Current Cites

September 2008

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Frank Cervone, Warren Cheetham, Brad Eden, Susan Gibbons, Leo Robert Klein, Brian Rosenblum

Adamson, Veronica, Paul  Bacsich, and Ken  Chad, et. al.JISC & SCONUL Library Management Systems Study  (March 2008)( - Although published earlier this year, this report is just beginning to get attention outside the United Kingdom. While some would say that there is little new in this report, the value of this report is that it provides an additional perspective; one that confirmations what we see happening in North America is, in fact, a global phenomenon. In the report, we find that like the US and Canadian LMS markets, the UK market is dominated by four vendors with relatively little product differentiation among the various systems. Libraries are slow to adapt ERMS (Electronic Resource Management Systems) and remain unconvinced of the value of federated search products. Additionally, libraries are not using the information they gather about user preferences in ways that help enhance the position of the library as their patron's first choice for resource discovery. Finally, local OPACs are losing ground as preferred information discovery systems with the end result being the potential for the traditional LMS to become just a back-end system to other, more global and encompassing, resource discovery systems. - FC

Albanese, Andrew. "Senate Passes Orphan Works Bill; 'PRO IP' Bill Headed to President's DeskLibrary Journal  (30 September 2008)( - Two very important copyright bills have been acted on by Congress recently. The Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 has been passed by the House. Both the House and the Senate have passed the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP Act), which is being sent for the President's signature. ALA has issued a call to action about the Orphan Works Act. Albanese's article provides a quick summary of the bills, then discusses the Orphan Works Act in more detail. - CB

Bothma, Theo J. D.. Access to libraries and information: Towards a fairer world (IFLA/FAIFE World Report V. 7)  The Hague, Netherlands: International Federation of Library Associations and Agencies, May 2008.( - This is the 4th in a series of reports from IFLA/FAIFE on the state of intellectual freedom around the world. In this report, representatives from 116 countries provide information about intellectual freedom issues in their country. An encouraging sign is that this report contains reports from a number of countries that were not represented in prior reports. In addition to providing basic statistical information related to libraries, including details about Internet access, the report provides information at the country level about antiterrorism legislation, freedom of information laws, violations of freedom of access to information as well as violations of freedom of expression. In addition to the country reports, several commissioned articles are part of the report as well. These provide extended background information on topics related to intellectual freedom, such as censorship in Arab countries, the USA Patriot Act and its impact on libraries, and the role of libraries in fighting corruption in Russia. - FC

Kelton, AJ. "Virtual Worlds?: Outlook Good EDUCAUSE Review  43(5)(September/October 2008): 15-22. ( - The Sept/Oct issue of EDUCAUSE Review focuses on the theme of virtual worlds in higher education. Each of the authors, who are also identified by their avatar names, are students, faculty or instructional technologists with substantial academic experiences in virtual worlds to share. AJ Kelton's (aka AJ Brooks) piece focuses on what is currently the most popular virtual world, Second Life. With more than 14 million users, of which 59% fall within the age brackets of 18-44 years, hundreds of educational institutions are building a presence in Second Life. Kelton, however, does not ignore the very real challenges ahead for virtual world use in education. For example, the wide perceptual that virtual worlds are nothing more than sophisticated games will need to be overcome if virtual world pedagogy is to gain acceptance. This entire issue is an excellent introduction, without the hype, to the potential application of virtual worlds by higher education institutions. - SG

Maness, Jack M., Tomasz  Miaskiewicz, and Tamara  Sumner. "Using personas to understand the needs and goals of institutional repository usersD-Lib Magazine  14(9/10)(September/October 2008)( - This article attempts to answer questions related to the underuse of institutional repositories (IRs) in higher education. Interviews were conducted by the authors at the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB) with eight graduate students and twelve faculty members from several disciplines. The results were then compiled using the Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) approach used in the human-computer interaction (HCI) field. The clustering of the results into four unique user groups, or personas, provide interesting results that can help to guide IR creators and managers in the design and marketing of IRs. The authors provide a brief background on IRs, a detailed description of personas and their use in the HCI discipline, their methodology for the interviews, and their results. A discussion of the four personas identified through the interview process reveals some of the challenges and concerns that potential depositors have with IRs, especially related to design, tools, and the use of intermediaries to facilitate IR deposit and description. An appendix gives an extended look at the four personas that emerged from the interview process, and their specific wants and needs in relation to an IR at UCB. The LSA technique applied to this study revealed some fascinating evidence and user groupings that should assist anyone thinking about establishing an IR or currently working with the challenges of users submitting content to an IR. - BE

Metropolitan Library System, . "Best Practices For the Customer-Focused LibraryWebJunction  (27 August 2008)( - Considering the recent discussion on library email lists and blogs about calling library users 'members' rather than 'customers', this analysis of library patrons by a retail consultant, phrased in retail terms, may irk some, but it is a very useful document for librarians wanting to understand their users. Commissioned by the Metropolitan Library System, the study looked at customer behaviour in four Chicago area libraries (public and academic). Use of the library was measured by tracking customers' movements within a library, by questionnaires and by video tracking of traffic flow, wait times and transactions times. Some results are surprising - 56% of people spent less than 10 minutes in the library and two-thirds did not know what they wanted before they arrived. The first half of the report outlines these and other key findings in brief paragraphs, and the second half contains best practice solutions, including suggestions for libraries with no budget, low budget or high budgets. Whether they use the terms members, patrons, users or customers, there is no doubt that libraries can learn a lot from the hard-nosed data collection and analysis that the retail industry has spent years refining. Supporting data from the consultants, and implementation plans from the library directors of the target libraries can also be found on the WebJunction site. - WC

Palmer, Carole L., Lauren C.  Teffeau, and Mark P.  Newton. Identifying Factors of Success in CIC Institutional Repository Development - Final Report  New York: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, August 2008.( - There are now many institutional repository case studies available, but what sets this report apart is its comparative method, and especially its focus on IR development as an emerging area of professional librarianship--albeit one without established criteria for successful IR implementation. In addition to outlining the approaches of three research university IR programs, the report looks at the human and organizational infrastructure of IRs with a focus on development teams, the role of liaison librarians, core competencies, content acquisition issues, and suggested areas for future investigation. It calls on repository programs to think more strategically and specifically about the role of the repository by asking questions such as: "what specific problems can IRs solve for faculty?" Based on in-depth interviews (which are extensively quoted) with librarians, developers and faculty members, this report will reaffirm the experiences of many repository managers while providing them a number of new ideas for program development, and it provides a good overview of repository development issues for those librarians not as familiar with the field. - BR

The British Library, . "Digitisation strategy 2008-2011British Library  (August 2008)( - When a major library institution like the British Library sets out its vision for digitisation over the next ten years (as well as drivers and priorities for the next three years), it's worth paying close attention to. Especially when the strategy says that the library will "open up access to content", "create a critical mass of digitised content" and "facilitate the interpretation of our content by others for new audiences". Very few other libraries in the world match the British Library's collection, however libraries of all shapes and sizes can take some pointers when developing their own strategic digitisation plans. Guiding Principles in the plan cover user needs, business models, intellectual property rights, storage and preservation, resource discovery and technical aspects of digitisation. Also worth noting is brief section titled "How we will measure success". It is framed in generalised terms, but perhaps more defined targets will be forthcoming. The library estimates that less than 1% of their collection has been digitised, so it will interesting to see how this new strategy goes about uncovering and sharing treasures from their collection. - WC

Wroblewski, Luke. "The Information Architecture Behind Good Web FormsBulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology  34(6)(August/September 2008)( - In a sense, the whole WWW is nothing but a bunch of forms. For that reason, speculation on what makes some forms work better than others is always a hot topic. In this article Luke Wroblewski, author of "Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks" (Rosenfeld Media, 2008), gives his "top three tips for designing good forms". From the get-go, he states a truism that can't be repeated enough, "No one really wants to fill in a form". If people have to, they want to get it over as soon as possible. This means making the form as short and easy to navigate as possible. Indeed, Wroblewski argues for a cumulative approach to collecting information, something he calls 'gradual engagement', where you only ask for those bits of information you absolutely need to accomplish the specific task at hand and through later activities you build out a fuller picture. This is just one of several interesting articles in this edition of the 'Bulletin of the ASIST'. - LRK

Zorich, Diane M., Gunter  Waibel, and Ricky  Erway. Beyond the Silos of the LAMs: Collaboration among Libraries, Archives and Museums  Dublin, OH: OCLC Programs and Research, 2008.( - Collaboration between libraries, archives, and museums. It sounds like a good idea, but how to make it work? To find out, RLG Programs held one-day workshops at the University of Edinburgh, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Yale University. It also had phone conversations and meetings with thought leaders and representatives of other RLG Programs partners. This report summarizes its findings, and offers guidance about how to effectively collaborate - CB