May 28, 2016

Academic Libraries

LYRASIS, DuraSpace Leaders Discuss Dissolved Merger

LYRASIS and DuraSpace logos

On May 16, the boards of LYRASIS and DuraSpace dissolved a planned merger that had been announced on January 27. But executives from the not-for-profit library software and service providers told LJ that four months of formal due diligence and analysis had helped members and leadership from both organizations become more familiar with one another, setting the stage for future collaboration.

LACUNY Institute 2016: Race Matters: Libraries, Racism, and Antiracism

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The 2016 one-day conference of the Library Association of the City University of New York (LACUNY), “Race Matters: Libraries, Racism, and Antiracism,” held May 20 at Brooklyn College, was ambitious in scope and informative in practice. Speakers, panel discussions, facilitated dialogs, and round tables took a broad look at academic librarianship through a lens of critical race theory, examining issues of race as they exist in the larger system of social and economic control, and—with the enthusiastic participation of attendees from across the United States and Canada—investigating ways to effect change in ways both large and small.

The First Year | College Readiness

Four students sitting on a couch in a library

Heather Moorefield-Lang has witnessed the face of freshman terror when the first-year students walk into the college library at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, are confronted by two million books, and don’t know where to start. As an assistant professor at the School of Library and Information Sciences, she knows that relieving that angst is her job.

Library of Congress Drops Illegal Alien Subject Heading, Provokes Backlash Legislation

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Thanks to the joint efforts of a student group and university librarians at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, with a push from the American Library Association (ALA), the Library of Congress (LC) announced on March 22 that it would remove the term “Illegal alien” from the LC Subject Heading (LCSH) system, replacing it with “Noncitizen” and, to describe the act of residing without authorization, “Unauthorized immigration.” Per LC’s executive summary, the proposed change will be posted on a “Tentative List” for comments “not earlier than May, 2016.” Ultimately the heading “Illegal aliens” will become a “former heading” reference, cross-referenced with the new terminology; other headings that include the phrase will also be revised or canceled. This decision currently stands despite recent backlash: members of the U.S. House of Representatives have voted to attach language to a funding bill which would require LC to switch back to the original term, but the bill is not yet law.

Update: The Library of Congress has posted a survey where the public can share their views on the proposed changes, and will accept comments through July 20.

Work/Space | Library by Design, Spring 2016

At left, flexible reference desk space at the Munday 
Library, St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX.

The world of academic libraries is constantly changing. Many libraries, for example, have undergone radical spatial changes in recent years, positioning themselves as campus centers for study and socializing. These shifts focus on the student’s or library patron’s experience but show little concern for how librarians’ work spaces are changing to meet the profession’s new demands. Finding minimal literature on this topic, we decided to issue a survey directly to academic librarians to delve into their roles and how their spaces affect the quality of their work.

Reading Chicago Reading Wins Start-Up Grant

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A new pilot study by DePaul University scholars in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library (CPL), has received one of 18 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant awards. Reading Chicago Reading: Modeling Texts and Readers in a Public Library System plans to use data from One Book, One Chicago (OBOC), CPL’s robust 15-year-old community reading program—including circulation statistics, social media data, neighborhood demographics, and textual data—to analyze reading patterns for OBOC books and develop a predictive modeling tool to help drive CPL’s collection development and future OBOC choices.

What Do You Know About Instructional Designers? | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Academic librarians seek to connect and collaborate with faculty in order to integrate their skills into the teaching and learning process. Learning more about our instructional design colleagues, and establishing relationships with them might help.

GSU e-Reserves Decision | Peer to Peer Review

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The infamous Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserves case (Cambridge University Press v. Patton) emerged last month from its long winter slumber to give us yet another 200+ page decision which librarians, lawyers, and publishers have begun to parse and analyze. And, like me, they are probably asking themselves: What does this decision actually mean?

North Carolina Librarians, Library Associations React to HB2

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From the moment the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security act, also known as HB2, reaction was forceful and articulate. Educators, librarians, and library leaders from public, academic, and school libraries and library organizations across the country, for whom inclusivity is a crucial part of their institutions’ mission, added their voices criticizing the bill’s passage and supporting those it affects.

ALA President-Elect Jim Neal: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

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Voting for the American Library Association (ALA) 2017–18 presidential election closed on April 22, and when the votes were tallied on April 29 James G. (Jim) Neal had won the role of president-elect in a close race. A total of 10,230 ballots were cast—marginally up from last year’s 10,119. Neal edged out opponents Christine Lind Hage and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe with 34.6 percent of the vote.