Throughout the United States and Canada, there are more than 63 ALA-accredited programs offering advanced degrees in library and information science. While the number of programs has grown over the years, the field has yet to develop any significant, rigorous measures of evaluation to assess them. Even as interest in LIS education grows, the tools for determining which programs will match a student’s goals or establishing a hierarchy of quality remain stuck in neutral.
By putting distribution and storage of papers and datasets in the hands of their authors, Academic Torrents brings even more DIY ethos to the world of academic publishing, and may help to solve a few problems in the field in the bargain. While libraries and colleges disintermediate scholarly publishing by hosting their own institutional repositories and backing up to offsite services like LOCKSS and Portico, Academic Torrents goes a step further, offering researchers the opportunity to distribute the hosting of their papers and datasets to authors and readers, offering easy access to scholarly works and simultaneously backing them up on computers around the world.
Agricultural research can take seasons to come to fruition, meaning the data researchers gather is voluminous, tracking things like weather patterns and crop yields over years. A failure to establish data standards and sharing practices means that most of these raw figures never make it out of the hands of the researchers who gather them. With new open access standards coming to federally funded research, though, agricultural researchers will need share their data more effectively, and a team of scientists and librarians at Purdue University may have the first blueprint for the field.
EnvisionWare, one of the largest providers of self-service products in the public library market, is preparing to ship this month a reporting tool that the company says will thread together and visualize data from its entire line of 22 products.
Libraries are showcasing interactive, data-driven digital art that brings what’s typically behind the scenes into the light. This January, hundreds of people attended the grand opening of an addition to the Teton County Library in Jackson Hole, WY. The big draw was “Filament Mind,” a stunning digital art installation utilizing more than five miles of fiber-optic cables, cut into 1,000 pieces, and 44 LED illuminators.
Details on jobs and pay for 2011 LIS grads, broken down by region, type of role, school, and more.
At my first ALA conference, I attended a “marketing” session that swooned over shoelaces as a great word of mouth marketing technique. At this PLA the marketing tracks focused on measurement, datamining, focusing our story on a few key messages and redefining how we go to market. Hallelujah!