Current Cites

November 2012

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Warren Cheetham, Alison Cody, Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Roy Tennant

Cohn, Cindy, and Parker  Higgins. "Who's Tracking Your Reading Habits? An E-book Buyer's Guide to Privacy, 2012 EditionDeeplinks  (2012)( - Remember when the big reading privacy issue was the release of library circulation data to third-parties? Welcome to the new world of e-reading privacy where your digital reading behavior can be tracked, sliced, and diced. Not to mention potentially sold. This report by the EFF examines the tracking behavior of Google Books, Amazon Kindle, Barnes&Noble Nook, Kobo, Sony, Overdrive, Indiebound, the Internet Archive, and Adobe Content Server. - CB

Colón-Aguirre, Mónica, and Rachel A  Fleming-May. "'You Just Type in What You Are Looking For': Undergraduates' Use of Library Resources vs. WikipediaJournal of Academic Librarianship  38(6)(November 2012): 391-399. ( - The ostensible purpose of this article, or rather the research underlying it, was to look at student attitudes to Wikipedia. The authors interviewed 21 undergrads. And while much of the discussion is indeed devoted to this purpose, the authors also include generous portions of student discussion concerning research and the role of libraries, librarians and classroom instructors. Why students avoid certain resources ("most instructors don't really want you to use that"), or why they are using the OPAC ("I had a teacher ... say we have to have four copies of books") are a few examples of the context that will sound joyfully familiar to anyone fortunate enough to work the reference desk. - LRK

Jensen, Richard. "Military History on the Electronic Frontier: Wikipedia Fights the War of 1812The Journal of Military History  76(October 2012): 523-556. ( - No one seriously doubts that Wikipedia is a major reference resource. But how much do we know about how it develops and changes, its limitations, and how it could be improved? Jensen, the founder of H-Net, uses the example of the Wikipedia entry on the War of 1812, for which he is the major editor, to illustrate both the weaknesses and possibilities of Wikipedia. Rebecca J. Rosen has a nice summary piece on The Atlantic web site on the implications of Jensen's study for Wikipedia as a whole, but any librarian who wants to get a sense of the nuances of a Wikipedia entry would do well to read Jensen's full case study and consider his plea for greater academic involvement with it. - PH

Morton-Owens, Emily, and Karen L.  Hanson. "Trends at a Glance: A Management Dashboard of Library StatisticsInformation Technology and Libraries  31(3)(2012): 36-51. ( - Libraries everywhere are finding it increasingly necessary to justify their support. One way they may be able to do this is to provide metrics regarding the use their respective clienteles make of their services. This article describes an attempt to quantify usage metrics in an easy-to-consume "dashboard". "The dashboard enables closer scrutiny of trends in library use," the authors state, "ideally resulting in a more agile response to problems and opportunities. It allows decisions and trade-offs to be based on concrete data rather than impressions, and it documents the library’s service to its user community..." - RT

Saunders, Geoff D., Charles R.  McClure, and Lauren H.  Mandel. "Broadband applications: Categories, requirements, and future frameworksFirst Monday  17(11)(5 November 2012)( - The internet 'pipes and tubes' that delivered this edition of Current Cites to you are getting faster and have greater capacity to transmit information. Whether it's local programs like Chattanooga's Gig City project ( or national schemes like Australia's National Broadband Network (, the delivery of fast broadband via fibre optic cable and related technologies is a rapidly growing field around the world. This paper does an good job of outlining the chicken and the egg scenario often faced by those planning broadband infrastructure rollouts - you need a certain number of people subscribing to the network to make it viable, however people are reluctant to connect to and take-up fiber-broadband when they don't know what it can do for them. The paper summarizes past research in this area, and targets local officials who are trying to lead the development and use of broadband initiatives. A useful chapter on defining broadband speeds and technology is included, which helps to understand the internet connection speeds / capacity needed to perform online tasks ranging from sending emails to video-conferencing. Current areas of research into broadband applications include video conferencing, telehealth, distance learning, e-government and emergency management. Enter the roll of the public library and other community based organizations. An understanding of the potential of fast broadband deployments, and the applications that run on them, is an emerging role for public library staff, and this paper is a great starting point to get a grasp of the issues. - WC

Simons, Natasha, and Joanna  Richardson. "New Roles, New Responsibilities: Examining Training Needs of Repository StaffJournal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication  1(2)(2012)( - In this study, the authors surveyed staff at institutional repositories in Australia and New Zealand to identify what sort of training they had received, and what they felt they still needed. The goals were twofold - to provide data that could aid with issues such as recruitment and retention, and to identify topic areas in which a regional organization could consider developing workshops and courses. The study found that 83% of respondents had received no formal training (courses or workshops) related to their position at their repository. Nearly as many indicated that they had received informal, on-the-job training. However, there was still a great desire for more learning opportunities - respondents were particularly interested in training on copyright issues, project management, and interoperability standards. - AC

Tenopir, Carol, Ben  Birch, and Suzie  Allard. Academic Libraries and Research Data Services: Current Practices and Plans for the Future  Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2012.( - This year there has been a flurry of job ads for research data librarians. Why? Recent mandates by federal agencies and other funding agencies aimed at ensuring grantees adopt research data management and preservation policies have resulted in this new responsibility landing on academic libraries' doorsteps. Consequently, the publication of ACRL's white paper should be welcome news to academic librarians, especially given the authors' credentials. This 2011 survey of academic libraries of all types in the U.S. and Canada should be very helpful to orient readers to this increasingly important topic which has significant overlap with digital curation. For those wanting more, try my 2012 Research Data Curation Bibliography and the e-Science Portal for New England Librarians (especially the e-Science Community Blog). - CB