Erin Dorney

Blogging life & librarianship

Posts Tagged ‘networking

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.

– 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.

– 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.

– 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
– (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
– 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.


  • 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!

(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

Library Research Seminar V

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I was fortunate to be selected as a 2010 Junior Faculty Fellow for Library Research Seminar V: Integrating Research and Practice, being held in Maryland on October 6-9. The conference (sponsored by the Library Research Roundtable of the ALA and the Institute of Museum and Library Services) is in its fifth year, with its main goal being to facilitate the integration of library practice with research. Attendees will gain insight into a wide variety of research; interact with like-minded professionals; and forge crucial relationships that will be helpful in: professional development; setting agendas for research and scholarly activities; policy-making; decision-making and implementation of best practices.

I initially became interested in this conference after seeing the slate of previous programs from 2009, many of which covered topics relating to marketing, usability and assessment. However, I just took a glance at the schedule for 2010 and I see  that the conference committee has gathered yet another intriguing group of presenters. Some sessions I am particularly looking forward to…


– “Using Skype as a Research Tool: Lessons Learned from Qualitative Interviews with Distance Students in a Teacher-Librarianship Program” by Kristie Saumure & Lisa M. Given

– “Librarians in the Digital Age: Impact of Internet Adoption on Search Habits” by Jenny Emanuel

– “Using Institutional Ethnography to Explicate Information Work” by Jennifer Crispin

– “Barriers to free culture: An examination of public libraries’ use of the Internet Archive and Creative Commons licensed materials” by Heather Hill & Jenny Bossaller

– “Youth and Libraries: Four Studies of the Information Behaviors of Today’s Young People” panel

– “Diversity and Conflict: What is the Conversation?” by Lisa K Hussey

– “The Library as Institution: Understanding Bureaucracy and Organizational Change” by Janice Cheryl Beaver

I’ll also be moderating session on Thursday (3C) featuring “Student-Centered Information Literacy Instruction” by Heidi Julien & Lisa M. Given, “Where All Are Welcome; Social Capital and the Public Library as a Community Meeting Place” by Catherine Johnson & Matthew R. Griffis, and “New Learning Spaces for New Learning Styles” by Terry B. Hill & Mohan Ramaswamy.


“Forced Advocacy: How the Community Responds to Library Budget Cuts” by Diane L. Velasquez & Lisa K. Hussey

“The Evolving Instructional Proficiencies of the Academic Librarian: An Attitudinal Study of Academic Library Administrators’ Perceptions of Necessary Instructional Skills” by John D. Shank & Nancy H. Dewald

“Political Ideologies in Public libraries: An Effective Approach to Spread Propaganda?” by Raymond Pun

“What Do Graphic Novels Tell Young Adults About Disabilities?” by Robin Moeller & Marilyn Irwin


“Workforce Issues in Library and Information Science” panel

The conference is being hosted by the University of Maryland, College of Information Studies at the Marriott Inn and Conference Center near the University of Maryland’s campus. If you’re interested in attending, early bird registration has been extended through September 13th! There is also a student rate listed, which I am always pleased to see.

I am particularly excited to see two of my colleagues at LRSV — Alison Miller & Emily Symonds (one of my fellow Emerging Leaders alum). Are you going to be there? Have you been to any of the four previous Library Research Seminars? Any advice? Don’t forget, there’s still time to register if you want to join us in Maryland.

Written by Erin Dorney

September 7, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Tentative schedule for ALA 2010.

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CC Image courtesy of wallyg on Flickr

Well, I finally got around to putting together my tentative schedule for ALA. I was honored to be selected as a 2010 recipient of the 3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant which will help to finance my attendance. A huge thank you to both NMRT and 3M!


Leave for DC (driving) and check into hotel


9 am – 12:00 pm – ALA Unconference, 207A @ WCC

7:30 – 8:30 pm – NMRT Mentoring Social, East Overlook @ WCC


8 – 10 am – FYI: First Year Impressions (and Confessions), 147B @ WCC

1 – 2 pm – 3M booth @ exhibit hall

1:30 – 3:30 pm – Pecha Kucha Presentations of Marketing Ideas that Worked in Academic Libraries, 103A @ WCC

6 pm – Drinks with the Deans at The Gibson


8 – 10 am – PR Forum: Next practices in communications @ your library, 146B @ WCC

10:30 am – 12 pm – Designing Digital Experiences for Library Websites, 146B @ WCC

1:30 – 3:30 pm – ACRL 2011 National Conference Coordinating Committee Meeting, South American A @ Capital Hilton

7:30 – 9 pm – NMRT Awards Reception, Grand Ballroom @ Marriott at Metro Center


9 am – 12 pm – ACRL 2011 Virtual Conference Committee Meeting, Chinese Ballroom@ Renaissance Mayflower

1:30 – 3:30 pm – For the Love of Reference, 202A @ WCC OR Ultimate Debate: Open Source Software, Free Beer or Free Puppy?, 146B @ WCC

5:30 – 7 pm – Battledecks: The ALA Rumble Royale, 103A @ WCC


9 – 10 am – Closing Session: Amy Sedaris, Ballroom C @ WCC

Driving back to PA

What are your plans for ALA? Anything you’re looking forward to? If you see me, say hello, or let me know if you want to meet up. And don’t forget to use conference tag #ala10 and follow @alaannual!

Written by Erin Dorney

June 7, 2010 at 11:06 PM

2010 PaLA Academy of Leadership Studies: Apply today!

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2009 PALS Attendees

I’m currently the Treasurer of the College & Research Division of the Pennsylvania Library Association. Being involved with the group last year as a member-at-large really helped me learn more about Pennsylvania, meet other academic librarians, and get involved with PaLA in a number of ways. One new initiative from our state association is the PaLA Academy of Leadership Studies (PALS). After a blog post last May regarding surprises from my first year as a librarian, I was honored to be invited to speak to the inaugural PALS class of 2009 about “Achieving your Potential” where I discussed my freshman year on the job. I have become good friends with many of the librarians who attended PALS and consider them among my most valuable colleagues. It was probably one of the best professional development opportunities I have seen geared towards supporting leadership of new librarians.

This year, the CRD is again sponsoring two attendees to PALS. The workshop will be held June 6-9, 2010 at the Radisson Penn Harris, Camp Hill, PA. We invite nominations and applications from academic librarians who have less than six years of experience and who have the potential to become the next generation of library leaders in the state of Pennsylvania. The CRD will pay for Academy registration for the two librarians chosen (alert – free! free! free!) and will work closely with them as they continue to enhance their careers. Further information about the Leadership Academy can be found at:

If you are interested in applying or in nominating someone to be sponsored by the CRD, please send the following by April 1, 2010 to Tina Hertel at tina.hertel(at)

• A letter of interest
• A letter of nomination from your supervisor
• Current resume of the nominee
• Statement indicating PaLA membership or intention to join at the end of the program

Nominees will be informed of the CRD’s decision by April 16, 2010. Any questions or concerns about the process can be directed to me or to Tina. I can’t stress enough how important and valuable this opportunity is for potential library leaders. Please consider sending in a nomination and don’t forget, you can nominate yourself!

Written by Erin Dorney

March 16, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Conference Attendance Advice.

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ALA Midwinter 2010 Exhibit Floor

At the request of Jen & Jason of The Dean Files, I’ve put together some conference tips for ya’ll. To be sure, the tips below are based on my own experience and your conference experience could vary based on a number of factors (where, when, weather, personality, roommates, alcoholic tolerance, available technology, etc). I’m drawing from my attendance at various state, local and regional conferences (the State System of Higher Education Library Cooperative Organization, the Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference), two ALA Midwinter Meetings, and one ALA Annual Conference.

(in no particular order)

1. Volunteer for something. It doesn’t matter what, just do it. If you’re a student, it gives you something to put on your resume other than just attending a conference. You can volunteer at the exhibit booth for your alma mater or for one of your professional associations (ACRL, PLA, LITA, YALSA, etc.). Try being a NMRT resume reviewer or greeter. Some conferences seek bloggers/microbloggers to cover certain presentations which can help you get your name out there and hone your journalism skills. I know for the ACRL Virtual Conference we’re going to be looking for volunteers to moderate webcasts and give tours in Second Life. There’s something for everyone! It’s a way to build in some structured social interaction to your conference experience and you never know who you will meet or what you’ll be invited to do next time once people realize that you’re reliable.

2. Some of the programs you are really looking forward to will inevitably disappoint you. Maybe this is just me, and it’s probably just because I read about the programs weeks in advance and literally plan my entire day around them. Maybe I just build things up too much in my mind. But the point is, you should have a “plan b” for almost every session you want to attend. Just in case there’s no room, the speaker winds up droning on and on to a text-heavy PowerPoint, or you realize that you already learned all of this in library school or real life.

3. I have to second Steven Bell’s suggestion to leave the program book behind. You do not need to carry the weight of that book around with you all day in addition to your laptop, food, water, notebook, smartphone, cords, business cards, etc. I usually end up looking at the schedule online or the night before, tearing out the one page with the hotel map, and tossing the whole thing into a garbage recycling bin in the hotel. I think the program book could probably get phased out if conferences are really looking to be more green. You tell me, do we need printed programs with the net and all this mobile? Just a thought.

4. To borrow a phrase from Stephen Abram, don’t hoard your business cards. “They’re like smiles – they only have value when they’re given away.” We’re all at a conference to learn, not only about libraries, but about each other (aw, so touchy feely, but true). Personal connections are really important, so trade information with the people you meet so you’ll remember each other later. There are also some technologies that help you do this without having to hand out actual cards, like QR Codes or the iPhone Bump app. Follow up with your new friends after the conference about collaborative projects, job opportunities, and shared interests.

5. Things to bring: ibuprofen, band aids, water bottle, granola bars, a sweater, mints/gum (sooo much conference coffee breath!), cold medication for days and nights, at least 2 pairs of comfy shoes.

6. Make a schedule. You will probably deviate based on how you feel that day and what opportunities come up (a colleague or new acquaintance cancels or asks you to join them for dinner, you don’t get enough sleep the night before because you’re adjusting to the hotel bed so you sleep in, etc). But having a schedule will give you a starting point. Another note on schedules – pace yourself! Resist the urge to cram one thing after another day after day because you will wear yourself out. Leave enough time in your schedule to accommodate spontaneous activities (these are often where you learn the most!). Allow yourself to enjoy being in the presence of others who care and make sure you have time to test the local flavor (a bar, restaurant, theatre performance or local band).

7. It helps to know a few people who will be attending the same event as you, so utilize your computer-based social networking connections to facilitate real-life networking opportunities. Conferences are a great place to meet the colleagues you have been tweeting with virtually for the past six months or that blogger you follow religiously. Let people know you’ll be in the area and put out some feelers for meetups, dinner, coffee breaks, etc. Lots of this happens serendipitously as you network, but you’ll feel more confident if you can recognize a few familiar faces.

Some other library conference tips can be found here:

And interesting non-library specific conference tips can be found here:

So tell me, what conference tips do you have?

Written by Erin Dorney

March 1, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Library Day in the Life.

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Taken March 2008, the day before my interview at Millersville University. The building I now work in every day is behind me to the left.

Library Day in the Life is a project where library workers from all types of libraries document a day or week of their work life. It was started by Bobbi Newman, and you can check out her original blog post on the event and the official wiki for more information. The fourth round is being held this week (January 25-29).

Some people choose to blog, some use Twitter, some record video or take pictures. This will be my first year participating and it just happens to fall on the first full week of classes at Millersville University where I work as an academic librarian. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to post about, and have not yet decided exactly how many days I might end up discussing. Guess we’ll see!

I think this is a great project because it provides a brief glimpse into the depth and breadth of what librarians do. Just last week at a friend’s birthday party, I swear I must have been asked at least 5-6 times, “So, what does a librarian do?” This is one of many opportunities we can take to share our stories. I can see implications for:

  • Library school students who want to share their experiences. I could easily imagine a spin-off of a Library Student Day in the Life. It would be very interesting (particularly to learn about the experiences of online and in-person LIS students) for people who have been out of school for a while to see how things work these days, what students are learning, the generational impact of technology on life and education, etc. If anyone knows of a group who has done this, leave a comment! Hmm… perhaps this is something for the Young Librarian Series
  • Administrators, students, patrons, friends, family, the media and board members who wonder what librarians do in the age of Google. This is an opportunity to share both the exciting and mundane parts of your work life. Many members of the public have no clue what librarians do (probably because many of us still haven’t nailed down elevator speeches for ourselves and our institutions). This is bad for funding, bad for our professional image, and bad for the progress and reform librarianship needs to undergo. How can we expect support without basic understanding? Informing is a key first step, and sharing your impact as a librarian could go a long way.

Some suggestions:

  • Add your name to the wiki
  • Include your job title & type of library in your blog post or video to help readers
  • Use the hashtags #libday4 (Twitter) and librarydayinthelife (blogs)
  • If you don’t have a blog/Twitter/etc, you can just create a new page in the wiki and post your day there
  • After your first post, edit your wiki entry to change your blog link to a link to your tagged posts (link directly to your day in the life post(s), not to your blog in general)
  • Add your Flickr photos or videos to the Group on Flickr

Written by Erin Dorney

January 25, 2010 at 9:50 AM