Getting the Word Out: LISWire and LISEvents

Blake Carver (of LISNews and LISHost fame) announced two new projects yesterday: LISWire and LISEvents. In the same spirit that I would categorize open source, open access, and open knowledge, these services level the playing field for the publication of library-oriented press releases and announcements of events.

Soundprint’s ‘Who Needs Libraries?’

OhioLINK’s Meg Spernoga pointed our staff to a 30 minute audio documentary called Who Needs Libraries? from Soundprint.org:

As more and more information is available on-line, as Amazon rolls out new software that allows anyone to find any passage in any book, an important question becomes: Who needs libraries anymore? Why does anyone need four walls filled with paper between covers? Surprisingly, they still do and in this program Producer Richard Paul explores why; looking at how university libraries, school libraries and public libraries have adapted to the new information world. This program airs as part of our ongoing series on education and technology, and is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education.

Textbooks On Reserve Program at Miami University

At the Academic Library Association of Ohio meeting last week, I saw a presentation by John Burke, director of the library at Miami University – Middletown, and Krista McDonald, director of the library Miami University – Hamilton called “You Can’t Do That! Library-Initiated Textbooks on Reserve Programs.” It was an introduction to their program to provide access to textbooks through the library’s course reserve service. It was such a great session that I felt compelled to write it up and share it with a larger audience.

Schemes to Add Functionality to the Web OPAC

Schemes to add functionality to the web OPAC fall into four categories: web OPAC enhancements, web OPAC wrappers, web OPAC replacements, and integrated library system replacements. I’m outlining these four techniques in a report I’m editing for an OhioLINK strategic task force and a bit of a reality check on this categorization is desired, so if I’m missing anything big (conceptually or announcements of projects/products that fall into these categories), please let me know in the comments. Generally speaking, this list is ordered by cost/complexity to implement — from lowest to highest — as well as the ability to offer the described enhanced services from least likely to most likely.

Offering Premium Resources

I love my local public library system, the Columbus Metropolitan Library. I’m a big fan of its helpful staff, plentiful collections, and convenient delivery service. Today I appaud it for coming up with what I think is the best terminology for our patrons to understand what we mean when we say databases. CML's 'Beyond Google' Box In a box on their homepage with the heading “Beyond Google” the CML says “Your library card is all you need to access our premium online resources!” What a great phrase for those things — premium online resources. By using the word “premium,” this phrase points out the notion that these are things with added value. That added value may come from the fact that the resources are licensed and are therefore beyond what you would get just looking at the open web. Or it could mean that it is a curated collection created and offered to the open web by the library itself. Some may waver over the use of the word “resources” but I think that is a meaningful phrase

Undergraduates Own More Laptops than Desktops

The Chronicle of Higher Education today reports on a study by the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research on the usage of information technology by undergraduate students. Page three of the key findings report [PDF] contains this graph. Change in Technology Ownership from 2005 to 2007, from ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2007 One of the key findings that shocked me was the predominance of laptop computers over desktop computers for undergraduate students. Students reported last year an ever-so-slight ownership of desktop computers (68.9% versus 68.3%). Laptops overtook desktops this year, with three-quarters of students reporting ownership of a laptop and just over half reporting ownership of a desktop. (These numbers would also seem to indicate that a significant number of students own both a laptop and a desktop machine.) Another interesting finding is the growth in “smartphone” devices in the past two years. These are hand-helds that combine the functions of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) with that of a mobile phone. One wonders if this number will jump significantly with Apple’s marketing push to sell 10 million iPhones by the end of next year

Survey on Library Automation Trends

Marshall Breeding, editor of Library Technology Guides homepage, is conducting a survey on the trends in library automation. He describes the survey in a web4lib mailing list posting:

I am conducting a survey on library automation trends. The survey aims to measure how well libraries are satisfied with their automation systems and the companies or other organizations that support them. It also attempts to get some indication of whether libraries are looking favorably on open source software for their automation system.

The survey leverages the “Library Technology Guides” list and the lib-web-cats list of library catalogs. You’ll need to register for the Library Technology Guides website and then read the survey instructions.

SOLINET’s Collective Vision of the Future of Libraries

Library Journal reports on the results of discussions among SOLINET1 members to envision what their library of the future will be. The summary is available as a PDF document as are the instruments used to generate the discussion. The report is two pages of executive summary, four pages of compact overviews of the major areas of focus, and four pages of recommendations for the SOLINET organization.

Call for Participation in Meredith Wolfwater’s Biblioblogosphere Survey

Meredith Farkas is conducting a survey of those in the library and information science profession who blog:

After two years [since completing the first Survey of the Biblioblogosphere], it doesn’t take a survey to see that the library blogosphere has changed a great deal. So many people now are blogging who would never have considered it two years ago. While I felt like I knew of most of the library blogs out there in 2005, I know that I probably barely know 1/10 of them today. Something that was once seen as incredibly risky to do (and still is depending on how you approach it) is now thought of as a way to make a name for yourself in the profession. The number of libraries that are blogging has exploded as well. All of these changes have made me very curious about what we’d find today if we did the Survey of the Biblioblogosphere.

Automating Withdrawn Actions: Maximixing the Long Tail of Acquisitions

Libraries place a good deal of emphasis on collection development policies — a written statement of a library’s intentions for building its collection. It describes the collection’s strengths and weaknesses and provides guidelines for the purchase (“acquisition”) and disposition (“weeding”) of content. This is an activity that sets libraries apart from other organizations.