Jennifer Vinopal is the Librarian for Digital Scholarship Initiatives at New York University, where she helps scholars bring their work online for preservation, curation, and more and more frequently, collaboration. She talked with Library Journal about how the face of digital scholarship is changing, what role librarians play in that change, and how the partnerships between researchers and librarians are growing closer in the new research landscape.
For years, Ohio State University (OSU) has had a collection of graphic novels, editorial cartoons, and comic strips that could go toe to toe with archives the world over. What it didn’t have was a space that did that collection justice. For decades, OSU’s cartoon collection, which includes more than 2.5 million comic strips spanning decades of American newspapers, was housed in a pair of disused rooms in the school’s journalism building. A recent move to renovated space, though, means that the decades of pop culture history housed at OSU’s newly-minted Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM) finally has a happy home, and one that staff are eager to introduce to the public.
Jamie LaRue, an erstwhile public librarian (recently turned consultant) in Colorado who has done some cool things (such as negotiating directly with publishers for ebooks while refusing to pay crazy amounts for popular titles), has thought-provoking things to say about the dynamics of change in libraries. Reflecting on a discussion at the Arizona Library Association where something he said apparently raised eyebrows, he expanded on his remarks in a blog post, taking particular aim at a pattern he sees (and many of us will recognize) in library organizations. A decision is made, a direction taken, and then the sabotage begins, conducted by people who contributed little to the discussion as the decision was being made.
Vendor relations are a mixed bag. They can range from mutual respect and support to contempt and contentiousness. Academic librarians need to exchange experiences and information, but it will really help if someone is listening.
This year’s listing of library building projects completed between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, expands on the concept of all-purpose spaces to suit a variety of patrons and needs. There are 77 public efforts, and among the 14 academic buildings is the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI (above), which allows students to invent their own environments. A banquet of libraries with that all-important, all-purpose ingredient.
Here’s an issue about which I’ve been hearing from colleagues quite a lot lately—that of libraries undertaking and carrying out assessment methods and then ignoring or “trumping” the findings by doing what they wanted to do in the first place, but putting a “check mark” next to assessment in their mental (or literal) to do lists, indicating, “yep, did that!” My thought in such cases is: well, no, you didn’t do that!
This year, several announcements and blog posts combined to focus my attention on a slightly different question. What problems can open access solve? The answer seems obvious; open access will solve the problem of highly restricted and limited access to scholarship. A somewhat different problem that OA can help solve is the problem of scholarship locked up in the hands of badly run businesses that have come to believe that their inefficient and ineffective ways of doing business must be preserved at all costs.
A new library planned for the north side of Temple University’s campus has been postponed, as administration officials work to find the new facility a home closer to the center of campus. The planned $190 million budget for the project, which includes a $50 million contribution from the state of Pennsylvania, will remain the same, though ambitions for it to become what one board member described as “a great living room for Philadelphia” may be scaled back under the new plan.
For the past decade, Suzie Allard has worked to build a specialty in science information and science data management. In the process, she has expanded the range of jobs available for the new librarians graduating from her programs. Allard, associate professor and associate director of the School of Information Sciences (SIS) in the College of Communication and Information (CCI) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), now has been named the winner of the 2013 LJ Teaching Award, sponsored by ProQuest.