v23 #4 And They Were There

by | Oct 5, 2011 | 0 comments

Reports of Meetings — ALA Annual 2011 and the 30th Annual Charleston Conference

ALA Annual Reports by:  Lynda M. Kellam  (Data Services & Government Information Librarian, University of NC at Greensboro;  Phone: 336-334-5251)  <[email protected]>

Column Editor:  Sever Bordeianu  (Head, Print Resources Section, University Libraries, MSC05 3020, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001;  Phone: 505-277-2645;  Fax: 505-277-9813)  <[email protected]>

Slicing and Dicing: Usage Statistics for the Practitioner
Saturday, June 25 from 10:30-12:00pm

Presented by Rick Burke (Executive Director, Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium, SCELC);  Jason Price (Acquisitions and Collections Services Manager, Claremont Colleges);  John McDonald (Library Administration, Claremont Colleges);  and Annette Day (Head, Collection Management, North Carolina State University Libraries).

The ALCTS Acquisitions Section’s Research and Statistics Committee and the RUSA CODES Collection Development Planning and Assessment Committee co-sponsored this helpful session.  Each presentation examined the question of how to analyze print and electronic usage statistics in meaningful ways.  Burke and Price presented on the SCELC’s adoption of PaperStats from Pubget (http://corporate.pubget.com/library/paperstats).  SCELC is the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium that serves over 100 academic and nonprofit libraries in California and other western states.  SCELC’s primary purpose is to support libraries through licensing of products, but they realized that the small schools in their consortium would benefit from a tool that could track and analyze usage data.  They chose PaperStats from Pubget, which would allow for the aggregation of existing vendor statistics and the import of consortial data.  This tool provides SCELC members a portal in which to retrieve and display usage data and more in a meaningful way.

McDonald from the Claremont University Consortium highlighted his efforts to use data analysis to understanding the holes in the Claremont approval plan.  He said the approval plan had problems — not enough auto-shipped books were being received, slips were not matching the books actually ordered — but he wanted to use data analysis to better understand the actual problem.  After gathering data from a variety of sources, including Gobi records, catalog data, and usage statistics, he performed a detailed analysis to determine the possible predictors for purchase and usage (primarily discipline and YBP select designation such as Essential).  He concluded that the exercise helped him to better grasp the needs of the Claremont approval plan and also the areas to give more attention.  For example, he could justify automatically selecting on approval monographs with the YBP select designation of Essential for certain major LC classes.

Finally, Day discussed some projects at North Carolina State University Libraries to analyze and interpret data to justify collection dollars.  One project is a journal review study in which they created a user-driven feedback system allowing users to rank journals but that also weighted their rankings based on the user’s subject expertise (determined by their department placement at the university).  They then included cost-per-use, impact factor, and other metrics, as well as additional faculty feedback to help drive their purchasing decisions.  In the second project the libraries created a collection views database, which is a SQL database mapping department profile data (amount of grant money received, numbers of PhDs) with their collection funds.  From this database, they are able to generate data visualizations to help align expenditures.  The libraries can ask and answer questions about how the data generated matches up with the libraries’ priorities and known use of resources.  All four presentations did a wonderful job demonstrating how librarians could use in unique ways a variety of data sources, either available in-house, on-campus, or from a vendor, to demonstrate use and value.

For more information, see the ALA Connect site with the presentation slides http://connect.ala.org/node/150533.

Interview with Chor-Ching Fan, Senior Director of
Product Management for LogiXML

On Sunday, June 25 at the ALA Annual Conference I spoke with Chor-Ching Fan of LogiXML.  The company has been a leader in business intelligence for over ten years, but recently began partnering with academic libraries to assist in developing rich dashboard and analytics for e-resources and integrated library systems (ILS).  Boston College, Purdue University, New York University, and Texas Tech are charter partners who have helped to develop Logi Insight for Libraries, a tool that aggregates data sources and provides a Web-based portal allowing for custom reports and visual analysis.

The first component of Logi Insight is an ILS analytics and reporting tool that was announced at the ACRL conference in April.  This component aggregates data from dispersed sources to supplement the basic information available within a library’s ILS with the current partners running ExLibris’ Aleph or Voyager.  Library staff members are able to access information about circulation, interlibrary loan, budgeting, cataloging, and potentially more.  Based on a demonstration I saw of Logi Insight, the program provides an easy-to-use interface with which librarians can answer a wide variety of questions about usage and budgeting priorities.  For a demonstration of the LogiInsight interface and its customizable reports, watch their tutorial at http://www.logixml.com/libraryinsight/.

The second and newer component, called eResources Analytics, is focused on bringing e-resources data into Logi Insight.  The system combines ILS information, COUNTER reports, and data from other budgeting systems.  It can even resolve across differing COUNTER reports standards.  Using these data visualization and reporting tools, librarians can have a better grasp of e-resource usage and relative value and be in a better position to prioritize at home and then negotiate with vendors.

Finally, LogiXML has announced the availability of Logi Mobile and showcased a live iPhone app built by Boston College that allows students and faculty to access their library accounts and find resources.

The benefit of LogiXML’s Logi Insight is being able to aggregate a variety of data sources in disperse silos, from budgeting data to circulation data and more, and then create easily customizable analytics and visualizations.  They improve on the existing reporting mechanisms within a library’s ILS by aggregating data from disparate sources with far less manual effort to answer the “Why” questions in a timely manner.  According to Mr. Fan, the most likely customers for Logi Insight are ARL universities who want to put more relevant information at the fingertips of non-technical library staff so they can make better operational and strategic decisions to address the needs and behaviors of today’s patrons.  For more information, see the LogiXML Website at http://www.logixml.com/.

Numeric and Geospatial Data Services in Academic
Libraries Interest Group (DIG) meeting
Saturday, June 25, 2011

Data services and data librarians are becoming more common in academic libraries, but because of their interdisciplinary focus, they do not have one group in ALA.  To give data librarians a home, Jen Darragh, data librarian at Johns Hopkins University, created DIG, a data interest group within ACRL.  Although most current members are public service librarians, DIG welcomes anyone with an interest in numeric and geospatial data.

At the DIG meeting at Annual we discussed a hot topic in the data world, research data management plans, and shared ideas for supporting this area of service.  While we agreed about the need to assist our faculty, the group differed in our approaches to the various problems related to data management, especially educating faculty about metadata and the appropriateness of archiving data at local institutions.  The discussion also touched when to refer faculty to the existing data archives, such as the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) or the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA).  The discussion was wide-ranging, and several interesting ideas emerged.  You can read more about the meeting and its topics at http://connect.ala.org/node/148156.

If this is an issue you are currently tackling at your institution or if you are new to the data management world, here is a new resource on data management issues worldwide: http://www.iassistdata.org/resources/category/data-management-and-curation.

For more information about DIG, see http://connect.ala.org/node/85286.

Emerging Leader Poster Session
Friday, June 24, 2011

On Friday, June 24, before the official opening of the ALA conference, a group of new librarians and library students gathered together for their final duty as members of the 2011 class of Emerging Leaders.  The Emerging Leaders program for ALA is a relatively new leadership development program started in 2006 as one of former ALA President Leslie Burger’s initiatives.  Every year the new class is divided into groups to tackle projects sponsored by ALA divisions and roundtables.  Some projects are small while others are ambitious, but they all reflect the diversity of ALA.  While I cannot cover all of the projects here, I will highlight a few interesting ones.  You can read all of the projects at http://connect.ala.org/taxonomy/term/13124.

The first, Project G, developed a collection policy for a video game and console collection.  In addition to writing a model policy, they developed resources for assistance with cataloging, maintenance, and weeding of the collection.  In addition, they developed guidelines for programming to promote and support the collection.  You can read more about Project G at http://connect.ala.org/node/125811 or at their project site, https://sites.google.com/site/libraryvideogames/.

Project L worked with LearnRT (the Learning Round Table) to develop best practices for creating a Webinar series.  They reviewed the Websites of 16 Webinar programs to gather information about their practices.  They then surveyed key organizers to formulate their recommendations, which included suggestions for planning, promotions, scheduling, choosing presenters, and differences in platforms.  For more information about the project, including their full report, see http://connect.ala.org/node/125838.

Finally, Project I worked to create a library of resources about Website usability.  Sponsored by the Information Technology and Telecommunication Services of ALA, they entitled their project “The Seven Deadliest Sins of Library Websites” and created an accompanying delicious site (http://www.delicious.com/librarysins).  On the delicious site you can find a matrix explaining the seven deadliest sins along with examples.  They give suggestions for improvement for each “sin” based on the type of library (academic, school, public, etc), thereby acknowledging the differing needs of each.  For more information see http://connect.ala.org/node/145343.

Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, “Anything Goes!” Francis Marion Hotel, Embassy Suites Historic District, Holiday Inn Historic District, and Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, November 3-6, 2010

Charleston Conference Reports compiled by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Collection Development / Special Projects Librarian, Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)  <[email protected]>

Column Editor’s Note:  Thank you to all of the 2010 Charleston Conference attendees who agreed to write short reports that highlighted sessions they attended.  All attempts were made to provide a broad coverage of sessions, and notes are included in the reports to reflect changes in the session titles or presenters that were not printed in the conference’s final program.  Slides and handouts from many 2010 Charleston Conference presentations can be found online at http://www.slideshare.net/event/2010-charleston-conference, and the Charleston Conference Proceedings will be published sometime in Fall 2011.

In this issue of Against the Grain you will find the fourth installment of 2010 conference reports.  The previous installments can be found in ATG v.23#1, v.23#2, and v.23#3.  We will continue to publish all of the reports received in upcoming print issues throughout the year. — RKK

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2010
(continued from previous installment)

FRIDAY LIVELY LUNCHES

On the Front Lines of Health Sciences: Trends, Trials, and Tribulations (10th Annual Health Sciences Librarians Lively Lunch) — Presented by Dr. Elliot R. Siegel (National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health, Retired);  Elizabeth Lorbeer (University of Alabama at Birmingham); Heather Klusendorf (EBSCO);  Clark Morrell (Rittenhouse);  Ramune Kubilius (Northwestern University, Galter Health Sciences Library)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University,
Galter Health Sciences Library  <[email protected]>

 

The 10th annual Lively Lunch began with Lorbeer’s introductions, followed by an annual re-cap of health sciences collection-related developments (since CC 2009) by KubiliusMorrell introduced the featured speaker, who spent almost 35 years at NLM (he moved to South Carolina upon his recent retirement and still consults).  Through the years, Siegel had a unique opportunity to be part of many NLM service and technology initiatives, some successful, some less so.  “Know when to cut your losses and do evaluation” seemed to be the oft-repeated message.  If you have created already, it’s too late to plan evaluation.  Anticipate outcomes to attain objectives.  The presenter provided snapshots of NLM history: mainframes, end-user searching, NCBI, the Visible Human,  international visibility (e.g., the  multilateral malaria initiative and the large percentage of international PubMed users), outreach, interactive publications, etc.  Siegel admitted that technology can be disrupting and enabling.  One must seek the support of people in power, avoid colleagues who sabotage.  The long, thin room venue was not conducive to discussion, but attendees did have questions, including one plea for PubMed usage statistics (so libraries could make informed comparisons against fee-based MEDLINE products licensed from NLM).

 

Using Donations as a Collection Analysis Tool:  Dispersal and Retention of 7,000 Unexpected Books — Presented by Thomas Karel (Franklin & Marshall College Library)

Reported by:  Sara Herndon  (SLIS Student University of South Carolina)  <[email protected]>

 

The presentation adhered closely to the advertisement.  Karel gave a detailed story of the eccentric Louise Ansberry and her unique collection, with advice for libraries at the receiving end of unsolicited gifts.

His description of Ansberry’s collection was fascinating on its own grounds and included a slide show of beautiful and unique book covers.  However, this type of collecting is impractical for most larger libraries, and it was wise to mention the size and type of library in the advertisement.

The one missing component in the presentation was a closer examination of how the college selected its titles.  The emphasis was on which titles were selected.  On the other hand, it did give helpful hints for how to deal with unwanted gifts when space is at a premium.  It also provided a useful foil for most other presentations.  While other presentations focused on how to maximize digital collections and weeding print, Karel showed himself to be a bibliophile with a love for old books and beautiful covers.

 

Ask An Aggregator — Presented by Sue Polanka (Wright State University Libraries);  Kevin Sayar (ebrary);  Kari Paulson (EBL);  Tim Collins (EBSCO);  Rich Rosy (Ingram
Library Services)
Note:  Sue Polanka served as moderator.

Reported by:  Angela Rathmel  (University of Kansas)
<[email protected]>

 

Executives from four major eBook aggregators answered questions ranging from basic service differences, to future directions in discoverability and mobile technology, to “what keeps them up at night.”  Each demonstrated unique advantages: EBSCO’s platform and strong relationship with publishers, Ingram’s content quality and seamless e/p[rint] acquisition integration, EBL’s patron-driven expertise, and ebrary’s technology and focus on end-usability.

The complexity of the “usage-drives-revenue” model was laid bare in this session, revealing how libraries, vendors, and publishers seem to work at cross-purposes.  Publishers are reluctant to make eBooks more accessible, either in production or license and DRM revisions, until use grows.  Libraries argue use will not grow until eBooks are more accessible in these ways.  Yet, aggregators on this panel were optimistic, affirming publishers awareness of the growing need, seen most compellingly in vendor data of acquisitions partners like YBP.

The panel also recognized the need for some kind of standardization for metadata, digital delivery turnaround, and DRM.  They even proposed that we may be close to a point (similar to ejournals) where DRM can go away altogether!  All told, the session was an excellent forum that met expectation of true dialogue between libraries and vendors.

 

Providing Alumni Remote Access to Research Databases.  Is It Worth It? — Presented by Catherine Wells (Moderator; Case Western Reserve University, Kelvin Smith Library);  Mike Diaz (ProQuest);  Steve Levie (EBSCO Publishing);  Jason E.
Phillips
(JSTOR);  Aisha Harvey (Duke University);  Corey Seeman (University of Michigan);  Patricia Lovett (Johns
Hopkins University)

Reported by:  Desmond Maley  (J.N. Desmarais Library,
Laurentian University)  <[email protected]>

 

Various initiatives to offer alumni remote access to library databases were described.  Johns Hopkins offers access through its alumni development office.  There are basic and enhanced fees for the access.  At Duke, the alumni development office manages access to the databases, the increased cost of which the library pays.  (The cost is less than $1 a search.)  The business school library at Michigan offers a number of databases to its alumni; the library absorbs the cost.  Access to career databases such as Vault and CareerSearch is especially appreciated by the alumni.  ProQuest and EBSCO have developed fee schedules for access to a select number of databases for alumni.  In the Q&A that followed, there was discussion of “the return” that the institution might expect from alumni.  The practice to date has evolved principally as a goodwill gesture, with the usage proving the concept.

 

Changing Operations of Academic Libraries — Presented by
Allen McKiel (Western Oregon University);  Jim Dooley (University of California Merced);  Robert Murdoch (Brigham Young University);  Carol Zsulya (Cleveland State University)

Reported by:  Ruth Castillo  (SLIS Student, University of
South Carolina)  <[email protected]>

 

McKiel, who moderated and presented on changes at Western Oregon University, started off this session with the significant changes that he believed were driving the “ongoing online evolution” in academic libraries and the information community.  These are eBooks, the push to digitize all books, the FCC opening up TV white space for Wi-Fi, and the evolution of eReader devices.  Dooley presented the UC Merced library as an example of a true 21st Century library, as the university opened only five years ago.  He stated that the library’s collection is approximately 90% electronic resources.  UC Merced currently uses a patron-selection acquisition plan along with a number of subscription packages for eResources.  Murdoch hypothesized that the “Big Bang” of digital content and the “Big Drop” of the economy has created the Perfect Storm for change in academic libraries.  He saw these changes reflected across the board in collection development, acquisitions, and processing services.  Zsulya, sadly, did not have time to speak, but she did briefly touch on the political challenges affecting OhioLink, the statewide consortium and the resulting impact on academic libraries.

 

Sharing the Love — Presented by Amy Elliott  (Boise State University);
Peggy Cooper (Boise State University)

Reported by:  Pamela Hoppock  (SLIS student, University of
South Carolina)  <[email protected]>

 

The speakers clearly addressed the topic as it was advertised.  The speakers identified several steps Albertsons Library has taken to become a beloved part of the University system.  Their focus is on improving services for end users.  Staffing needs have changed too, as with the ILL staff doubling.  The speakers repeatedly pointed out the great effort put into and success of the liaison program.  Albertsons Library now offers professors personal research libraries.  The key points being: 1) library Web pages are built for individual professors, 2) creates a “see you really do matter” feeling, 3) increases access to information, 4) the pages are not linked out of the library — they are available to the faculty member.  This sounded like a pilot program that is still being developed and it will be interesting to hear if and how it grows.  Other services they use include:  faculty author receptions, scholar works, purchasing of eBooks, and the use of focus groups.  The speakers pointed out that end users want a nice comfortable place to study, meet, and hang out.  The library continues to try many new programs to see what works.  The verbal, written and financial support the library has received indicates success with the changes made.

 

What it Takes to be an Acquisitions Librarian Today
Presented by Arlene Moore Sievers-Hill  (Case Western
Reserve University)

Reported by:  Cathy Goodwin  (Coastal Carolina University,
Kimbel Library)  <[email protected]>

 

This Lively Lunch was less a presentation than a discussion by participants about issues in acquisitions.  The message was clear:  the way acquisitions librarians have worked in the past is changing.  Acquisition librarians who had been in their jobs for some time have seen the workload and workflow change; monograph selection is often the realm of subject librarians, and print selection is supplanted with purchase or subscription to electronic resources.  The audience, understandably, were those new to the profession.  Most had come from public services with little acquisitions/collection development experience, or were new to librarianship and were hired to administer much-needed changes after years of “business as usual.”  What it takes to be an acquisitions librarian today is a readiness to learn the hyphenated landscape of library acquisitions: pay-per-view, print-on-demand, patron-driven acquisition, e-reference, and eBooks as approval plans and print title selection become less of the “business of acq.”

FRIDAY CONCURRENT SESSION 1

A Serials Format Inventory ProjectPresented by Paula Sullenger
(Auburn University)

Reported by:  Steven A. Knowlton  (University of Memphis,
Ned R. McWherter Library)  <[email protected]>

 

Sullenger presented an overview of Auburn University’s project to move as many journal titles as possible to online-only access.  After three years of research, the library was able to move about 2/3 of its titles to online access; the remaining titles are either not available online, or the online version was prohibitively priced or offered with unacceptable terms.

Notable trends were the print-only status of journals in art and architecture, literature, and local history, whose audience typically extends beyond academic libraries.

Although Auburn was disappointed that so many titles remain print-only, a comparison with other universities who have done similar inventories finds that the percentage of print-only titles is similar elsewhere.

As a result of the project, the serials department has freed up staff from check-in to work on other priorities.

A free-flowing discussion about the merits of print-versus-online and the necessity of persuading academic faculty to discontinue print subscriptions followed.  It was generally noted that once print subscriptions are cancelled, even the most vehement objectors were satisfied with online access.

 

A Systematic Approach to Process Improvement: Applying Scholtes’s SIPOC model to Library OperationsPresented by Lars Meyer (Emory University Libraries);  Charles Spornick (Emory University Libraries)

Reported by:  Pamela Grudzien (Central Michigan University Libraries)   <[email protected]>

 

Meyer and Spornick reported on a project that evaluated Emory Libraries’ process of acquiring and making electronic resources accessible.  The impetus behind the project was a change in top administration for both the university and library.  Systematic process improvement analysis was initiated campus-wide.  The speakers had specialized training in Peter Scholtes’ SIPOC model which involves analysis of five aspects: Suppliers, Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Customers.  All staff connected to the overall process were involved in the SIPOC analysis.  They also did process mapping of the major steps noting who was involved and areas for improvement.  As a result of the analysis, four different work clusters were created: selection, decision/approval, licensing/metadata/cataloging/SFX, and payment.  After the new procedures were instituted, two more clusters were identified: roles & responsibilities, and documentation.  Meyer and Spornick did a commendable job explaining a complex model and project in 50 minutes.  They indicated that SIPOC training was necessary to apply the model completely, and the assistance of a consultant/coach was an important factor in their success.

 

Enhanced E-Books: What Are They & What Will They Mean for Libraries?Presented by Sylvia K. Miller (The Long Civil Rights Movement Project, UNC Press);  Nancy Gibbs (Duke University Libraries);  Michael Bills (Baker & Taylor)

Reported by:  Katherine Latal  (University at Albany)
<[email protected]>

 

Using online video clips, Miller shared examples of enhanced eBooks (eebs):  an interactive book for teens for the iPhone;  a book where pictures of chemical elements rotate, multi-touch technology moves several objects simultaneously and a duplicated image can be viewed through 3-D glasses;  a print journal modified using Adobe AIR, with dual-access navigation.  Other aspects she highlighted were linking out to related lectures from the margin within a journal, permitting readers to comment, or having authors to comment on their own work.  Biographies are improved with video and audio clips of the subject.  Since eebs are updateable, new material can be added as items are discovered, even after publication.

Bills proposed that in order for eebs to be accessible to a lot of readers,  even when they are using different devices, titles should be available through a free e-reading application, such as Blio.  A recent survey determined that readers would pay extra for certain features: a multi-page view;  pop-up table of contents;  slider between pages;  thumbnails.  Blio plans to launch a library circulation application and mobile device versions next year.

Gibbs envisions libraries wanting usage statistics for the different pieces of the eebs.

 

The E-brarian Revolution: The Collapse of the Traditional Library and the Dawn of the New E-EmpirePresented by Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (IGI Global);  Kevin Sayer (ebrary);  Marcus Woodburn (Ingram Content Group);  Mirela Roncevic  (IGI Global);  Rick Anderson (University of Utah);
Lynn Silipigni Connaway (OCLC)

Reported by:  Kyle McCarrell  (Augusta State University)
<[email protected]>

 

With technology changing at breakneck speed, looking into the library crystal ball and predicting the future can be difficult, if not impossible.  This panel, however, tackled this issue and provided attendees with a glimpse of how libraries and librarians will continue to evolve over the next twenty years.  Roncevic focused on the globalization of information and how the previous model where content and format were equal will be replaced by a model where content flows globally and format is a non-issue.  Connaway looked at how librarians must provide a diverse menu of services to users who have access to large amounts of information, but lack digital literacy skills.  Anderson discussed how the terms “library” and “librarian” may change as printed-book shelving units are repurposed for more collaborative spaces and traditional library positions may be eliminated based on the needs of library users.  Sayer and Woodburn talked about how vendors and publishers are trying to manage the vast amounts of new information that are being produced as society moves to an entirely digital world.  Questions from the audience focused on the future of library science graduate programs and if the development of new technology is being driven by content or not.

 

Kindles, E-Readers, and Academic LibrariesPresented
by Stephen A. Patton (Delta State University);
Robyn Andrews (Furman University)

Reported by:  Desmond Maley  (J.N. Desmarais Library,
Laurentian University)  <[email protected]>

 

Patton plunged into the topic without framing the discussion.  Rather, he discussed the specifics of technological improvements, notably the efforts to achieve greater energy efficiency, improved screen display, and making the screen much more durable.  He speculated on the dominant platform for eBooks in the years to come, and said his Kindle is already a dinosaur.  He noted that the online usage spikes upward every year, while physical collections atrophy.  Andrews brought a pragmatic dimension by discussing e-readers from her point of view as a circulation supervisor.  She addressed the problems of product choice, downloading texts, providing advice to users, maintenance and repair, and library fines policy for damage or loss of the readers.  She is a member of the e-reader committee that deals with these issues.

 

Kindles, E-Readers, and Academic LibrariesPresented
by Stephen A. Patton (Delta State University);
Robyn Andrews (Furman University)

Reported by:  Som Linthicum  (MLIS student at the University of South Carolina)  <[email protected]>

 

This slightly disjointed presentation reviewed two distinct issues regarding the use of e-Readers in an academic setting.  The first part of the session concentrated on the technical state of the art.  Among the issues discussed were forthcoming advancements in screen technologies, as e-paper gives way to transreflective OLED systems.  These are proving to be more durable, more flexible, more energy efficient, and more cost-effective than competing technologies now on the market.  Unfortunately, OLED screen systems have yet to be adapted to a mainstream commercial product.  Also on the docket were discussions of contemporary device providers, their relative strengths and weaknesses, and the looming figure of device obsolescence as multifunctional e-devices reach for a part of the e-reader market.  The second part of the session highlighted a pilot e-reader program administered by Furman University’s James B. Duke Library.  The limited trial conducted primarily among staff and faculty patrons concluded that current devices, in this case the Kindle, were relatively readable and user-friendly within a leisure context, but unsuitable to academic research.  Among the failings stressed were the inability to utilize multiple texts simultaneously, the lack of easy internal searching, the inability to highlight text, limited or no functionality for margin notes, un-useable pagination, and ineffectual citation mechanisms.  The Furman study ultimately determined to focus current resources on developing e-resource collections, rather than acquiring e-reader devices;  to build technical expertise in order to support patron use of their own devices; and to withhold further evaluation until e-reader devices mature further.  Finally, the presenters offered a series of relevant questions that should background any future consideration of an e-reader program.

 

Catching the Wave: Academic Library as Scholarly Publisher — Presented by Tim Tamminga (Berkeley Electronic Press);  Tim Bucknall (UNC Greensboro)

Reported by:  Ramune K. Kubilius  (Northwestern University,
Galter Health Sciences Library)  <[email protected]>

 

Should libraries become involved in publishing ventures?  Bucknall argued for the appropriateness of the role (as long as it has strategic value).  Flexibility is required (disciplines and media).  Activity may be ad hoc or formal, it may be “traditional” (eBooks, e-journals, IR) or “non-traditional” (interface design, digitization, Web design).  The library can move in to fill gaps (areas not filled by academic publishers), or to help alleviate faculty & IT strained relationships.  Funding is one challenge (grant? fees for service? re-purpose existing resources?).  Assessment is key.  UNC considers its results “mixed” so far.  This activity can raise the institution’s profile.  Tamminga presented an environmental scan, sharing the challenge — “Let’s add another publishing model.”  The creativity and diversity of projects probably provided attendees with good examples of “catching the wave” — society proceedings, Etruscan collections,  journals (Open Access and subscription-based), digitized archives, atlas of Maine, NASIG’s newsletter, theater, art, dance, poetry, Medieval Feminist Forum, cranberry growers, etc.  Projects can become different or better:  a forum became peer-reviewed; a commercial press-rejected publication saw new life.  Students can present or publish.  Libraries can: market, give the “stamp of quality” and branding, ensure preservation and stewardship, etc.  The needs of stakeholders are served.

 

Coping with the Short Goodbye:  Handling Unanticipated Change — Presented by Roxanne Spencer (Western Kentucky University);  Elisabeth Knight (Western Kentucky University);  Nancy Richey (Kentucky Library/Western Kentucky University)
Note:  Elisabeth Knight was unable to attend the session, and a volunteer gave her portion of the presentation.

Reported by:  Wendy West  (SUNY Albany)
<[email protected]>

 

The presenters discussed the impact that the loss of an employee can have, not only on the workflow, but also on the morale and emotional state of the remaining staff.  Decreased staffing can occur for several reasons including sabbaticals, layoffs, retirements, reorganization, and death.  Remaining staff must contend with the reality of the loss, will experience the pain of grief, and require time to adjust to the changes to the work environment.  The issues are often personal and focused internally.  Employees may also feel some level of personal responsibility for the loss.  Managers simultaneously deal with both the emotional and personal aspects of the loss and the redistribution of workload and responsibilities.  The presenters discussed best practices for managers and libraries for succession planning and to assist staff with the personal side of the loss.  The best practices suggested included developing a crisis management team and plan.  A question-and-answer session followed the presentation.

 

Archiving Ebooks:  How Can You Keep What You Own if Disaster Befalls — Presented by Kari Paulson (EBL);  Carolyn Morris (Coutts/Myilibrary);  Sue Polanka (Wright State University);  Toni Tracy (Portico);  Rebecca Seger (Oxford University Press)
Note:  Rich Rosy (Ingram Content Group) joined the panel in place of Carolyn Morris.

Reported by:  Rita M. Cauce  (Florida International
University Libraries)  <[email protected]>

 

This afternoon panel discussed the challenges and opportunities to archiving eBooks from the perspective of the different communities involved: libraries, publishers, aggregators, and preservation/e-archiving services.  Polanka opened the discussion, illustrating the library community’s concerns, essentially the fear of losing content we no longer house in our buildings or on our servers.  Seger highlighted what Oxford University Press has done for eBook archiving, such as: keeping a repository in universal PDF format since publishers cannot archive proprietary aggregator versions; offering purchasers the xml data for local archiving; and maintaining Oxford Scholarship Online, a growing library of Oxford eBooks.  Tracy gave an update of what Portico is doing for preservation of eBooks.  Their eBook model was launched in 2008 and currently has over 70,000 eBooks archived.  They secure all formats from publishers and once the material is in Portico, it is in for perpetuity; material is irrevocable.  Rosy recognized an aggregator adds more confusion and complexity to archiving since the publisher would have to be involved in maintaining the platform, should the aggregator go away.  Paulson ended the discussion in a positive note, proposing an alliance between publisher, library, aggregator, and archiving services.  She demonstrated how an alliance would secure access through other aggregators or archiving services, should an aggregator platform suddenly disappear.

 

That’s all the reports we have room for in this issue.  Watch for the more reports from the 2010 Charleston Conference in upcoming issues of Against the Grain.  Presentation material (PowerPoint slides, handouts) and taped session links from many of the 2010 sessions are available online.  Visit the Conference Website at www.katina.info/conference. — KS

 

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