Current Cites

Current Cites, May 2006

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

College Students' Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources  Dublin, OH: OCLC, .( - This "companion piece" to OCLC's recent report Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources focuses on the college student slice of OCLC's survey of library users and their perceptions. As such, they can go into much more detail about their findings, and they do. One caution -- if you download the PDF either read it on-screen or print to a color printer, since some of the graphs become hard to interpret in grayscale. Highly recommended for academic library staff. - RT

Mass Digitization: Implications for Information Policy  Washington, DC: U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), 9 May 2006.( - The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) sponsored the symposium "Scholarship and Libraries in Transition: A Dialogue about the Impacts of Mass Digitization Projects" in March 2006 at the University of Michigan. This 24-page report identifies nine major issues that arose from that symposium and summarizes key points under each: copyright, quality, the role of libraries, ownership and preservation, standardization and interoperability, the role of publishers and booksellers, business models, information literacy, and assessment. - RT

Aftergood, Steven. "ISOO Reports Nine Percent Drop in ClassificationSecrecy News  (26 May 2006)( - The Information Security Oversight Office, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration, reports "a nine percent drop in overall classification activity," according to its 2005 Annual Report to the President (PDF; 1.7 MB). While ISOO Director William Leonard called this "a positive step," in light of "three years of rising numbers," Aftergood -- who is director of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy -- cautions that this does not necessarily mean more government openness. "While the data reported by ISOO each year serve as a useful benchmark," he says, "the ISOO methodology for collecting and reporting data is rudimentary and not very illuminating. For example, the annual report provides no way to assess overclassification (PDF; 267 KB)." Aftergood does note: "In an extraordinary act of public outreach, the Information Security Oversight Office will hold a free public workshop on June 30 on the use of mandatory declassification review as a tool for researchers. ISOO is also offering interested members of the public a DVD recording of an October 2005 Symposium on classification policy that was held to mark the 10th anniversary of executive order 12958." - SK

Breeding, Marshall. Web Services and the Service-Oriented Architecture  Chicago, IL: ALA TechSource, 2006.( - The advent of XML and protocols such as the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) which uses it are transforming the way our computer systems work. Rather than being self-contained "silo" systems, our computer applications increasingly interact with other applications. This "service-oriented architecture" offers new opportunities to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Breeding's LTR on the topic thus comes at good time, when we all should know more about Web Services and what it has to offer our organizations. Thankfully, ALA nabbed someone with impeccable credentials and the ability to explain complex topics simply and clearly. Breeding uses the well-known Amazon and Google Web services as examples, even including code listings (a minor quibble is that the code should be downloadable from somewhere, for those that want to try this out). At the end of this 49-page publication is a summary of library automation vendor support for Web services within their applications. From this survey it is clear that Web services is not in your future -- it is here now. If you feel behind it is because you are, and this fine LTR is just what the doctored ordered as your cure. - RT

Mathews, Brian S.. "Do You Facebook?College & Research Libraries News  67(5)(May 2006): 306-307. ( - Social networking. On the minus side, it seems like there's a new product every 15 minutes. It's hard to find out, let alone master, the online service de jour. On the plus side, each new product is potentially a new way for libraries to reach out to their patrons. In this case, it's Facebook, an online social network targeting people, students mainly, who attend academic institutions. Our intrepid author has subject responsibility at Georgia Tech for the School of Mechanical Engineering. He decided to look up how many of the School's students subscribed to Facebook. Out of 1,700 students, 1,300 (or 75%) subscribed! He then blasted them with an email saying who he was and giving out targeted information about the library. The initial level of response was modest. This is the Engineering School after all and their use of traditional library services is probably a lot less than other subject areas. Nevertheless, he got a number of responses including requests to link up as "friends" by several of the recipients. This innovative use of Facebook then becomes an opportunity for outreach and communication built around promoting library services. It's a great example of adapting to our users' technology rather than requiring them to adapt to ours. If that isn't Web 2.0, I don't know what is. - LRK

McCullagh, Declan, and Anne  Broache. "House Panel Votes for Net NeutralityCNET  (25 May 2006)( - Could there actually be good news regarding the Net neutrality fight? Well, yes and no. The House Judiciary Committee has approved the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006, but, according to this article, it was approved because Committee members "were worried that a competing proposal already approved by a different committee last month would diminish their own influence in the future." C'est la guerre. There are at least 6 bills dealing with the Net neutrality issue being considered in Congress (see "Net Neutrality Field in Congress Gets Crowded"), with a wide range of approaches to the issue. Libraries have a lot at stake in the Net neutrality battle, which is why ALA and ARL joined the Coalition. To find out why it's so important, check out "Talking Points on the Importance of 'Net Neutrality,'" "The Net Neutrality Debate: The Basics," "Strong Copyright + DRM + Weak Net Neutrality = Digital Dystopia?," and Why Consumers Demand Internet Freedom--Net Neutrality: Fact vs. Fiction. - CB

Moffatt, Malcolm. 'Marketing' with Metadata - How Metadata Can Increase Exposure and Visibility of Online Content  Edinburgh: Heriot-Watt University, 8 March 2006.( - This is an easy to understand explanation of metadata and the various ways in which metadata can be exposed to increase traffic to your web site. After briefly explaining terms, the paper makes the case for exposing metadata and uses examples of how doing so has increased exposure for a number of specific web sites. Simple explanations on how to expose metadata via harvesting, distributed searching, and syndication (i.e., RSS) are covered. - RT

Sternstein, Aliya. "Bill Demands Free Public Access to Science ReportsFederal Computer Week  20(15)(15 May 2006): 56. ( - It only makes sense, right? Taxpayers should have free access to the science research that they've paid for. Well, that access would be guaranteed if a bill introduced by Sens. John Coryn (R-TX) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) -- the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 -- makes it into law. Says the article, "It mandates that agencies with annual research budgets of more than $100 million to implement a public access policy granting swift access to research supported by those agencies." Basically. this means that articles reporting on publicly funded research must be made freely available online six months after publication in a scholarly journal. Some 11 agencies are covered: the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; NASA; and the National Science Foundation. The article notes that "some publishers believe the six-month provision will disrupt their business models, and they remain skeptical that legislation is needed." The Association of American Publishers (AAP), which opposes the bill, "is urging that an independent study be conducted to measure the bill's potential impact on scientific quality, the peer-review process, and the financial standing of journals..." - SK

Stunden, Annie. "The Toughest IT ChallengeEDUCAUSE Review  41(3)(May/June 2006): 32-42. ( - Talk about defensive! This head of IT at the University of Wisconsin suggests (perhaps slightly tongue-in-cheek) that as you approach the launch of a new information systems project "you should put your resume on the street." The urge to jump ship comes from what the authors describes as "post-implementation pain". The author then goes on to discuss all the hazards of implementing a major project from haggling over the budget to squabbles over who will manage the IT staff. The perspective here is pure IT and it's easy to imagine complaints from the other side. Nevertheless, the author suggests the secret of success early on and that comes in partnership and mutual respect from all sides. - LRK

Vogele, Colette, Mia  Garlick, and  The Berkman Center Clinical Program in Cyberlaw. Podcasting Legal Guide: Rules for the Revolution  San Francisco: Creative Commons, 2006.( - You've got all the neat gadgets you need to podcast and lined up your distribution service. Ready to rock and roll, right? Wrong. Why? Because, as Lawrence Lessig says in this work's introduction: "Federal law regulates creativity. That regulation is insanely complex. Indeed, the law is more complex today than at any point in our history. It seems the more the lawyers work on the law, the less useable the law becomes." As a podcaster, you are a multimedia publisher. This involves some legal complexities that go beyond textual blogging, which are explained in the first 27 pages of this work. The rest of it is a handy guide to podcasting itself, resources related to podcasting, and relevant legal resources. This work belongs on your virtual bookshelf with the EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers. - CB