August 1, 2014

Academic Movers 2014: In-Depth with Emily Drabinski

Movers2014webBigDrabinskib

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.

Higher Ed Administrators Seek To Stem States’ Rush Away From Common Core

Common-Core-logo

The Common Core is set to change the way that K-12 education is administered across the United States. Or at least it was, until a backlash from educators and politicians put the new set of education standards on hold in some states and rolled them back entirely in others. Now higher education officials, who had previously been largely absent from the debate, are speaking up in favor of the standards and working to remind educators and parents why these stricter standards were agreed to by 45 states in the first place.

Is There a Serials Crisis Yet? Between Chicken Little and the Grasshopper | Peer to Peer Review

Dorothea Salo

Summer lets me teach my favorite course, the run-down of what’s going on with several publishing industries and how libraries are riding the rapids. (It’s actually a course in environmental awareness and handling change, but such skills are much easier to teach given a concrete context in which to exercise them.) As I tore through syllabus and lecture revisions earlier this month to clear time for other necessary work, I found a few spare milliseconds to wonder whether the serials crisis, which hasn’t felt like an immediate all-hands-on-deck crisis in some time, might finally be heating up into one. Into many, really; the localized nature of serials pricing means that crises hit consortia and individual libraries at varying times, not all of academic librarianship at once.

Common Core 101 for Academic Librarians | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

The Common Core is said to be the most radical innovation to public education in a generation. The average academic librarian has paid little attention. What exactly do academic librarians need to know and does it matter to us?

Appeals Court Upholds Wins for Fair Use in HathiTrust Case

Hathi Trust logo

On June 10, the U.S. Second Court of Appeals handed down its latest decision in the continuing legal battle between the HathiTrust and the Authors Guild, and it is good news for fair use advocates. A three judge panel largely confirmed the decision handed down in 2012, which found that the HathiTrust’s activities of digitizing books from its member libraries and increasing their discoverability by letting users search for key terms within titles are fair use. The court also upheld Baer’s finding that the Guild lacks standing to bring cases as an association, though individual members can do so.

CUNY Helps Libraries Take Stock

William and Anita Newman Conference Center, 7th floor

On June 6, the City University of New York (CUNY) held its first library assessment conference. Called Reinventing Libraries: Reinventing Assessment, the event grew from its initial target of 100 attendees to almost twice that many, and positive feedback from many attendees included calls for the conference to be repeated, or even turn into an annual event. Several recurring themes became leit motifs running throughout the day: turning from an emphasis on exclusively quantitative to qualitative assessment, libraries partnering with faculty on instruction, and the intersection of outcomes measurement and predictive analytics in a new granular portrait of individual students’ library use.

A Clash of Values | Peer to Peer Review

Wayne Biven-Tatum

I’ve written before about what I called the two cultures that sometimes clash, the commercial culture of a lot of scientific publishing and the gift culture of academia. In addition to clashes of culture, there are clashes of values. Thanks to the recent brouhaha surrounding the Taylor & Francis journal Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation, another clash of values has emerged, that of academics editing a journal to encourage debate and that of commercial publishers trying to stifle debate about their methods.

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

Rick Anderson

Is there any applause line in our profession more tried and true than the assertion that “libraries are essential?” The problem with such statements is not that they’re wrong. It is that they pose a danger: they all threaten to leave us complacent about our future. What will determine our future is not whether we and our services are essential in fact, but whether we are seen by our stakeholders as more essential than the other essential programs and projects that are competing for the same resources.