March 29, 2015

A Specialist Profession or a Profession of Specialists? | Peer to Peer Review

Dorothea Salo

A few years ago I went to my optometrist. On hearing I was a librarian, she asked me a fiction reader’s-advisory question. Of course, I’m not a public librarian, or a reference librarian either. Rather than try to explain that to my optometrist, however, I went along with her assumptions about what librarians do by recommending a recent read. It isn’t just optometrists who have narrow notions of what this field encompasses; too often our own notions are barely any broader. This worries me, not least because it doesn’t reflect the variety and opportunity I see in the information professions.

Being Present With Learners in the Library | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

One drawback of being an academic librarian is that we are less connected with students than we would like. We relish our role as educators. Let’s be more intentional about being present in their college experience.

Privilege in the Framework | Peer to Peer Review

Wayne Biven-Tatum

Now that the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education is finished, I finally got around to reading it. I was often critical of parts of the information literacy standards, but haven’t found much to criticize about the “Framework,” although I know others have. Most of the “threshold concepts” are things I’ve been talking about with students for years, so there’s little in it that seems particularly new, except thinking of such ideas as threshold concepts. There was one thing that surprised me, though: the recognition of various forms of privilege.

Too Much Leadership Advice? Focus on Your Philosophy | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

With the huge volume of leadership advice that’s generated weekly what’s a leader supposed to do? It’s not only the lack of time for taking it all in, but to what extent should it influence your leadership style.


EBSCO logo

EBSCO Information Services has acquired YBP Library Services from Baker & Taylor, the company announced on February 20. YBP specializes in delivering shelf-ready books in both print and electronic forms to the academic library market, with more than 12 million titles in its Global Online Bibliographic Information (GOBI), including more than one million digital titles. […]

CC BY and Its Discontents–A Growing Challenge for Open Access | Peer to Peer Review

Rick Anderson

Recently I attended the conference of a major learned society in the humanities. I was only there for a day, and attended only two sessions: one as a panelist and the other as an observer. Both sessions dealt with issues related to Open Access (OA), and in both of them I was deeply taken aback by the degree to which the scholars in attendance—not universally, but by an overwhelming majority—expressed frustration and even outright anger at the OA community. The word “predatory” was actually used at one point—not in reference to rapacious publishers, but to OA advocates. That was pretty shocking.

Princeton University Receives $300 Million Rare Book Bequest


Princeton University’s Firestone Library recently received the largest gift in the university’s history, the university reported on February 16: some 2,500 rare books and music manuscripts, with an expected appraised value of nearly $300 million. William Hurd (Bill) Scheide, a Princeton alumnus and third-generation collector of rare books, bequeathed the collection to the university upon his death, at age 100, in November 2014.

Top 10 Academic Library Issues for 2015 | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

The beginning of the year brings many “top” lists for what to look for in 2015. So far there’s not much predicting for what looks big for the academic library world. Here’s a shot at it.

Can We Strengthen our Fragile Public Domain? | Peer to Peer Review

Kevin L. Smith

Each year the copyright community celebrates January 1 as “Public Domain Day.” That is because a convenient fiction included in most nations’ copyright laws says that if a work’s term of protection expired during the previous year, it officially enters the public domain on the following January 1st. Instead of having to figure out the exact day of an author’s death, and having different works enter the public domain each day, we just save them all up, so that all the works whose term expired in 2014 (i.e., all works whose authors died 70 years earlier, in 1944) entered the public domain on New Year’s Day 2015. At least, they did in most other countries, but not in the U.S.

University of British Columbia Acquires Books with Possible Link to Oscar Wilde


While browsing the Internet for information relating to his Ph.D in Victorian literature, University of British Columbia (UBC) doctoral candidate Justin O’Hearn discovered that Christie’s auction house was selling a copy of Des Grieux, a rare book published in 1899. Des Grieux is thought to be the prequel to a better-known title, Teleny, released anonymously in 1893. Both are gay erotic novels sometimes attributed to Oscar Wilde, although neither book’s authorship has been confirmed. O’Hearn knew this sale was a particular opportunity to own a piece of literary history due to its rarity and its place in the mythology of Wilde.