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.
The Shelley-Godwin Archive, a free online resource featuring the digitized manuscripts of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, will include tools designed to encourage collaborative humanities research, similar to collaborative public projects in the sciences.
Video games are already raising many of the thorniest challenges in the field of digital preservation, and as games continue to become more complex, those challenges are rapidly compounding. One of the most extensive recent efforts to analyze these challenges has been the Preserving Virtual Worlds (PVW) project, a collaborative research venture of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Stanford, the University of Maryland, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and digital entertainment developer Linden Lab, best known for the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game Second Life.
All librarians want to serve their communities and patrons as best they can, but knowing how best to provide that service isn’t always easy. The demands of day to day duties, not to mention privacy concerns, can make it hard for staffers to learn the finer details of how patrons are using their services. Without a clear picture of how services like computer access are being put to use, it can be difficult to determine how to fine tune them to the needs of users. Now, researchers at the University of Washington (UW) iSchool have introduced the Impact Survey, a tool that lets patrons anonymously report on how they use library technology while they’re using it, helping librarians understand how—and when—patrons are interacting with the access to technological resources that they provide—and to demonstrate the value of those services to local governments.
Online MLS programs have become more and more widespread, offering people who don’t live near an American Library Association (ALA) accredited university, who work full time, or who are otherwise unable to attend a traditional Master’s program the chance to get their library science degree through online coursework. The perception of these programs, according to a recent poll on the blog Hiring Librarians, hasn’t kept pace with their prevalence. The informal survey found that some librarians remain concerned about the quality of these programs, and question whether they provide students the skills to succeed in the field.
As a result of the federal government shutdown, many resources that researchers, academics, and library patrons depend on—like the Library of Congress (LC) archives—have been rendered unavailable in the last week. The bad news is that, eight days in and with no clear end to this stalemate in sight, there’s no telling how long those resources might be on lock down. The good news is that a variety of other institutions are stepping up to fill in the gap and make sure a government shutdown doesn’t turn into an information shutdown.
When we began to think about the future of libraries, we thought it might be interesting to approach the future from the types of jobs that could be in libraries in the next ten years, basing our future descriptions on the following trends: (1) information everywhere, (2) continuing increase in use of mobile and embedded technology, (3) rise of social knowledge, (4) longer living and the emergence of lifestyle design, and (5) integration of robotics into the world.
On October 16, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host “The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries.” Our fourth annual online event has itself been reinvented in a new format, offering program tracks focused around community, instruction, and getting beyond the container to new content. EBSCO is a platinum sponsor of the event, and LJ reached out to Scott Wasinger, Vice President of Sales for eBooks and Audiobooks at EBSCO Publishing, in the third of a series of interviews addressing how the ongoing digital shift is transforming the libraries of today and tomorrow.