In our latest 2015 In-Depth Interview with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we spoke with Matthew Cook, emerging technology librarian at the University of Oklahoma (OU) Libraries, Norman, OK. Cook, who earned a Master of Arts in philosophy with a focus on cognition, has brought a level of outside-the-box thinking to his work in the library. Among other innovations, he implemented the digital Sparq Labyrinth, a walking meditation tool within the library that helps stressed students unwind and recharge at exam time, for which he won the University of Oklahoma Libraries Innovator’s Award in 2014. Currently, Cook is developing a campus-wide indoor navigation app and the O.V.A.L. (Oklahoma Virtual Academic Laboratory) virtual reality interactive teaching system.
Mappamundi is the online web portal for the Global Middle Ages Project (GMAP) based out of the University of Texas at Austin (UT). It links to a series of Digital Humanities projects by scholars from around the world about people, places, and objects from the period of roughly 500-1500 CE. Although many people think of this period solely as the European “Dark Ages,” the project directors are interested in portraying a much more global picture. Many of the projects focus on areas outside of Europe and are interested in cultural exchange between peoples.
I must admit my eyebrows raised when one of my students in the Hyperlinked Library class shared a job description in our discussion devoted to emerging ideas and trends. Trenton Public Library (TPL), NJ, was looking for an “Innovation Catalyst Librarian.” The interest grew as my students dissected the duties and requirements, comparing their own experiences and suitability for such a position. I have seen a lot of cutting-edge job descriptions before, but this one was different.
On Text & Data Mining Contracts—The Issues & the Needs, a panel of librarians and vendors convened to discuss how libraries, when making deals with vendors, can best support their researchers who want to text and data mine their resources. Moderated by Meg White, executive director of technology services, Rittenhouse Book Distributors, the panel also featured Daniel Dollar, director of collection development for the Yale University Library; Nancy Herther, sociology librarian, University of Minnesota; Darby Orcutt, assistant head of collection management, North Carolina State University Libraries; and Alicia Wise, director of access & policy, Elsevier.
I first attended the Charleston Conference in 2013, and every year I am impressed with the quality and the wide range of topics being presented. These topics include but are not limited to collection assessment, models of acquisition, and trends in collection development. Held annually in November in Charleston, SC, the Charleston Conference is a venue where librarians, vendors, and publishers converge to discuss issues, management, and development in the life cycle of library collections and resources.
Manifold Scholarship Turns Scholarly Books into Iterative Digital Projects | Charleston Conference 2015
During the Charleston Conference session “New Platforms and Discovery Tools: Towards 21st Century University Presses and Libraries”, two Mellon Foundation-funded projects were introduced: UPScope Project, a university press-wide discovery engine based on natural language searches, being developed by the Association of American University Presses, and the Manifold Scholarship project, detailed below.
“Cost Per User: Analyzing EZProxy Logs for Collection Development,” presented at the 2015 Charleston Conference, explained how the Marydean Martin Library at Nevada State College is using EZProxy log data to learn more about users, with the ultimate goal of becoming an essential part of the institution’s predictive analytics framework for student success.
In the information age, we are exposed to a vast number of terms, abbreviations, and acronyms too numerous to understand and learn. Some are relevant to our personal and professional lives, while others are not. The challenge is figuring out which ones are. This paper describes one individual’s experience in a new position in developing strategies to manage the overwhelming number of acronyms he was exposed to in his first year.
At Library Journal and School Library Journal’s October 14 virtual conference, The Digital Shift: Libraries Connecting Communities, “Always Watched: How Being Surveilled Online Impacts Us All and What Librarians Can Do About It” , attendees were reminded that government and commercial surveillance is an issue of increasing importance for libraries and users alike, and librarians need to consider issues of privacy more than ever.