The dog days of summer spanned a large portion of August and though the calendar has turned over to September, they seem not to be about to let up (!@#$!#$!$$!). Therefore, I’ve been staying in the air-conditioned house whenever possible, catching up with work, and skritching the dog and cats–if not to their hearts’ content, at least much closer to the amount of skritching expected of me. Here’s a potpourri column; a medley of happenings and queries.
As I look at the many areas in which libraries are working, thriving, and expanding (see Where Are We Headed? An Unscientific Survey, Not Dead Yet, October 15, 2015), the question occurs to me: do we need to consider not doing some things so that we can do those things our researchers need us to do?
As a reference librarian, I’m keenly following developments in the Open Access (OA) movement, because I (along with all of you folks also working with researchers) am aware of how journal and serial costs have gotten so large and burdensome to libraries that titles must be cut, and thus, access to important research is becoming ever more difficult for students, faculty, and other scholars around the world. So I was intrigued when I saw last June that Harvard Library’s Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) had awarded a contract to three individuals—David Solomon, Bo-Christer Björk, and Mikael Laakso—to “write a comprehensive literature review on methods for converting subscription-based scholarly journals to open access.” The OSC calls this the “journal flipping project.” When I heard that the preliminary version of their report, Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences, was available for public comment, I took a look at what it says.
It’s been a while since I spoke with the inimitable Kyle K. Courtney, 2015 LJ Mover and Shaker, “Harvard Hero” (for his work on copyright), and the organizer of the Copyright First Responder program at Harvard, among many, many other roles. With Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week upon us (Feb. 22nd – 26th), it seems like a good time to see what developments have taken place in Kyle’s universe since last we chatted in 2013.
I think we all have ideas about where library work is heading, and, like many others in our profession, I sometimes get asked questions about the field by people who are considering going to library school. After having just had one of those queries the other day, it occurred to me it was time for another of my wholly unscientific one-question surveys.
Thought I’d update you about the dinner I mentioned I was going to at the end of my last column. The occasion was a birthday dinner my friends were holding in a local restaurant for me. I love these folks and enjoy talking with them very much, so as a special birthday present I asked them to turn off their smartphones for the occasion so we could all talk easily.
Recently I was so fortunate as to attend a presentation by Alison Head, founder and director of Project Information Literacy, at the Monroe C. Gutman Library over at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. There I heard some pretty exciting preliminary results from two Project Information Literacy (PIL) Lifelong Learning Studies: “Phase One: Interviews with […]