Current Cites

January 2008

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Frank Cervone, Susan Gibbons, Jim Ronningen, Brian Rosenblum, Roy Tennant

The Horizon Report: 2008 Edition  Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium & the Educause Learning Initiative, 2008.( - The Horizon Project brings together a group of knowledgeable individuals (36 for this year, including Cliff Lynch of CNI) to discuss, research, and decide on which technologies will become important in "learning-focused organizations" in three time horizons: 1) a year or less, 2) two to three years, and 3) four to five years. The process for coming up with this list of technologies seems thorough and thoughtful, and is highlighted both in prefatory comments as well as in a section of the report devoted to describing the methodology. There are two technologies identified in each time horizon: 1) One year or less: grassroots video and collaboration webs, 2) Two to three years:mobile broadband and data mashups, and 3) Four to five years: collective intelligence and social operating systems. Each technology is highlighted with an overview, its relevance for the educational enterprise, examples of the technology in use in learning environments, and further reading. Although weighing in at only 33 printed pages, one could spend days reading about and exploring these technologies. The report also discusses "megatrends" that have become evident after five years of producing these reports. Highly recommended. - RT

"Breakthrough Ideas for 2008Harvard Business Review  86(2)(February 2008)( - Though not about libraries or librarians, there is nevertheless much for the modern librarian to chew on in this wide-ranging list of 20 transformations signaling a "gathering upheaval in the way businesses function and how leaders guide them." Many of the topics and themes are technological and relate to new channels for communication and the flow of information--social networking, online gaming, virtual worlds, the metaverse, metadata and privacy, P2P networks, and cybercrime, among others (open access, alas, is not mentioned). Libraries have certainly begun to recognize the importance and value of many of these technologies and issues, but it is instructive to get a snapshot of how they are emerging in other contexts. Libraries might also do well to ponder some of the non-technological ideas presented here, focusing on improving the effectiveness of organizations and the quality of the workplace through "novel operational models, alternate realities for accomplishing work and interacting with customers, the exaltation of collaborative technologies, and updated metrics for evaluating performance." Topics range from a discussion of the importance of exercise (with the suggestion that stationary bicycles be put under every workstation so employees can exercise their legs while catching up on email) to new models for decision-making and the changing role of experts within the organization. - BR

Bailey, Jr., Charles W. Institutional Repositories, Tout de Suite  (2008)( - If you've been looking for a good, introductory bibliography on institutional repositories, this is it. In 10 pages, Bailey provides sources that can answer questions related to what institutional repositories are, why institutions might want one, what self-archiving is, author's rights, software for implementing repositories, issues related to obtaining repository deposits, general information on how to find repositories, as well as suggestions for further reading. Highly recommended for the person just getting into repositories or for those occasions where you need to bring someone up to speed quickly. - FC

Borgman, Christine L. Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet    Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. - In this book, Christine L. Borgman, Professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Science, provides a detailed and up-to-date analysis of the scholarly communication system and the issues that it faces. It is a masterful work of scholarship that is unique in its clarity, coherence, and breath and depth of treatment of this important topic. As a scholarly treatise, it is not a book for the casual reader; however, it offers rich rewards. Borgman pays particular attention to data, and, with the emergence of e-science and other e-disciplines and the massive datasets that they can generate, this is a challenging area that will only grow in importance. Inside Higher Education has published an interview with Borgman, where she discusses her book. Highly recommended. - CB

Breeding, Marshall. "Perceptions 2007: An International Survey of Library Automation  (January 9, 2008)( - This electronic only publication provides a snapshot of the perceptions of library systems and library system vendors from a library point of view. By investigating various dimensions of customer satisfaction through questions to libraries about their current systems, their ILS (integrated library system) vendor, customer support services of vendors, and the likelihood the library would purchase another ILS from their current vendor, Breeding provides a perspective on library systems that isn't often discussed. Used in conjunction with Breeding's annual "Automated Systems Marketplace" article in Library Journal (, these two pieces provide a comprehensive look at the state of ILS' marketplace today. - FC

Centre for Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future, University College London. Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future  (11 January 2008)( - A very interested study of the "Google generation" (those born after 1993) and how they are likely to access and use digital resources in the future. The report is full of very valuable insights that in some cases support the stereotypes of the "Google generation" and in other cases forces us to reconsider our assumptions. The report includes a glimpse as to what the information environment might be like in 2017 and highlights the challenges that are ahead for information professionals. This piece makes for an excellent text around which to engage the library staff in discussions about how your library will need to adapt to the rising "Google generation." - SG

Ferreira, Miguel, Eloy  Rodrigues, and Ana Alice  Baptista, et. al."Carrots and Sticks: Some Ideas on How to Create a Successful Institutional RepositoryD-Lib Magazine  14(1/2)(January/February 2008)( - Anyone who has implemented an institutional repository knows the story: you build it and mostly they don't come. It's one thing to have an IR, it's quite another to fill it. There have been a number of previous articles on this phenomenon and what to do about it, but this institution in Portugal has landed on a strategy that has worked for them -- you dangle the money carrot. That is, the dean of the University of Minho would award financial incentives to academic departments for depositing their research output in the repository. They also used other strategies, most notably adding additional functions onto their DSpace platform, but the financial incentive appears to have been the most effective according to this article. Recommended for anyone laboring to fill their repository. - RT

Kwon, Nahyun, and Vicki L.  Gregory. "The Effects of Librarians' Behavioral Performance on User Satisfaction in Chat Reference ServicesReference & User Services Quarterly  42(2)(Winter 2007): 137-148. ( - OMG! The librarian's a bot! No, this article doesn't say anything of the sort but reading about effective virtual reference librarian behavior can certainly send one's thoughts in that direction. The user satisfaction survey results shown here support the assertion that following RUSA (Reference and User Services Association) guidelines for approachability, interest, listening/inquiring, searching and followup makes for a better reference interaction online as it does in person. But when the interface isn't face to face, following these guidelines without any additional personalization keeps automated response firmly in the realm of possibility. (Or perhaps virtual reference outsourcing to Bangalore is a more immediate concern.) Worth reading as a refresher on benchmark behavior for reference librarians, but also one must read between the lines: what value does the librarian add that can't be had faster and cheaper by other means? - JR

Wolven, Robert. "In Search of a New ModelnetConnect  (15 January 2008)( - Robert Wolven of Columbia University, who is well-respected for his thoughtful contributions on issues of importance to the profession, does not disappoint in this netConnect piece. Taking on library cataloging in an age of transformative change, he begins by describing our existing "consensus model" of cataloging, considers whether cataloging has changed in recent years, then moves swiftly into considering where we need to go in the future. For my money, this is one piece you simply shouldn't miss, not with all the current ferment around cataloging and how we should be doing it. - RT