In this first of an interview series sponsored by SAGE, LJ goes in depth with this year’s Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, delving into just how and why they pulled off the projects that brought them recognition as innovators, change agents, and more. Karen Lauritsen was chosen as one of this year’s Tech Leaders for her work as Communications & Public Programs Coordinator at the Robert E. Kennedy Library of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.
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.
Recorded Books, one of the industry leaders in the audiobook market and a major supplier of the audiobooks, ebooks, and other electronic content to libraries has been purchased by the private investment firm Wasserstein & Co., LP. The company was sold by Haights Cross Communications, which has owned it since 1999. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
At the next Library Technology Conference in the Twin Cities in March, there won’t be one session on privacy-protecting measures for library computers—there will be two. These aren’t the only sessions of their type I’ve seen advertised lately. I’m delighted to see information professionals stepping up to teach each other how best to protect ourselves and our patrons from unwarranted invasion of privacy by digital means. As it happens, another prime opportunity to register opposition to digital invasion of privacy will arrive on February 11. Several of the best advocacy organizations in the tech industry are joining forces with prominent websites and anyone else going their way for The Day We Fight Back.
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.
Jennifer Vinopal is the Librarian for Digital Scholarship Initiatives at New York University, where she helps scholars bring their work online for preservation, curation, and more and more frequently, collaboration. She talked with Library Journal about how the face of digital scholarship is changing, what role librarians play in that change, and how the partnerships between researchers and librarians are growing closer in the new research landscape.
Ebook distribution to libraries took another leap forward on October 17 when Baker & Taylor, OverDrive, 3M, and RBDigital (Recorded Books) told their customers that Macmillan’s entire ebook backlist, 11,000 titles from lead imprints St. Martin’s, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Henry Holt, Macmillan Children’s, and Tor, would now be available to their patrons.
“The next series of innovations will come as a result of the accelerating demand in the education space. Serving students and learners of all ages (Pre-K–12, higher ed, and lifelong learning) will provide new engagement with library users and drive the next wave of innovation.” David Burleigh, Director of Marketing for OverDrive
Regularly ranked as the busiest or the second busiest library in the United States, the King County Library System (KCLS) in Washington annually processes 22 million checkouts and records more than 84 million visits to its catalog. It’s enough to strain any integrated library system (ILS), and a few years ago, IT services director Jed Moffitt decided that, owing to this volume and the need to add proprietary features to its system, there simply wasn’t a commercial ILS on the market that could meet the library’s unique requirements. He famously coauthored an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant of $1 million that enabled KCLS to experiment with, and then migrate to, the open source Evergreen ILS while developing a peer-to-peer support model to help other libraries and consortia that were interested in doing the same. Moffitt admits that there have been growing pains during the past three years. But he still maintains that commercial ILS vendors simply aren’t organized to do the type of development work that KCLS needs.