Current Cites

Current Cites, March 2007

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

Baish, Mary Alice. "Librarians as Change Agents: How You Can Help Influence Public Policy in the 110th CongressSearcher  15(3)(2007)( - Although it's easy to lose sight of it in the press of day-to-day concerns, this is a very important juncture for US legislation related to to the sweeping changes that digital technology has wrought in the copyright and media/publishing arenas. This article introduces you to the new leadership in the House and the Senate, and it overviews selected legislative issues that are on the table in the 110th Congress. Those issues include circumvention, fair use, net neutrality, open access to government sponsored research, and orphan works (among others). - CB

Davis, Philip M, and Matthew J. L  Connolly. "Institutional Repositories : Evaluating the Reasons for Non-use of Cornell University's Installation of DSpaceD-Lib Magazine  13 (3/4)(March/April 2007)( - Interesting look at faculty participation, or lack thereof, in the Institutional Repository 'DSpace' at Cornell. Basically the incentives aren't there for faculty to contribute their works. The lure of print publication or other modes of distribution based on discipline are far too strong and alternatives, such as posting a copy on one's own personal web page seem adequate. Where there is steady growth, it's "largely supported by active policies or guidelines that dictate that items will be deposited into DSpace, such as the case of theses and dissertations". This last might indicate the benefit of a more energetic approach on the part of departments and the institution as a whole. Ease-of-use issues and better integration across systems also needs to be addressed. - LRK

Elings, Mary W., and Günter  Waibel. "Metadata for All: Descriptive Standards and Metadata Sharing across Libraries, Archives, and MuseumsFirst Monday  12(3)(March 2007)( - This informative article begins by describing a conceptual model that precisely identifies and describes the key components of any metadata standard: data fields and structure, data content and values, data format, and data exchange. Using these concepts, the authors then construct a grid for appropriate metadata standards from the museum, library, and archival communities in each of these areas. By classifying standards from these communities using their conceptual model, they hope to make the soup of acronyms more understandable. The grid also serves to demonstrate how related these different communities are in their needs for the same types of metadata standards. The piece also provides a brief history of metadata standards in each community and takes a look at recent trends. The authors end with an assertion that the three areas would be more productively depicted as "cultural materials, bibliographic, and archival" to indicate that museums, for example, may find use for bibliographic metadata standards and vice versa. - RT

Goans, Doug, Pam  Hackbart-Dean, and Lauren  Kata. "On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! Overview of a Digital Project from Start to Finish"  Computers in Libraries  27(3)(March 2007): 16-23. - There are a number of good, practical articles about library digitization projects in this month's issue of   - - . This article looks at the effort of Georgia State to digitized the full run of a labor union journal spanning a hundred years and comprising over 70k pages. The authors briefly go over various considerations common to such a project: out-sourcing the actually scanning, quality control, file formats to choose, content-management systems, etc. How they went about this can then be compared with the examples from other articles in the same issue. - LRK

Houghton-Jan, Sarah. "Technology Competencies and Training for LibrariesLibrary Technology Reports  43(2)(March/April 2007)( - Experienced technologist and trainer Houghton-Jan (of the "Librarian in Black" blog) has produced a thorough guide to developing and implementing a competencies-based library technology training program. Beginning by addressing the question whether you should even develop such a program, Houghton-Jan follows with chapters titled "Build a Foundation for the List of Competencies," "Staff Participation and Buy-In," "Writing the Competency Descriptions," "Formatting the Competencies List," "Implementing the Competencies," "Assessing Staff on Competencies," "Planning for Technology Training," "Creating Technology Training and Materials," "Conducting Technology Training," and "Reassessment and Revision". A bibliography and lists of helpful web sites are included. This is an excellent resource for any library seeking to develop a technically competent staff. Which, come to think of it, should be all libraries. - RT

Roper, Alan R. "How Students Develop Online Learning SkillsEDUCAUSE Quarterly  30(1)(2007)( - As a signification portion of instruction moves over to an online environment, articles on best practices like this one are worth their weight in (digital) gold. This is particularly true when the perspective is from the students themselves. In this article, the author surveyed students who had done particularly well at taking an online course. Among their priorities was maintaining motivation and discipline. Also important was how the instructor managed online communication, in particular threaded discussions (e.g. forums). One student states succinctly: "Instructors who establish clear expectations as to how threaded discussions are used or who ask specific questions in response to student postings can expect to encourage richer online dialogue." In other words, initiative, clear goals and follow-up on the part of the instructor can have positive results. - LRK

Suber, Peter. "The Ides of February in Europe: The European Commission Plan for Open AccessSPARC Open Access Newsletter,  (107)(2007)( - The Ides of February turned out much better for the open access movement in the European Union than the Ides of March did for Caesar, but, while it made significant gains, it did not get an OA mandate from the European Commission. Rather, the European Commission said that it will: "issue specific guidelines on the publication of articles in open repositories after an embargo period." As you may have noticed, publishers of late have become increasingly vocal in their opposition to OA mandates, and different publisher groups have issued a spate of declarations to that effect (e.g., the "Brussels Declaration on STM Publishing"). On the OA side of the equation, a petition supporting an EU OA mandate now has over 24,000 signatures (more still welcome). Suber notes: "The two EC Directorates General most involved in OA policy-making -- Information Society and Media, headed by Vivian Reding, and Research, headed by Janez Potocnik -- are trying to find a diplomatic trail through a minefield. They are eager to show support for the concerns on each side and postpone the day when they will have to alienate one of them." Still, the European Commission made some important commitments to OA, including allocating about 50 million Euros for OA digital repository support and making contributions towards the payment of OA journal publication fees. - CB