Public libraries in the United Kingdom are set to play a role in expanding public access to academic research via the recently announced “Access to Research” plan. Thousands of research journal articles will be made available for free: but only on computers located physically within a public library, not remotely.
Late last year, the Bexar County Library, which serves the area around San Antonio, TX, set up BiblioTech, the first all-digital library in the United States. Without any physical books at all, the branch raised a few eyebrows, but head librarian Ashley Eklof tells Library Journal that after a few months, the ebook-and technology-centric project has been so successful it already has its own spinoff at the county courthouse.
THE One Book, One Community pick for 2013 at the Darien Library, CT, was David Benioff’s City of Thieves, in which the two main characters are charged to collect a dozen eggs in the starving city of Leningrad during the Nazi invasion. The penalty should they not complete this outrageous task is to forfeit their lives. As soon as I knew City of Thieves was the choice, I knew that we had to do a townwide scavenger hunt. It also seemed like a great opportunity to partner with and support local businesses.
Does your library offer a readers’ advisory (RA) service? If so, you’re in good company—and a lot of it! All of the public librarians who answered a survey recently developed by LJ with NoveList and the RUSA/CODES Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Committee said that they conducted personal RA in-house. Methods varied, however.
“Lots of libraries are there for the community, but here in Bayfield, the community built the library,” says Amy Dodson, director of the Pine River Library (PRL), CO, selected as LJ’s Best Small Library in America, 2014, cosponsored by Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and recipient of the award’s accompanying $20,000 prize. Hired by the PRL trustees in May 2013, Dodson was awed by not only the support for PRL in the very diverse Bayfield community but also the community’s willingness to donate hours of volunteer work as well as lots of important gifts in kind and then vote the funds to pay for a strong staff and an experienced and innovative director.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) successfully appealed an October 2013 decision by the Institute for Museum and Library Science (IMLS), restoring $6.5 million in federal matching funds designated to support library activities across the Lone Star State.
At the University of Oregon (UO), staff at the Science Library have only had an in-house 3D printer for a few months, but have wasted no time putting the new equipment to use. At the beginning of January, the library printed a 3D model of a rare fossil in the UO paleontology department’s collection—the remains of a 5-million-year old saber toothed salmon.
For years, adults who had dropped out of high school had only one venue to prove that they’d mastered the same skills that a diploma reflects: passing the general educational development (GED) test. While it’s better than nothing, though, in practice, a GED is not a complete replacement for a diploma, since it’s treated as a lesser substitute by colleges and employers. Now, Gale Cengage Learning is partnering with the country’s first accredited online school district, Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE), to offer a way for adults to earn a full high school diploma through libraries across the nation: Career Online High School (COHS).
How do you judge how much a scientific study or academic article has been used? You can see how frequently it’s cited, but since researchers and academics read and are influenced by plenty of things that don’t get formally checked in their work, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Researcher Philip Davis is trying to provide some new answers to that question by taking a look at ‘usage half-life,’ in an effort to learn more about the academic publishing life cycle.