July 6, 2015

Academic Libraries

Does the Copyright Office Belong in a Library? | Peer to Peer Review

Kevin L. Smith

It has been a busy time for those of us who watch the doings of the Copyright Office. In addition to releasing a massive report on Orphan Works and Mass Digitization, about which I have written here, the Copyright Office (CO) is the subject of a piece of legislation introduced as a discussion draft on June 3. The bill, if it were officially introduced and ultimately enacted, would remove the CO from the Library of Congress (LC) and establish it as an independent agency of the federal government, under the Executive Branch. Then, while we were still considering the ramifications of this idea, came the announcement on June 10 of the pending retirement of Dr. James Billington, who has been the Librarian of Congress for the past 29 years.

Academic Libraries Look Toward the Future | ALA Annual 2015

library crystal ball

As proof positive that, even with their superior powers of observation and vision, librarians can’t predict the future, the planners for the American Library Association 2015 annual conference definitely underestimated how many people would be attending the program Look into the Crystal Ball: Future Directions for Higher Education and Academic Libraries, sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries University Libraries Section (ACRL ULS). Every seat was filled, as well as all available floor space, with attendees eager to hear the panel’s thoughts on what the future may hold for academic libraries.

Sharing Policy Draws Criticism; Elsevier Responds

436px-Elsevier.svg

On April 30 the academic publishing company Elsevier announced that it would be updating its article sharing policies. In a post on its website titled Unleashing the power of academic sharing, Elsevier’s director of access and policy Alicia Wise outlined a framework of new sharing and hosting policies, which include guidelines for sharing academic articles at every stage of their existence, from preprint to post-publication, and protocol for both non-commercial—that is, repository—and commercial hosting platforms.

Lee Van Orsdel Re-Thinks Library Design

Mary Idema Pew Library

When Michigan’s Grand Valley State University (GSVU) built a new library a few years ago, Dean of Libraries Lee Van Orsdel wanted staff and stakeholders alike to throw out the rulebook on library design. The result was an acclaimed space that has been a hit with GVSU students, driving more traffic to the library and changing how students use it—changes that in turn have even influenced other industries.

Toxic Leaders, Toxic Workers: Learning to Cope | Leading From the Library

Steven Bell

Librarians may not know a remarkable leader, but they sure can name all the toxic ones they’ve worked for. Lots of toxic employees and co-workers too. Is there any hope for a toxic-free workplace?

Sudden Sweet Briar Closure Leaves Library in Limbo

An architect's rendering of the newly renovated library at Sweet Briar College

(Editor’s Note: Virginia’s attorney general announced June 20 that Sweet Briar College will remain open for the 2015–16 academic year. The alumnae group Saving Sweet Briar has pledged to raise $12 million toward operating costs, and the college will release restrictions on $16 million in endowments. At least 13 members of the current board of 23 will be replaced by trustees, and the board will then appoint a new president. See the Chronicle of Higher Education for more details about the agreement.)

Not Liking What Users Have to Say? Listen Anyway | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Listening to members of the user community is important—even if it’s hard to accept what they have to say. Then we need to act on what was heard.

The Future of Academic Law Librarianship | Peer to Peer Review

LawLibrarians

It is no secret that legal education in America faces an uncertain future. A pronounced enrollment decline coupled with widespread negative media attention—especially regarding a lack of practical skills training in law school curriculums—has led the legal academy to consider serious reform measures. As has been predicted ad nauseam by commentators, in the near future, a number of law schools may even be forced to close. As law schools go, so go academic law libraries, and the crisis in legal education has had a profound effect on these institutions. Shrinking budgets and “questions of new missions” have beset law libraries across the nation. But for a number of interrelated reasons, this so-called crisis might be a blessing in disguise.

Academic Movers 2015: In Depth with Kyle Courtney

Kyle Courtney

In our first 2015 In-Depth Interview with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we spoke with Kyle Courtney. In 2014 Courtney, Harvard University’s copyright advisor, brought together his first cohort of Copyright First Responders (CFRs)—a group of volunteer librarians who spent their summer in his Copyright Immersion Program in order […]

Appreciate Your Higher Ed Curmudgeon | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Academic librarians probably know at least one curmudgeon at their institution—or in their library. A new study explores the nature of curmudgeons in higher ed and why we should appreciate them more.