August 23, 2014

Asserting Rights We Don’t Have: Libraries and “Permission to Publish” | Peer to Peer Review

Rick Anderson

In late June, a minor brouhaha erupted when the library at the University of Arkansas suspended reporters from the Washington Free Beacon, an online newspaper, from using its special collections. The reason given by library administrators was that on multiple occasions the newspaper’s reporters had published content from those collections without asking permission, as library policy requires. Much has been made in the right-wing press about the politics supposedly surrounding this conflict. I want to focus on a different issue: the practice of making patrons request library permission before republishing content drawn from documents in our special collections.

If Confusion Helps Students Learn, Shouldn’t They Be Information Literate By Now? | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

When students have trouble grasping the subject matter, intuitively we work to make it as clear as possible. New research suggests actually promoting some confusion may work better. If that’s true, how would it change library instruction?

More on the Damage Done | Peer to Peer Review

Wayne Biven-Tatum

Last year, Walt Crawford self-published a book entitled The Big Deal and the Damage Done (which I wrote about here). In it, he analyzed statistics for academic library budgets and showed that Big Deals for serials were gradually taking over many library budgets as serial expenditures rose significantly more than inflation and the inflexibility of the subscription packages led libraries to cut expenditures for books and other materials. This year, Crawford published a revised and expanded report on the topic as the May/June volume of the ALA Library Technology Reports: “Big-Deal Serial Purchasing: Tracking the Damage,” in which he analyzes the “Academic Library Data Files” from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Is it an Industry?, Facts Are our Mission, Speak Up about Salaries!| Feedback

Readers comment on why libraries should not depend on the rich for support, whether librarianship is an industry, why librarians should provide info on laws they disagree with, and more letters to LJ’s August 2014 Issue

What PIL Teaches Us About Lifelong Learning | Peer to Peer Review

Barbara Fister

Recent college graduates are recognizing the social nature of information and the fact that “finding sources to solve a problem” is less important than “finding ways to keep up,” according to the latest Project Information Literacy report.

Resolving the Link Resolver Problem | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Students appreciate having access to a vast selection of full-text content, but when our link resolver takes them to an intermediary screen—between the database and content—they find it extremely confusing, presenting them with too many unclear options. Academic librarians have researched the effectiveness of link resolvers since 2004. One not-so-surprising finding is that a high percentage of users never make it past that screen.

Hurrah! For Discovery and for Transparency in Discovery | Not Dead Yet

Cheryl LaGuardia

As a member of the Outreach Team for HOLLIS+ (our new discovery system) I spent some of the last week presenting at and attending open meetings with library staff to demonstrate the new system, which is in beta testing (not yet ready for prime time; coming very soon!). I have read a lot, and heard […]

Author, Author! | Programs That Pop

BOOKS IN BLOOM Sachem PL’s garden was “home” to dozens of local authors, such as Ralph T. Gazzillo (l.) and Leeann Lavin (r.)

With the recent explosion of self-publishing and the relative ease with which one can become a published author, our library has been bombarded with requests by writers looking for us to host author talks and book events. The sad truth is, with rare exceptions, author visits can be a hard sell, requiring herculean PR efforts, even for established authors with respectable sales. Given the limited amount of program space at the library and the large number of high-demand programs, I can’t schedule events for every author who pitches me.

Kindle Unlimited and Libraries | Opinion

Andrew Roskill

Not surprisingly, the library industry continues to digest and debate the potential impact from the launch of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited (KU) ebook subscription service. It is big news, but KU is not a new concept. Indeed, the concept was established by other similar services such as Oyster and Scribd, and over time will likely include […]

Library Unlimited: Amazon and the limits of the book brand | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

Libraries are about much more than books. This simple truth bears repeating in light of the response to Amazon’s July announcement of the Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service and the all too many reductive and ill-informed reactions that followed.