Higher education is in a state of flux and the key shifts taking place may create opportunities for the academic library. If these are higher ed’s most pressing problems, academic librarians are part of the solutions.
Like the ground in the Ring of Fire that surrounds the Pacific Ocean, the serials world is in almost constant motion, responding simultaneously to pressures both large and small. As in seismology, some of the pressures result in incremental changes, while others, often the result of years of incremental change hidden below the surface, seem suddenly to shake the serials world like an earthquake.
ProQuest, through its affiliate Bowker, on April 8 acquired SIPX, the creator of a cloud-based digital course materials solution designed to eliminate redundant spending and address copyright concerns for universities and academic libraries. SIPX co-founder Franny Lee will continue to lead the company, reporting to ProQuest Senior VP for Strategy and Business Development Ben Lewis. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
A FEW YEARS AGO at the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference in Anaheim, CA, I had dinner with librarians from three large universities. The conversation turned to something they had in common: they were all moving print book collections at their respective institutions off-site to make room for student spaces. Back then, this was a big deal, and these administrators met with opposition and angst from their constituents.
More than 100 faculty members at the University of Oregon (UO) have signed a letter to the university administration supporting archivist James Fox, who has been informed that his contract will not be renewed in June. Fox, along with digital archivist Kira Homo, is at the center of a controversy involving the release of some 22,000 pages of unfiltered UO presidential archives to professor of economics Bill Harbaugh in November 2014.
The great debate has come to a truce: The new Framework for Information Literacy has been adopted, but will not replace the familiar information literacy Standards, at least for now. This probably frustrates people who strongly support (or oppose) one or the other, but it gives us a chance to work out some sticky issues without anyone feeling that they lost.
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) 2015 Conference, held in Portland, OR from March 25–28, was by all accounts an upbeat event. Academic librarians may be thinking seriously about the future, but for a few temperate and surprisingly sunny days at the Oregon Convention Center—as well as online, for those taking advantage of the virtual conference—everyone involved seemed to be feeling positive about the present as well.
Over 650 attendees from 42 states and five countries gathered for this year’s ER&L conference, with hundreds more viewing more than 60 hours of livestreamed and archived sessions online. This year’s conference also included a new, two-day “Designing for Digital” user experience (UX) event, which ER&L plans to make a regular component of the conference going forward. As usual, the days were packed with panels and presentations on e-resources, with topics ranging from organizational strategies and working with vendors to sessions on troubleshooting and technical maintenance. Here are highlights from some of the sessions that LJ was able to attend.