July 22, 2014

Academic Libraries

Academic Movers 2014: In Depth with Stephanie Davis-Kahl

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In our latest In-Depth Interview with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we spoke to Stephanie Davis-Kahl, the scholarly communication librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University. In building an institutional repository for the college, Davis-Kahl and her colleagues wanted to showcase not only the work of the Illinois Wesleyan faculty, but also their students. She has helped to find several student-run journals homes at Illinois Wesleyan, and serves as faculty coeditor on the student led journal Undergraduate Economic Review. She spoke about the challenges of hosting student-led journals, the luxuries of doing so at a small school, and offered a few tips for librarians looking to enter this rapidly growing field.

The Plight of the Independent Scholar | Peer to Peer Review

Wayne-Bivens-Tatum

In response to my column a few months ago on ebooks and the demise of ILL, I received a depressing email from an independent scholar noting the numerous obstacles he faces because of the increasing restrictions on access to ejournals and now ebooks. He wrote that he lives near a major public university in the southeast and has been using the university library for years. Despite being publicly funded (at least as much as any state university is publicly funded these days), the library has restricted access to all the databases only to university affiliates with IDs, which means most of the journals are inaccessible to guests. And with the increasing licensing of ebooks, more and more books are inaccessible as well.

Being Essential Is Not Enough, Part 2 | Peer to Peer Review

Rick Anderson

In my last column, I discussed the importance of aligning library strategies and programs to institutional priorities, and I promised, in this next column, to share ideas on how to do that and some examples of libraries that seem to me to be doing it particularly well.

Study: Journal Bundle Discounts Vary Widely Across Institutions

Most academic librarians are familiar with the ‘big deal’ bundles offered by large academic publishers, which grant access to a large number of journals from a particular publisher at a discounted rate. And many will also be familiar with the opacity surrounding those deals, which are often negotiated on a school-by-school basis with confidentiality clauses in place. A new study of the economics of these bundle deals suggests that variations in how these bundles are priced for different institutions mean that they are a better deal for some schools than others.

Higher Ed Pays Attention to Design Thinking | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Using methods familiar to designers as an approach to problem solving in organizations is not a particularly new development, but now higher education may be looking at it as a way to reform how education is delivered.

Damage Control: Disrupting the Disruptors | Peer to Peer Review

Barbara Fister

Harvard historian Jill Lepore’s takedown of Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation in The New Yorker has been getting a lot of attention. Twitter subsequently presented me with a fascinating analysis of how this theory has influenced higher education. Essentially, individual entrepreneurs are considered valuable because they find cheaper ways to reach new markets. We don’t want smart and knowledgeable workers, because they will frustratingly improve things incrementally rather throw everything out in the race to cut costs and get ahead of entrepreneurial smash-a-thons.

Student Journals an Opportunity for Libraries as Publishers | ALA 2014

At ALA 2014, academic librarians working as publishers gathered to discuss the state of their partnerships and what needs to happen to move the budding library publishing industry forward at the panel “Libraries in the Publishing Game: New Roles from Content to Access.” Melinda Dermody, head of access and sharing at Syracuse University libraries, moderated the panel, which included Catherine Mitchell, director of the Access & Publishing group at the California Digital Library (CDL), Rebecca Kennison Director of the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship at Columbia University, and Cyril Oberlander, library director at the State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo.

Academic Movers 2014: In-Depth with Emily Drabinski

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In the latest of our In-Depth Interviews with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we caught up with LIU Brooklyn Instruction Coordinator Emily Drabinski. Drabinski presents regularly on the intersections between information studies and gender studies, and is also involved in the publishing end of library work, editing a series of titles on gender and information studies and sitting on the board of the journal Radical Teacher, which she helped in moving to an open access format earlier this year.

Can Libraries Help Stop this Madness? | Peer to Peer Review

Kevin L. Smith

The business of university press monograph publishing has always been madness, and changing conditions have made it even less sensible than it was. Yet any suggestion that there should be fewer university presses or that they should refocus their missions is greeted with shouts of dismay that are usually reserved for heretics and anarchists. Maybe we should remember that oft-quoted definition of madness—doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

Make It a Place They Want to Work | Leading From the Library

Steven Bell

We look to our leaders to enable us to get things done. We look to them for vision and inspiration, but we also want leaders who make progress and get our organization to the place where the vision becomes reality. What sometimes gets overlooked is the need to create a workplace where people want to be while all the work is getting done.