Current Cites

September 2007

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Keri Cascio, Susan Gibbons, Leo Robert Klein, Jim Ronningen.

Genco, Barbara. "20 Maxims for Collection BuildingLibrary Journal  (15 September 2007)( - Barbara Genco summarizes her curriculum for a library school course on collection development principles, theory, and practice in twenty talking points for LJ. Genco embraces emerging and standard technologies as a way to assist librarians in a changing environment. Highlighted issues on her list include security and self-check; user-generated tagging in addition to MARC; content vs. containers; off-site storage and digitization; downloadable digital materials; and the possibility of "one big library." Genco has her eye on the big picture of libraries and collections, and invites us to join her in evaluating what we're doing in our libraries to prepare for the future that's here today. - KC

Holt, Glen. "Communicating the Value of Your LibrariesBottom Line  20(3)(2007): 119-124. ( - Short guide to shamelessly promoting the value of your library to various stakeholders through the ever-dependable approach, "What's in it for me" or 'WIIFM' for short. The author draws on his extensive experience in Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) to lay out basic principles, such as saving the user significant time or money. He concludes with this marvelous piece of advice: "Institutional communication is not just a smattering of marketing here and another smattering of marketing there. It is, instead, a disciplined, planned and thorough method by which a library tells its users why using their library is worth their time, money and effort, that is, why their library is valuable and the value that individuals and families will find there." - LRK

Howard, Jennifer. "Publishers' PR Tactic Angers University Presses and Open-Access Advocates"  The Chronicle of Higher Education  ( 21 September 2007): A13. - As part of its campaign against legislation that would mandate that "all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication," the Association of American Publishers started an initiative called the "Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine" (otherwise known as PRISM). Although it may have been still smarting from January's negative publicity caused by its hiring of public relations specialist Eric Dezenhall (whose proposal has recently been made public), the AAP must have thought it was now safe to move ahead with a new anti-open-access campaign. Unfortunately, the result was a firestorm of criticism over assertions made on the PRISM website, with OA advocate Peter Suber providing one of the most incisive rebuttals. Some AAP members (such as Rockefeller University Press) balked at PRISM's statements, and, subsequently, PRISM reworded some of the more inflammatory rhetoric on the PRISM site. After being approved by the House, the NIH OA mandate fight has shifted to the Senate, with both sides ramping up their PR efforts. - CB

Lewis, David W. "A Strategy for Academic Libraries in the First Quarter of the 21st Century"  College & Research Libraries  68(5)(September 2007): 418-434. - At a library assessment conference a year ago, John Lombardi, then Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, explained that although he had depended on libraries and librarians in his professional career, he no longer knew what an academic library should be. Lewis took this message as a challenge to articulate a "strategy for academic libraries in the digital age or at least in its early stages." His strategy has five parts: 1) complete the migration from print to electronic collections; 2) retire legacy print collections; 3) redeploy library space as informal learning spaces; 4) move library tools and resources to where the users are (e.g. course management systems); and 5) shift the focus from purchasing collections to curating locally owned and produced unique and special collections. Whether you agree with his strategy or not, Lewis' article makes for an excellent catalyst to start these discussions with your staff. - SG

Mort, David. "Online Information Drives GrowthResearch Information  (August/September 2007)( - How's the European online STM publishing business doing? Looks like it's doing really well: sales increased by by 10.5% in 2006 to reach a bit over 1.3 billion euros, and that was after 15% and 16% increases in 2005 and 2004 respectively. Factor in print sales and the European STM publishing industry generated about 2.1 billion euros in sales in 2006. But print is of declining importance, only 38% of sales in 2006 vs. 47% in 2004. You can learn more about related European STM publishing topics, such as recent financial results for major publishers and recent merger activity, in this revealing article. - CB

Specter, Michael. "Damn SpamThe New Yorker  83(22)(6 August 2007): 36-41. ( - If you're the type to face the bad news directly, this is for you. Not that one needs to be a masochist to enjoy it, but by the conclusion of this entertaining history of the spam problem it's painfully clear that unless the Internet is turned into some kind of locked-down totalitarian propaganda tool in the future, spammers will continue to find you. E-mail is their current vehicle, but spammers are nothing if not adaptable. Specter visits the milestones in spam history (such as Canter&Siegel in 1994, which was like a bully showing up in the playground where information ran around wanting to be free), invokes the sacred Monty Python skit, and interviews spam police at Microsoft and Google. Statistics showing the scale of the problem are possibly the biggest stunner; expect grim chuckles. - JR

University of California Office of Scholarly Communication and California Digital Library eScholarship Program. Faculty Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Scholarly Communication: Survey Findings from the University of California  (August 2007)( - This report summarizes the findings of a faculty survey conducted by the University of California's Office of Scholarly Communication to explore UC faculty perspectives and behaviors regarding scholarly communication issues. Not surprisingly, the survey found a disconnect between the faculty's expressed level of concern about issues such as copyright and the faculty's willingness to take action. The faculty identified the current tenure and promotion system as a significant barrier to change. The survey results do reveal, however, a high level of faculty awareness about open-access journals and repositories. Of the 1118 respondents, 21% reported having published in an open-access journal and 14% have deposited peer-reviewed articles into an institutional or subject repository. Although the survey was focused on UC faculty, I believe the findings are largely applicable to the faculty of most research universities in the U.S. Don't let the report's length (126 page) deter you, as the "Executive Summary" and "Summary of Findings" serve as an excellent guide through the body of the report. - SG

Wallace, Danny P. "Academic Library and Research in the Twenty-First Century: Linking Practice and ResearchJournal of Academic Librarianship  33(5)(September 2007): 529-626. ( - The author discusses the role of library research in the rapidly changing circumstances of today. As librarians, we live in a time of "uncertainty" where the old metrics (gate counts, circ, etc.) no longer apply yet where new metrics are not yet established. In the vacuum comes "anecdote and surmise" rather than evidence. To remedy this, he suggests various "targets for research". These include "making sense" of library stats, evaluating the effectiveness of bibliographic instruction and (re-)taking control of online web services and tools. In this way, the research of the 21st Century, (Research 2.0?) will distinguish itself by "finding new truths and creating new knowledge, not confirming that which is already known." - LRK