Frederick Gale Ruffner, Jr., who founded Gale Research Company with his wife Mary Evans Ruffner, died on August 12 following a long illness. He launched enduring reference works including the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Contemporary Authors, and the Encyclopedia of Associations
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
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on August 12 appointed Jukay Hsu, founder of the community development organization Coalition for Queens (C4Q), to the Queens Borough Public Library (QL) Board of Trustees. The appointment fills one of eight positions left vacant since July 23, when de Blasio dismissed two of the library’s trustees and Queens Borough President (QBP) Melinda Katz dismissed six.
Activist librarian Zoia Markovna Horn died on July 12 at the age 96. She was famous for being the first U.S. librarian to be jailed for refusing to divulge information that violated professional principles of privacy and intellectual freedom. An activist member of the American Library Association (ALA) and a member and chair of its Intellectual Freedom Committee, Horn was jailed for 20 days for contempt after refusing to testify in the 1972 conspiracy trial of the “Harrisburg Seven.”
From The Globe and Mail: Halifax’s new $57.6-million gleaming glass library of the future is to open later this fall – a 129,000-square-foot building in the city’s downtown with a unique cantilevered rectangular glass box on the top, suggesting a stack of books. Fully accessible, culturally sensitive, environmentally sustainable and architecturally stunning, with elegant angles […]
Florida’s newest public university—Florida Polytechnic University (FPU)—is so new it doesn’t even have accreditation yet. Its mission is to educate students in the STEM fields, and Chief Information Officer Tom Hull describes it as part of a future “Silicon Valley East” between Orlando and Tampa. FPU features a lot of innovative, not to say controversial, departures from tradition, including a no-tenure model for its 26 newly hired professors and a library without physical books.
From The Gazette: Bowie [Maryland, pronounced Boo-ee] will soon be the home of the largest collection of Holocaust archives in the world, according to representatives from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Andrew Hollinger, a spokesman for the museum, said that because of recent efforts to search out and collect evidence of the Holocaust, the […]
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.
Dave Harmeyer, author of The Reference Interview Today (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), will outline his approach he takes to conducting a successful reference interview every time. He’ll be joined by representatives from reference publishers SAGE and Credo, who will offer more information on what librarians can ask and do today to get to the heart of patron needs. Register today to get a 30% discount on Dave Harmeyer’s book (link to purchase will be provided in your registration confirmation email) along with a complimentary downloadable copy of LJ’s 2014 Reference Supplement.Register Now!
While most academic librarians are familiar with the basics of copyright law, the questions they’re asked are getting more complex. Issues of fair use and open access, MOOCs and repositories, and the push to digitize mean that students and faculty need more guidance on copyright matters than ever. This spring Kyle K. Courtney, Harvard University’s Copyright Advisor, brought together a pilot group of librarians known as Copyright First Responders (CFRs) to address this situation.
Cryogenically freezing the DNA of livestock animals might sound like a science fiction twist to Noah’s Ark, yet it’s the mission of a newly forged partnership called The Smithsonian and Swiss Village Farm (SVF) Foundation Biodiversity Project. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the SVF Foundation announced in late July that they have joined forces to preserve rare and endangered heritage breeds of livestock, animals that our American forefathers raised for agriculture. Over the next several years, the SVF Foundation’s collection of frozen genetic materials will be incorporated into the Smithsonian’s vast genetic library of endangered animal species.
From the Omaha.Com/Omaha World-Herald: The [budget] plan headed to the City Council for a public hearing Tuesday comes with a cut for the city’s libraries; the department’s $13.1 million budget is down about 5 percent from last year. To avoid cutting staff or library hours, officials have plans to reduce the library’s materials budget — […]
From KODE-TV/FourStatesHomePage.com: “This is huge and it will hurt,” says Joplin Public Library Director Jacque Gage. It’s a 6.6 million dollar cut– affecting libraries across the Show Me State. “We currently get 50 cents per capita for everyone in our library district to assist with library services,” says Gage. In Joplin, this means a loss […]