 PM

Welcome, PaLA-ers

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Hello readers-

If you are a regular follower, thank you for your continued support of my blog! I am participating in a blogging (def just wrote ‘blobbing’) panel at the 2010 Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) Annual Conference today, so there may be some newcomers checking out Library Scenester for the first time.

If you’re here from PaLA , hello and welcome. Maybe you’d like to know more about me? Or maybe you’d like to read my most popular posts to date:

Regardless of whether you’re new to my blog or have been reading for a while now, here is my portion of our panel. Perhaps some of you are reading this while sitting in our session? Oh, the joys of technology!

(sparse speaker notes are included if you click-through to Slideshare, but I will probably be doing an overview in a different blog post)

Please take a moment to visit the blogs of my amazing co-presenters:

Do you have comments about the session today? What are your thoughts on the benefits of blogging to build your online identity? Do you think about online reputation management and your virtual brand? Please share in the comments below!

Written by Erin Dorney

October 27, 2010 at 8:02 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

LRSV – Friday

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Library Research Seminar V – Friday, October 8th, 2010

From Virus to Bait: Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Their Readers in Library Science Professional Literature (2000-2004) Lucia Cedeira Serantes, Doctoral student, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario (PDF abstract)

Serantes is investigating the attitudes of librarians towards comic books and their readers. Historically, comic books have been attacked, but now librarians are using graphic novels to attract youth. We seem to talk about everything else (the format, reviews, how to purchase and build a collection) except the impact on readers. Comic book reading has been described as a disease/addition, with the antidote being “good” literature. Even the more positive discussion about comic book reading is based on stereotypes and confines the readers (reading comic books is better than reading nothing at all, it draws in the “lazy” reader, is a catalyst leading to other “better” types of literature, etc). Serantes asks some intriguing questions: if comic books are not literature, what are they? Even with graphic novels catching on in recent years, have our attitudes really change much since the 1940s/1950s? Are we reproducing old discourses? She calls for a change in the way we talk about graphic novels and their readers, concluding that comic books are rich, diverse, multilayered reading materials good for almost any kind of reader: reluctant, visual, avid or genre-focused.

Excursions into Post-Modern Young Adult Librarianship Anthony Bernier, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science, San José State University (PDF abstract)

Bernier is using critical social theory to look at the 19th century origins of five cultural assumptions of youthmetrics: middle class hegemony; chronologically-defined behaviors; exclusively future-oriented; socially homogeneous; and pathology-driven. He states that “Youth is defined by prohibitions,” including restrictions on information and calls for LIS to develop its own vision of youth.

What Do Graphic Novels Tell Young Adults about Disabilities? Robin Moeller, Visiting Assistant Professor; and Marilyn Irwin, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University, Indianapolis (PDF abstract)

Moeller and Irwin are studying graphic novels for a content analysis of characters with disabilities. They have looked at a sample from one of the YALSA best-of lists and are currently investigating graphic novels off the New York Times bestsellers list. Initial analysis has found that most female characters with disabilities are portrayed as “pitiable” and most male characters with disabilities are portrayed as “evil.” Almost all portrayals are negative and there are many missed opportunities to show accurate representations of characters with disabilities (i.e. school lunchroom/class scenes where there is no one with crutches, a wheelchair, etc). In their ongoing study of the graphic novels from the NYT list, the researchers are finding many more instances of characters with disabilities and that many of the disabilities have been caused by violent acts. Negative stereotypes abound – what implication does this kind of representation have for our collections/students reading these materials?

Political Ideologies in Public Libraries: An Effective Approach to Spread Propaganda? Raymond Pun, Periodicals Librarian, New York Public Library (PDF abstract)

Pun is studying the impact of public libraries on the spread of propaganda in Nazi Germany and Communist China. He found that there was an impact on collection development, including the removal of Jewish-related/Classical/Western works, “volkish” books written by Nazis, and lots of children’s literature due to concerns for future citizens and leadership in these regimes. Public libraries also played a role in changes in classification schemes, including the addition of sections for Marxism, Leninism and Maoism along with the reclassification of materials for inclusion in the open stacks (a method of controlling what people were reading). The last category was impact relating to the use of library space, with Pun finding that there were many propaganda-filled exhibitions, storytimes for adults and children, and politically-oriented reading rooms. Librarians were forced to “cleanse” their collections or face the consequences. However, some secretly circulated banned books and organized underground reading groups. This “collection cleansing” also resulted in a booming black market.

The Axiologies of the Anti-Collection: Preliminary Explorations Betsy Van der Veer Martens, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Oklahoma (PDF abstract)

Martens is a fellow Syracuse University alum! She discussed the convergence of the LAMs (libraries, archives, and museums) and how they are merging together in our new, flat world within the digital environment. What is out there in the anti-collection, and what should LAMs be bringing in to the core collections? If digital collections are boundary objects, can we distinguish between the value systems of the core and anti-collections? LAM associations have articulated value systems for the core collections – accessibility, accountability, ambiguity and autonomy. Martens identifies four arenas of the anti-collection: transformative (art, i.e. archiveofourown), transgressive (science, i.e. arXiv), transactive (social, i.e. wikileaks), and transumptive (sacred, i.e. NAGPRA). She had a great slide featuring the whole layout of the value system comparison but I couldn’t write it all down in time. I’ll try to get the presentation slides…

Alternative Libraries of Heterotopias: Challenging Conventional Constructs Marie L. Radford, Associate Professor; and Jessica Lingel, Doctoral student, Department of Library and Information Science, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University (PDF abstract)

Radford discussed Foucault’s idea of heterotopias (Des Espace Autres) and how alternative libraries are some of these counter-sites. The researchers found two types — proactive (based on socio-political activism, community spaces/services) and reactive (based on incorporating technology, the digital divide & web 2.0). Lingel talked about five examples of these alternative libraries as heterotopias: the reanimation library (reclaimed library books for artists & writers), the Public Library of American Public Library Deaccession (a metacollection/art installation on deaccessioned books), the Prelinger Library (encouraging serendipitous discovery), LibraryThing (as a reactive example), and Cabinet National Library. All of these projects were all new to me, with the exception of LibraryThing! The researchers credit these types of alternative library heterotopias to the current crisis of confidence in libraries as institutions and librarianship as a profession.

Kindling Interest in New Technologies: Graduate Education Students Experience E-books Dolores Fidishun, Head Librarian; and Ronald R. Musoleno, Senior Lecturer, College of Education; Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies (PDF abstract)

This librarian-lecturer team used Kindles in an educational leadership class. The class was 50% online and Kindles were rotated amongst the students. The professor switched to a textbook that was downloadable and the library PDF-ed all the course readings. There were also specific task-oriented activities for the students to learn about Kindle functionality. Impressions and feedback were extremely positive – students appreciated the convenience, felt “special” to be in the study, and saw potential for using such technology in the future. None of the students had used or owned a Kindle before the course. They also like the shared experience in the classroom (being able to talk to their peers about the Kindles) which contributed to a collaborative learning environment.

Written by Erin Dorney

October 13, 2010 at 4:13 AM

LRSV – Thursday

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Library Research Seminar V – Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Is There Counsel in those Curtains? Research Agendas for the Times David B. Gracy II, Governor Bill Daniel Professor in Archival Enterprise, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin

Gracy made three recommendations for modern research agendas: incorporate historical investigation/analysis; look at the institution of the library and it’s contributions in and to society; and express the relationship through time of libraries and other information organizations. He also encouraged researchers to engage readers outside of our professional community, as this will position us as authorities. An interesting quote on public sentiment – “Libraries are essential! Just not now, at this cost.” This seems to be what our government/communities are saying in relation to the funding crisis.

Using Skype as a Research Tool: Lessons Learned from Qualitative Interviews with Distance Students in a Teacher-Librarianship Program Lisa M. Given, Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta (PDF abstract)

Given mentioned that Skype is being used in a number of ways, including for patient care as a medical diagnostic tool (cool!). She (from Canada) and a student (From New Zealand) used Skype to interview distance-learning students about their information seeking habits. Students had the options of video/chat/telephone for the interviews. With video, students could show their bookshelves, study space and other physical items and the researchers could probe for further information. With chat, students could copy and paste examples of digital study habits (other chat convos between students, websites they frequented, etc). Givens mentioned that this study worked well with people who were already communicating online because there was less of a learning curve. The researchers recommended using PrettyMay with Skype to record computer-computer/computer-telephone interviews. The study is currently being shopped for publication (it will be worth reading, believe me).

Librarians in the Digital Age: Impact of Internet Adoption on Search Habits Jenny Emanuel, Digital Services and Reference Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (PDF abstract)

Emanuel is doing a study of digital native librarians compared to librarians who first got online after receiving their MLS degree to identify differences in internet-aided information seeking behavior. She is using ethnographic observations; structured, task-based comparative activities; and a millennial librarian survey. She has found similar traits between digital native librarians and undergraduates. Preliminary analysis shows: digital native librarians scan (often overlooking important information and returning to it), talk through the process of finding information, open several tabs/search several sites at once, usually try Google first (particularly for quick tasks like finding a phone number), and have little tolerance for ambiguity (bad search interfaces, etc). The other group of librarians (who started using the Internet post-MLS) usually went to print sources first (they seemed to know the collection very well), were slower and more methodical in their search, were more accepting of poor interfaces, went to Google as a last resource (even when the question was more “popular” they went to scholarly sources first), and they did not talk aloud as much during the search process.

Pilot Study of Informationist Mediated Search Susan Pilch, Informationist/Biomedical Librarian, National Institutes of Health Library (PDF abstract)

Pilch discussed a study of how the 16 “informationists” at the NIH Library impacted literature searches. The informationist program sounds similar to the liaison librarian programs most academic libraries have. They are embedded in clinical and research environments to provide personalized, subject specific assistance. Pilch pointed out that the informationist title is somewhat problematic because people don’t initially understand what kind of help they can provide.

Student-Centered Information Literacy Instruction Heidi Julien and Lisa M. Given, Professors, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta (PDF abstract)

This ongoing study is investigating the transition from high school to university in terms of students’ information literacy skills. The researchers noticed that there isn’t a lot of longitudinal data on the topic, so they decided to pursue it. One method they are using is “photovoice” journals where students are given digital cameras to record information literacy in the wild (reminiscent of the University of Rochester Studying Students project). Then they are holding focus groups where the students bring in selected photos as prompts for further discussion. They are also using the James Madison University Information Literacy Test.

Where All Are Welcome: Social Capital and the Public Library as a Community Meeting Place Matthew R. Griffis, Doctoral student, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario (PDF abstract)

This ongoing study is looking at the relationships between public library use in urban and rural areas and social capital (community and individual). Trust an reciprocity are emerging as key concepts. Notable – they went into the community to survey non-users. Found that urban public library use has a direct impact on social capital, serving as an “incubator” and reducing social isolation (among other findings). Once this is completed and published, this will be a go-to source for anyone working with civic engagement.

New Learning Spaces for New Learning Styles Mohan Ramaswamy, Director of Organizational Strategy, North Carolina State University Libraries (PDF abstract)

Ramaswamy talked about how user input impacted an NCSU library renovation and upcoming new building. Through a partnership, the library developed a program with the bus system, using GPS coordinates to display the location of buses on digital signage in the library. Students could see when the next bus was arriving and schedule accordingly. They also installed interior porthole windows in the building,  study room self-scheduling, and gaming stations. Found that the highest computer use times were 9 AM – 5 PM. Building open 24/5, students want 24/7. Most of their physical books will move to high density storage with robotic retrieval to optimize people space. A new library building scheduled to open in 2012 will feature a faculty commons and a graduate commons.


Written by Erin Dorney

October 8, 2010 at 7:38 PM

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