Current Cites

Current Cites, June 2007

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Keri Cascio, Frank Cervone, Susan Gibbons, Leo Robert Klein, Jim Ronningen, Brian Rosenblum, Karen G. Schneider, Roy Tennant

"Britannica Blog: Web 2.0 Forum  ( - The contributions to this series of blog posts by various pundits (with the lead essay from Michael Gorman, former library dean of CSU Fresno) range from fabulous to fatuous (even contributors who agree in general with Gorman's contention that the world is going to hell in a digital handbasket question his rhetoric), but the collection as a whole is lit up by thoughtful posts by Matthew Battle, danah boyd, Roger Kimball, Clay Shirky, and Gregory McNamee. Gender bias mars the overall discussion (Britannica could only find one woman with a brain?) and there is far too much space given over to what one librarian bard has described in song as the "anti-digitalists," but if you can't find an idea to engage with or object to in this collection, you're not trying. - KGS

"Who Needs Google? Emory U. Libraries to Scan, Sell BooksLibrary Journal Academic Newswire  (7 June 2007) ( - First the Million Book Project, then the Google Books Library Project, then the Open Content Alliance, and now the Emory University, Kirtas Technologies, and BookSurge partnership. Mass digitization has become the name of the game, and Emory's Woodruff Library has come up with a new spin: digitize books in conjunction with Kirtas, partially funding the effort by selling low-cost print-on-demand copies via BookSurge (see the Emory and BookSurge press releases for additional details). Hard on the heels of the Emory announcement, the University of Maine, the Toronto Public Library, and the Cincinnati Public Library announced that they would follow Emory's lead. If Emory's detailed 2008-2012 strategic plan is any guide, expect more bold moves in the future under the leadership of Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Richard E. Luce. - CB

Australasian Digital Theses Program. Australasian Digital Theses Program: Membership Survey 2006  Canberra, Australia: Council of Australian University Librarians, 2007.( - This report presents the results of a 2006 survey of Council of Australian University Librarians and Council of New Zealand University Librarians member libraries about their digital theses archiving activities. It contains a number of interesting findings, especially regarding submission rates. It found that when digital theses submission was voluntary, only 17% of theses were deposited; however, when it was mandatory, the rate rose to 95%. Twenty-two universities had a mandatory submission policy in place when the survey was conducted, with another five planning to do so in 2007, which means that 59% of respondents will have a mandate in 2007. More that 90% of respondents offer mediated deposit, with 63% offering mediated deposit only, 7% offering self-deposit only, and 30% offering both options. Three key reasons for the high level of mediated deposit support were conversion, copyright, and software issues. Half of the respondents have completely or partially digitized their print theses, and slightly over half have an institutional repository, with only four of IRs not being used for digital theses support. - CB

Ayre, Lori Bowen. "Library Delivery 2.0: Delivering Library Materials in the Age of NetflixLibrary Philosophy and Practice  (June 2007) ( - Ayre makes a case for learning from the Netflix model to deliver library items directly to patrons. Some principles Ayre cites for making our ILL work better include: make it easy, make it personal, and make it fast and convenient. There will of course be much work required to make this possible, but this brief, engaging piece at least makes the case that we should try. Anyone involved with interlibrary loan -- or even simply in managing library services -- sit up and take note. - RT

Coyle, Karen. Rights in the PREMIS Data Model: A Report for the Library of Congress  Washington, DC: Library of Congress, December 2006.( - Although this report has been out for awhile, it remains a less discovered gem among the many recent reports related to metadata issues. While the primary focus of the report is to discuss the required enhancements to incorporate digital object rights information into the PREMIS data model, a particular value of this report is its comprehensive overview of the PREMIS metadata scheme. For those unfamiliar with PREMIS, this report is a good introduction to the metadata scheme and its role in establishing preservation information for digital objects. - FC

Del Bosque, Darcy, and Kimberly  Chapman. "Your Place or Mine? Face-to-Face Reference Services Across Campus"  New Library World  108(5/6) (2007): 247-262. - The future of reference is both more remote and more direct. More remote in that our users can communicate with us through email, IM, etc.; And more direct in that we can communicate with them face-to-face wherever they choose to congregate whether inside the library or somewhere else on Campus. The librarians in this article discuss an innovative program at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) called "Direct-2-U Reference" which began in Fall 2005 and saw librarians setting up operations in five different locations on campus including study areas and dorms. While the initial impact was modest, the librarians felt nonetheless that it built bridges to the outside academic community. It'd be interesting to see what traffic would be like on campuses with more centralized student areas. - LRK

Heid, Susan. "Culture Morph Campus Technology  20(10) (June 2007): 42-48. ( - Much has been written in the past on library and IT collaboration (or the lack thereof), but with the increase in development of digital library projects, interest in this issue is resurging. However, unlike some articles in the past that were primarily obsessed with how different libraries and IT are from each other, this article focuses instead on how colleges have taken varying approaches to developing digital library services collaboratively between the two units. Using a variety of different approaches and not just relying on an administrative combination of the two units into a single organization, these colleges have been able to move forward with projects that have increased the use of library resources, enhanced ease of access, and allowed them to focus on making improvements based on students' expectations. - FC

Henry, Charles. "Rice University Press: Fons et origoThe Journal of Electronic Publishing  10(2) (Spring 2007) ( - Cash-strapped university presses have been seemingly slow to explore new models of electronic publishing that could help revitalize and sustain their operations. One reason for this is the "cost of migration"--how to move to a digital publishing model while continuing to incur standard production and inventory costs. In this respect, the newly revived Rice University Press is viewing it's original failure (it was shut down in 1996 for financial reasons) as a blessing in disguise, enabling it to redefine itself from scratch as "the first fully digital academic press in the United States." In this article, Charles Henry describes the rationale and business models behind the new Press, their decision to focus on art history and other areas that are particularly constrained by the print-based model, and their vision of the Press as a platform for new models of digital scholarship and a spur for changes in the academic culture of research (especially in the humanities). Currently the Rice University Press website lists just two publications, but it will be interesting to see how this initiative develops in the coming months and years. - BR

Houghton-Jan, Sarah. "Imagine No Restrictions: Digital Rights ManagementSchool Libary Journal  (6) (1 June 2007) ( - I've presented a lot in the last year about digital audio options for libraries, and these discussions have always included the controversy surrounding Digital Rights Management (DRM). School librarians are particularly interested in adopting digital audio resources, so I was pleased to see an article in School Library Journal by Sarah Houghton-Jan that lays out the issues for all libraries. Houghton-Jan gives us three reasons to care about DRM: device compatibility, roadblocks to fair use and accessibility, and long-term archival and playback issues. She calls for librarians to talk to vendors about DRM, and to support the vendors that are offering DRM-free content. A sidebar to the article helps you explain DRM to your users when they come up with the tough questions (i.e. why can't I use my iPod?). - KC

Lynch, Beverly P., Catherine  Murray-Rust, and Susan E.  Parker, et. al."Attitudes of Presidents and Provosts on the University Library"  College & Research Libraries  68(3) (May 2007): 213-227. - In 2004, the authors replicated a 1992-93 study to investigate how the attitudes of university presidents and provosts towards their academic libraries have changed in the intervening years. Through an analysis of their interviews of presidents and provosts at six universities, the authors found that the symbolic role of libraries as the "heart of the university" no longer carried as much weight as the libraries' practical roles on campus. The article also contains evidence that campus visibility, outside funding, and technological innovation are new indicators by which university administrators judge the library's relevancy. This study confirms the sense that I believe many librarians share, which is the growing need to better articulate to campus administrators the connections between the activities of the library with the university's academic mission. - SG

Villano, Matt. "CollaborateCampus Technology  (June 2007) ( - How library information can be introduced into collaborative software for higher education is not the issue here, and the absence of that issue is the reason to read the article. The omission doesn't appear intended to send a pointed message, but as sources for wikis etc are described with the focus on bringing students and instructors together in virtual learning spaces, it's telling that documents and other information sources are usually described as simply coming from a web search. It seems likely that in many cases campus IT planning will have a blank spot where the library should be. Read these implementation tales, review the products and learn to talk the talk before demanding a seat at this table. - JR

Weinberger, David. Everything is Miscellaneous  NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2007.( - This juicy read from David Weinberger (of the Cluetrain Manifesto and Small Pieces, Loosely Joined) challenges us by arguing that librarian-style predictive order is passe and digital dishabille is a virtue. The meat of this book, and its primary momentum and entertainment value, come from Weinberger's lengthy discussions of the "third order," which grounds itself in the digital world, where all the old rules are blown out of the water. Those of us managing "second order" databases--such as library catalogs--are momentarily off the hook, but that doesn't make this any less of a must-read for all librarians. Weinberger's fluid, engaging style masks the refreshing rigor of this highly readable contribution to public intellectualism. - KGS