Current Cites

Current Cites, September 2005

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Shirl Kennedy, Leo Robert Klein, Jim Ronningen, Roy Tennant


"In Depth: LibrariesChronicle of Higher Education  (30 September 2005)(http://chronicle.com/indepth/libraries/). - This is a special Chronicle supplement on libraries containing a package of stories, most of which are available to subscribers only: Thoughtful Designs: "As they renovate old libraries and plan new ones, colleges consider the purpose of the buildings -- and how to make them popular."Evolving Roles: "Today's reference librarians need IT and pedagogical skills. Institutions are adapting in various ways, says W. Lee Hisle." The Beauty of Browsing: "Fred D. White doesn't want stacks closed and mechanized. He wants to hold books in his hand and see where they take him." Should Librarians Get Tenure? Yes, It's Crucial to Their Jobs: "College librarians are crucial partners in teaching and research, and they should be eligible for tenure like their faculty colleagues, says Catherine Murray-Rust." (This one is available free to non-subscribers.) Should Librarians Get Tenure? No, It Can Hamper Their Roles: "Librarians should be involved in college governance, but, writes Deborah A. Carver, they don't face the academic-freedom issues that professors do, and don't need tenure." (This one is available free to non-subscribers.) - SK

Band, Jonathan. "The Google Print Library Project: A Copyright AnalysisE-Commerce Law & Policy  7(8)(2005)(http://www.policybandwidth.com/doc/googleprint.pdf). - This analysis by a noted copyright lawyer examines how the Google Print program works and dissects its copyright implications. It concludes: "By limiting the search results to a few sentences before and after the search term, the program will not conflict with the normal exploitation of works nor unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of rightsholders. To the contrary, it often will often increase demand for copyrighted works." (The article link is to a preprint.) - CB

Cole, Louise. "A Journey into E-Resource Administration Hell"  Serials Librarian  49(1/2)(2005): 141-154. - Hair-raising jaunt through the "horrors" of managing e-resources, primarily subscription-based, that face an academic library in the 21st Century. The author's tongue-in-cheek style makes palatable what otherwise must be a challenging situation. On display is a system so complicated that vendors can't tell what they hold, whether you're subscribed to it and, er, when it's expected to come back online. - LRK

Farkas, Meredith. "Survey of the Biblioblogosphere: ResultsInformation Wants to Be Free  (12 September 2005)(http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/index.php/2005/09/12/survey-of-the-biblioblogosphere-results/). - Who are the library bloggers? If you think they are mainly under 30, the results of this survey may surprise you. For example, 16.4% were 41 to 50, 8.5% were 51 to 60, and 3% were over 60. OK, the research design may not pass JASIST standards, but this is a fascinating glimpse into what is going on in the biblioblogosphere in terms of blogger demographics, attitudes, behaviors, and motivations. - CB

Lavoie, Brian, Lynn Silipigni  Connaway, and Lorcan  Dempsey. "Anatomy of Aggregate Collections: The Example of Google Print for LibrariesD-Lib Magazine  11(9)(September 2005)(http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september05/lavoie/09lavoie.html). - Google's plan to digitize parts of the collections of four large research libraries, and the entire collection of one has certainly raised some important questions. In this interesting piece, OCLC staff looks at five aspects of the project based on what they know of the collections from information in WorldCat: coverage, language, copyright, works, and convergence. They found that the combined collections of the 'Google 5' libraries cover approximately one-third of the items in the entire WorldCat database. Of that one-third, 61% of the items were held by only only library of the Google 5; only 3% were held by all five. There are other intriguing findings, not the least of which is that over 80% of the books to be digitized are still under copyright. This piece is essential reading for anyone interested in the Google Library project. - RT

Rosenthal, David S. H., Thomas  Robertson, and Tom  Lipkis, et. al."Requirements for Digital Preservation Systems: A Bottom-Up Approach  (September 2005)(http://www.arxiv.org/abs/cs.DL/0509018). - This paper inspects threats to digital preservation repositories from internal issues such as the failure of storage media, hardware, software, operator error, natural disaster, external attack, economic failure, organizational failure, and others. The authors then suggest strategies to address these issues, such as replication, transparency, migration, diversity, audit, sloth (yes, sloth), and others. The paper ends with some specific recommendations for repositories, many of them focused on open disclosure of internal policies and procedures. - RT

Seaman, Scott. "Another Great Dissolution? The Privatization of Public Universities and the Academic Library"  Journal of Academic Librarianship  31(4)(July 2005): 305-309. - Grim tidings are portrayed on the financial front as States gradually disengage from supporting institutions of higher learning. The changing financial environment, from public to private sources, begins then to change the nature and priorities of the institutions themselves. Needless to say, libraries are left with the short end of the stick. - LRK

Smallwood, Robert. "DRM in ERM: Know Your Rights ProvidersEContent: Digital Content Strategies & Solutions  28(9)(September 2005): 34-41. (http://www.econtentmag.com/?ArticleID=13481). - Digital rights management is a hot-button issue among information providers, discussed in the same context as fair use, and the author points out that it usually refers to "protections of digital entertainment files in the business-to-consumer marketplace." Though DRM and ERM, or enterprise rights management, aren't entirely distinct from each other, ERM is the subject here so we're looking at the management and protection of confidential information both inside and outside an organization's firewall. IT managers, CIOs and others with the responsibility for securing intellectual property will benefit from Smallwood's overview of current security tools and the companies which are developing them. He provides context, relating the systems to platforms and commonly used office software, and interesting sidelights such as the particular hoops to jump through in China, where encryption may be illegal but business information theft is on the rise. For those of us who have to be more concerned with defending access to what the public has a right to, perhaps "know your enemy" is a bit strong, but the article increases awareness of what may need to be monitored for inappropriate use or overuse. There are two sidebars, one describing recent developments in standards for DRM/ERM software, and the other profiling the holders of patents behind some of the products described in the main body of the article. - JR

Sullivan, Danny. "End Of Size Wars? Google Says Most Comprehensive But Drops Home Page CountSearchEngineWatch  (27 September 2005)(http://searchenginewatch.com/searchday/article.php/3551586). - Sullivan reports that Google has removed the "page count" figure from its home page, although it still claims to offer "the most comprehensive collection of web documents available to searchers." Since, as he points out, this move "divorces the notion of page counting as a way to 'prove' comprehensiveness," it will help to quell, somewhat, the ongoing "search engine wars." Search engines have touted the size of their databases "as a quick, effective way to give the impression they were more relevant," which is simply not true. As every information profession knows, bigger is not always better; relevancy of search results is what really counts. Another important factor is duplication of content. What good, really, is a huge database that returns a large percentage of duplicate results. Sullivan provides an overview of some of the more recent battles in the ongoing search engine war, as well as reviewing some studies on the accuracy (or lack thereof) of invididual search engine database size claims. And there is considerable question how worthwhile these sort of comparisons are, anyhow. "Quality includes comprehensiveness. So if someone devises a test of real queries, things that don't involve rare words but instead rare information on the web, that's of interest." - SK