Current Cites

April 2010

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Keri Cascio, Warren Cheetham, Alison Cody, Susan Gibbons, Leo Robert Klein, Roy Tennant, Jesús Tramullas

Auletta, Ken. "Publish or Perish: Can the iPad Topple the Kindle, and Save the Book Business?The New Yorker  86(10)(26 April 2010): 24-31. ( - A great deal of the recent attention on the Kindle and iPad has focused on how those devices could potential change the very nature of reading. Auletta’s article has a different focus, specifically how Amazon and Apple will change the nature of publishing. Amazon has, rather successfully, been pushing one “middle-man” out of the distribution chain of books, namely local, physical bookstores, and Apple has done much the same in the music industry. As these two technology/distribution giants do battle over the future of the book industry might publishers be the next to be squeezed out of the distribution chain? If so, can libraries be very far behind? - SG

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Timothy J.  Dickey. Digital Information Seekers: How Academic Libraries Can Support the Use of Digital Resources; Briefing Paper  London: JISC, 2010.( - This JISC Briefing Paper summarizes key findings from The Digital Information Seeker: Report of the Findings from Selected OCLC, RIN and JISC User Behaviour Projects. The longer 61-page report is a meta-analysis of 12 significant UK/US studies conducted during the last five years that examine users' evolving information needs and investigate how libraries can best provide digital materials and services, such as e-books, e-journals, online catalogs, and virtual reference services. The findings of this meta-analysis are not unexpected; however, they validate the need to continue to aggressively move forward with strategic digital initiatives in an increasingly constrained fiscal environment. Another study by the authors, Towards a Profile of the Researcher of Today: What Can We Learn from JISC Projects? Common Themes Identified in an Analysis of JISC Virtual Research Environment and Digital Repository Projects, may also be of interest. - CB

Daly, Emily. "Embedding Library Resources into Learning Management SystemsCollege & Research Library News  71(4)(April 2010): 208-212. ( - In this article, the author takes us through the evolution of embedding the library in Duke's course management system, Blackboard. Initially, the library's only presence in Blackboard was an "Ask a Librarian" link which was used very infrequently. To beef up the library's presence in the course modules, a group of four librarians approached 12 faculty about creating a page in their Blackboard course module that linked to resources specific to that class. Positive feedback on this addition led the librarians to expand the project. After the first two semesters, the success of the program led Duke librarians to start thinking about a way to make the program more scalable -- with 1,700 course sites created each semester, they were looking to find a way to automate the process of including library information in Blackboard courses. Working with the university's Blackboard support team, the library's wed application developer created a system that automated the process of directing a student from a library link in Blackboard to a library guide (some subject-specific and some general). Overall, the article provides an interesting overview of the evolution of this process, and points to some important considerations (and compromises) when undertaking a project to embed library resources in a course management system. - AC

Gold, Anna. "Data Curation and Libraries: Short-Term Developments, Long-Term ProspectsDigitalCommons@Cal Poly  (2010). ( - In this eprint, Gold, Associate Dean for Public Services at Cal Poly State University's Robert E. Kennedy Library, overviews the increasingly important topic of library data curation services in the emerging cyberinfrastructure/e-science environment. A particularly interesting feature of this paper is the inclusion of a chronology of library data curation milestones from the end of 2006 through early 2010, which aptly illustrates how quickly the field is developing in the areas of education, policy, and research. Gold's narrative descriptions of library data curation efforts at Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Minnesota, and Purdue University are also quite interesting. Beyond these particulars, Gold provides a useful conceptual framework for understanding key aspects and developments of library data curation, while still keeping the paper's length down to 33 pages. This paper is a good starting point for quickly understanding library data curation services. - CB

Griffey, Jason. "Gadgets and Gizmos: Personal Electronics and the LibraryLibrary Technology Reports  46(3)(April 2010)( - Although the stated purpose of this issue of Library Technology Reports is broader than just e-book readers, it is that topic where the strength of this report lies. This isn't to say that the reviews of small hand-held video cameras, audio recorders and the rest aren't useful, but they are neither the bulk of the report nor the section of most use to the broadest segment of libraries. The section on e-book readers begins with some basic information on how e-book devices work, including digital rights management. Specific readers reviewed include the Sony Reader, the Kindle, the Nook, and a bunch of upcoming devices: the Que, Alex, IREX, and eDGe. Elsewhere in the issue the Apple iPad (not released at the time of his writing) is discussed as an e-book reader, among other things. The section ends with a look at two e-book "platforms": Copia and Blio, and some "tips and tricks" for e-readers. - RT

Hendrix, Jennifer C.. "Checking Out the Future: Perspectives from the Library Community on Information Technology and 21st-Century Libraries ALA Office for Information Technology Policy  (February 2010)( - The concepts contained in this report should not be new to any library staff member working in digital and online services, however it is a useful document to share with managers, directors and other library staff and stakeholders who may not have an appreciation of the range of challenges and opportunities that technology is presenting to those planning and delivering library services. ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) presents this report outlining key themes that emerged from a literature review on “the revolution in information technology and its implications for the future of libraries”. The themes are 1) Technology changes traditional information forms, 2) Digitizations changes the landscape of information access and use, 3) New information processes are changing libraries, library services and librarians, and 4) The future is collaboration. A select list of references provides useful further reading, and keep and eye out for several more policy briefs on this topic that are due to be produced in 2010 by the OITP. - WC

Jones, Edgar. "Google Books as a General Research Collection"  Library Resources and Technical Services  54(2)(April 2010): 77-89. - When considering public domain titles published before 1872, Google Books now matches the content available at a major American research library. Jones compares the content of Google Books with the holdings at the Boston Athenaeum by using the "Catalogue of the Library of the Boston Athenaeum, 1807-1871" and its current online catalog. The process included determining the extent of an item and identifying manifestations and duplications. Jones avoided using the metadata in Google Books, which he noted as unreliable. The biggest benefit of using the digitized collection for research is the keyword OCR indexing, allowing scholars to scan for that fits their research, rather than reading an entire title. While the Google Books collection still has some drawbacks (such as the digitization of folded objects as folded objects) it can compete with a physical visit to a major research institution for works in the public domain. - KC

Kroeker, Kirk L. "Engineering the Web's Third DecadeCommunications of the ACM   53(3)(March 2010): 16-18 . ( - As we enter the Internet's 'Third Decade', it's only natural to speculate on what 'Web 3.0' will look like. One of the characteristics, at least judging by this article, would be a healthy dose of 'modesty'. Development will be "more evolutionary than revolutionary". We can expect a "more dynamic, pervasive, and perhaps even more human experience". The focus will be on semantic mark-up and how this can be used to bring together an unprecedented amount of data, fashioned specifically for the particular needs of the individual user. Probably more attention could have been paid to the role of individuals not simply as consumers of content but as creators. That said, the article presents an interesting portrait of the work and thinking behind the much anticipated 'third generation Web'. - LRK

Mano González, Marta de la, and Manuela  Moro Cabero. "La Evaluación por Competencias: Propuesta de un Sistema de Medida para el Grado en Información y DocumentaciónBiD  (23)(December 2009). ( - The European Higher Education (EHEA) has launched a major reform of the Spanish university, in which are embedded degrees in Information and Documentation. The work under review makes a detailed description of the definition of "skill", and presents an interesting model for evaluating the acquisition of skills through a matrix for assessing the achievement of it. The text is supplemented by an application example of the array to E8 skill of the White Paper on Information and Documentation Grade. - JT

Rosenthal, David S.H.. "Format Obsolescence: Assessing the Threat and the DefensesLibrary Hi Tech  28(2)(2010). ( - Still in preprint, this is one of a number of articles devoted to the theme, 'Technology and Digital Preservation'. In it, the author casts a skeptical eye on what he describes as the "standard model" of digital preservation where all formats are preserved, regardless of need, in a series of formal steps that are either ineffective or too costly. The author paints a sort of digital survival of the fittest where the most popular formats (eg. MS Office) are unlikely ever to disappear while the least successful potentially offer the most headaches. The author then recommends an alternative model of preservation that is significantly pared down. - LRK

Shaw, Jonathan. "Gutenberg 2.0Harvard Magazine  (May-June 2010): 36-41; 82-83. ( - Given the recent hype and rhetoric surrounding e-books, mass digitization, and the advent of new digital devices such as the iPad, it's rare to find as thoughtful a piece on the future of libraries as this one. In preparing this piece, Shaw interviewed a number of Harvard faculty and librarians and largely allows them to tell the story. And the story is considerably more nuanced than most you are likely to read on this topic. Highly recommended for its scope, depth, and ability to prompt reflection. - RT