v23 #5 Book Reviews – Monographic Musings

by | Dec 5, 2011 | 0 comments

Column Editor: Debbie Vaughn (College of Charleston) <[email protected]>

Column Editor’s Note: This month, two highly distinguished library professionals grace the column inches of Monographic Musings. ATG readers undoubtedly recognize Bryan M. Carson as the editor of the über-informative and timely Legally Speaking. He is a lawyer, a librarian, and a doctor (of education, that is). Bryan earned his JD from the University of Toledo, his MLIS from the University of Michigan, and his EdD in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University. For over a decade, he has shared his expertise and knowledge in multiple positions at the Western Kentucky University Libraries. His contributions to ATG are invaluable, and his review of Intellectual Property and Competition adds to his impressive body of work. James Williams, III, Assistant Dean for Public Services at the College of Charleston’s Addlestone Library, earned his BA in Philosophy from the College of Charleston and his MLIS from the University of South Carolina. Lucky for me, I shared an office with James for several years and can claim first-hand knowledge of his expertise in staff development (among other professional areas). He is indisputably a knowledgeable, engaged, and all-around kind library leader — and therefore offers a voice of experience in his examination of An Introduction to Staff Development in Academic Libraries. Many, many thanks for Bryan and James. Happy conferencing and happy reading, everyone! — DV

Carrier, Michael A., ed. Intellectual Property and Competition. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2011. 978-1-84844-218-4. 776 pages. $375.00.

Reviewed by Bryan M. Carson (Special Assistant to the Dean for Grants and Projects and Coordinator of Reference and Instructional Services, Western Kentucky University Libraries) <[email protected]>

The intersection between intellectual property law and competition is one of the most important — but most neglected — topics in the field. How do you reconcile freedom of the marketplace and antitrust laws with the exclusive rights granted to owners of intellectual property? Intellectual Property and Competition, edited by Michael A. Carrier, contains a mixture of classic and newer articles dealing with the issues and potential conflicts raised by the overlap of these two separate fields.

There is a debate in the library world over what to do with compilations of previouslypublished materials. Should we purchase these for our collection? Or should we consider them redundant and instead direct our clients to view the original articles? The answer to this question often depends on what type of library you represent and on the depth of your journal holdings. Of course, it also depends on the richness of the articles selected by the compilation editor.

In the case of Intellectual Property and Competition, Michael Carrier has selected a variety of articles by some of the most distinguished and forward-thinking scholars in the field. In fact, a perusal of the table of contents reads like a Who’s Who of IP-Competition scholars: Herbert Hovenkamp, Richard Posner, Robert Pitofsky, and Carl Shapiro. Although many of the articles were published between 2000 and 2002, these authors are so advanced in their analysis that mainstream scholarship has only now caught up. For example, Carl Shapiro’s 2000 work “Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard Setting,” is very heavily cited. (This chapter was originally published in Volume 1 of Innovation Policy and the Economy). There are also a number of classic articles, such as William F. Baxter’s influential 1966 work “Legal Restrictions on Exploration of the Patent Monopoly: An Economic Analysis” (originally published in the Yale Law Journal).

The collection starts with Herbert Hovenkamp’s historical analysis, “The Conflict between Antitrust and Intellection Property Rights” (originally a 2005 chapter in The Antitrust Enterprise: Principle and Execution). Richard A. Posner and Robert Pitofsky contribute articles on the new economy. Several articles deal with global approaches, and the editor has selected material covering patent pools, unilateral refusals to license, the pharmaceutical industry, and standards-setting organizations. The work in this volume is outstanding, and still retains its cutting-edge quality. In terms of whether to purchase this volume or rely on the originals, I recommend that it be purchased by law firms dealing with either antitrust or intellectual property issues. While academic law libraries will probably have most of the original material, firms probably will not. Similarly, some universities supporting Ph.D.-level economics programs (but not law schools) might find the work useful. Also, it would be useful for specialized or medical research institutions that create lots of patents. Intellectual Property and Competition is highly recommended for these types of collections.

Connor, Elizabeth, ed. An Introduction to Staff Development in Academic Libraries. New York: Routledge, 2009. 978-0-7890-3844-9. 233 pages. $103.00.

Reviewed by James Williams, III (Assistant Dean for Public Services, College of Charleston) <[email protected]>

An Introduction to Staff Development in Academic Libraries is an excellent resource for staff and administrators who are thinking about establishing or revising their staff development programs. More than a “how-to” book, the case study approach provides a wealth of different perspectives and experiences for examination and consideration. The chapter titles are both “catchy” and attention-getting while still being meaningful and to-the-point. These chapters hold your interest. This book contains examples that cover topics from environment and culture to using tools such as course management systems. There is a list of figures that introduce the user to a number of tools that will assist in supporting staff development. Here one can get acquainted with a mission statement as well as the potential of software like Microsoft Onenote.

Yet another good feature of this book is that the content is more than just theory, these are actual cases where these techniques have been applied. The exercises at the end of the book help the reader develop a roadmap leading one from the thought of developing a program to its implementation. One of the best features of this book is that much of the information and techniques presented have a broad range of applications. The ideas presented can be implemented on the department level as well as for the library as a whole. I was impressed by the inclusion of a supervisor’s and various other checklists in some of the case studies. I also liked and will use the idea of a needs assessment for staff development to help target specific areas of training and support and also to assist with staff participation and “buy-in.” This is one area I would have liked to have seen a specific case study on, “encouraging staff participation and motivation.” Another area I would have appreciated a detailed discussion of was the new frontier of virtual training and Webinars, although I was well-pleased that the use of Course Management Systems (CMS) in staff development was covered. Perhaps these will be included in the next edition (hint).

All in all, a considerable amount of research is included in this book which focuses on a wide range of topics as they affect staff development and interjects topics that one may not have considered a component of staff development but should have. Some of the content, especially as it pertains to specific technologies, may quickly become dated, but I think this is a great resource for supervisors to have access to whether they’re in the library profession or not. The principles presented in this book apply to staff in general and tie together mission, outlook, and steps for ongoing success and improvement.


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