Current Cites

June 2010

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Keri Cascio, Alison Cody, Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Brian Rosenblum, Roy Tennant

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Scholarly Research in Communication  (June 2010)( - This guide is intended to provide a code of best practices to help "U.S. communications scholars interpret the doctrine of fair use," but the guidance it provides can be helfpul to librarians and scholars in other disciplines as well. The guide begins with a brief description of how "copyright insecurity" and lack of understanding of copyright are hampering research in communication studies and related fields. Then, drawing on traditions and routine practice in the field, it provides general descriptions, principles, and limitations for four common situations in the communication field where fair use doctrines may apply: analysis and criticism, quotation, using copyrighted material to stimulate response during research, and storing material in collections and archives. The document is inspired by (and provides links to) similar codes set forth by other professional communities, such as documentary filmmakers, film scholars, and online video creators. - BR

Barton, Joshua, and Lucas  Mak. "SkyRiver at Michigan State University Libraries: A Brief OverviewALCTS Newsletter online  21(2)(June 2010)( - As an alternative to the OCLC cooperative cataloging database, SkyRiver was launched in 2009 as a lower-cost bibliographic utility. Michigan State University (MSU) started using SkyRiver for their bibliographic records in August 2009, and left OCLC in November 2009. They are still able to use YBP as a book vendor, and receive records for their approval plan items. A hit rate of 93-95 percent was just a small drop from their usual 95-98 percent hit rate with OCLC. After a transition period, the SkyRiver cataloging productivity has returned to MSU's monthly average with OCLC. Adding holdings to WorldCat has been cost prohibitive to MSU, as the prices for batch uploading are higher without an OCLC cataloging subscription service. MSU continues to use the OCLC Resource Sharing service, but their holdings have not been updated in WorldCat since October 2009. Baron and Mak conclude that the move to SkyRiver has been worth it: "The notable successes include a satisfactory hit rate for approval plan copy and maintenance of high cataloging productivity, both while being afforded significant savings." - KC

Gallagher, Paul. "Map it @ WSU: Development of a Library Mapping System for Large Academic LibrariesCode4Lib Journal  (10)(22 June 2010)( - This article covers a mapping project undertaken by the Wayne State Library System in late 2009 and early 2010. The project culminated with the integration of stack maps into the library catalog, enabling patrons unfamiliar with the building's layout to quickly determine the location of any book in the catalog. The author explains both the process of building the mapping system, as well as the alternatives investigated, and their pros and cons. The final system features static floor maps, overlaid with stack locations that are created on the fly. Along with the maps in the catalog, the developers also built a webpage where students or staff can input a call number range and look up a book's location, without having to go through the catalog. This form also provides a method to look up stack locations by subject, enabling readers to more easily find a section to browse if they like. While both of the systems have drawbacks -- including the unfortunate fact that the map links in the catalog are hidden to those who don't know to look for them -- the author reports that the maps have been well-received and usage is growing. For larger libraries, or institutions with multiple libraries, a system like this can help patrons feel more in control of this simple step of their research, and can reduce the number of questions about book locations being asked of public services staff. - AC

Hernon, , Peter, and Candy  Schwartz. "Editorial: Writing an AbstractLibrary & Information Science Research  32(3)(July 2010): 173. ( - Brief piece on what many of us normally don't think too much about, namely the art of writing an abstract, from a pair of veterans who've been in the editorial trenches since 1993. - LRK

Klinefelter, Anne. "Library Standards for Privacy: A Model for the Digital World?North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology  11(3, Special 2010)(8 June 2010)( - In a short, suggestive essay, Klinefelter notes how many of the critics of the Google Book Settlement have argued that Google Books should be as respectful of reader confidentiality as are librarians. Using her own professional history, she illustrates that privacy in libraries is a mixed bag: as much ethical practice as statutory requirement. She notes that contemporary librarians and commercial vendors alike are interested in personalized services, even though this may compromise some privacy protections. She even notes that some librarians are starting to question the profession's recent fundamental assertion of patron privacy. The relationship that librarians have with privacy, she suggests, is much more nuanced than what the vocal critics (or some of our own recent literature) assert. If Klinefelter is right, the future role of librarians may not be as an impenetrable firewalls against prying eyes, but rather as knowledgeable negotiators and instructors who strive to limit the most egregious intrusions into patron privacy when acquiring third-party databases while at that same time explaining beneficial features that may negatively impact user confidentiality. - PH

Kroeker, Kirk L. "Communications of the ACMMainstreaming Augmented Reality  53(7): 19-21. ( - Forget 'Virtual Reality', 'Augmented Reality' (AR) is the place to be. But what exactly is AR and why now? As the author explains, AR is a technology where a "real-world setting or set of objects is augmented by a computer-generated overlay." As to why now, that's simple: we're all increasingly running around with GPS-equipped AR devices commonly known as 'smart-phones'. This means we can point our smart-phone at any physical object and potentially receive related data in return. Although very much in its infancy, it's hard to resist the conclusion as expressed by a researcher mentioned in the article that AR may someday represent "one of the fundamental user interface paradigms through which humans interact with the world". - LRK

Loewald, Tonio, and Jody  DeRidder. "Metadata In, Library Out. A Simple, Robust Digital Library SystemCode4Lib Journal  (10)(22 June 2010)( - This article describes a lightweight digital asset management system called Acumen developed at the University of Alabama. Both metadata and source files exist on the filesystem using a particular naming convention rather than in a database. While I can imagine some digital librarians being horrified at having meaning in filenames, it does provide a certain level of functionality that normally would require associated metadata to achieve. This and other architectural decisions were made under the over-arching philosophy of "Keep it simple, stupid!" so the simplicity of the system should not be a surprise. The authors argue that such a system is less prone to fail than the more typically database-driven systems, and I'd have to agree with them. I've long been a fan of the simple filesystem, if for no other reason than you can always see what you have, but this is one of the few digital library systems I've seen that really uses this as a foundational principle. - RT