Current Cites

January 2014

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Peter Hirtle, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant, Jesús Tramullas,

AAUP Library Relations Committee. Press and Library Collaboration Survey  New York, NY: Association of American University Presses, January 2014.( - Libraries no longer just purchase the end-products of scholarly research. They are also becoming active participants in the dissemination process, as this AAUP survey reveals. 77% of library respondents agree that publishing should be part of the library's mission. But how publishing should be implemented in libraries and what should be published are still open questions. The report highlights the wide range of activities that libraries can undertake. Especially interesting are the follow-on interviews that hint at areas of disagreement about the role libraries should play in publishing. For example, only 34% of press respondents think that publishing should be part of the mission of libraries, and some of the interviewed librarians reject undertaking a publishing role. Any library that is thinking about becoming a publisher should review this report to get a sense of the possibilities and potential pitfalls. - PH

Calhoun, Karen. Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects  Chicago: IL: ALA Neal-Schuman, January 2014.( - This overview of digital libraries is unlike virtually anything that has come before because it comes from the perspective of a practitioner. Most books on digital libraries have been written by academics and/or computer science researchers, and they tend to reflect that particular perspective. Specifically, long on information about research projects and short on the kind of on-the-ground information that is much more what a typical librarian would come into contact with. In contrast, Calhoun's treatment is much more recognizable to actual working librarians, and thus is much more likely to form an effective and useful coverage of what has transformed libraries in recent years. Therefore I imagine that this will be required reading in library schools for many years to come. Full disclosure: I count myself among Karen's many friends and I was interviewed in the course of her writing the book. - RT

Cocciolo, Anthony. "Unix Commands and Batch Processing for the Reluctant Librarian or ArchivistCode4Lib Journal  (23)(17 January 2014)( - For those who have grown up in the tender embrace of a computer's graphical user interface, it may come as a bit of a shock that the Unix command line holds untold power. From simple utilities to very sophisticated software packages that one can control with one-line commands, there are a wide variety of tasks that one can accomplish sans icons, windows, and pointing devices. This article seeks to unveil this world for librarians and archivists since it contains some extremely powerful and very useful abilities for mass file manipulation. High on the list is the amazing ImageMagick, which Cocciolo shows can perform batch transformations on images that would take hours, if not days, using Photoshop or a similar image editing program. While the author identifies a number of specific abilities, it is to be hoped that this article sparks a desire to learn more. And those of you on Macs should know that you have the Unix command line interface at your beck and call simply by starting the "Terminal" application. - RT

FESABID. El valor económico y social de los servicios de información: bibliotecas  Madrid: FESABID, January 2014.( - FESABID, the Spanish Federation of Societies of Archives, Libraries, Documentation and Museums has published a study on the value that libraries bring to the Spanish economy. Based on statistical and economic indicators, and taking into account professionals and users, shows that libraries are a profitable investment, offering an ROI that is between a minimum of 2.49 to a high of 3.4 per 1 euro invested. - JT

Frosio, Giancarlo. Open Access Publishing: A Literature Review  Glasgow: CREATe, 2014.( - This massive review of open access literature weighs in at 219 pages. After an extensive summary, it covers the history and theory of open access, its legal framework and copyright issues, open access economics and business models, and open access mandates. It's a rare study of open access that begins with a consideration of the Greek Sophists, and this gives you some idea of the depth of treatment in this work. The summary and a detailed table of contents allow the reader to focus on particular topics of interest. This is not an advocate tract, and, reflecting the literature, it considers perceived pros and cons of various aspects of open access. - CB

Kenney, Bryan. "The User Is (Still) Not BrokenPublishers Weekly  (27 January 2014)( - In this piece, Kenney takes a look back at how Karen Schneider's oft-quoted "The User is Not Broken" blog post, written nearly eight years ago, has stood the test of time. "But how well has the piece, written as a series of pithy maxims, survived the past eight years?" questions Kenney, "Extraordinarily well, it turns out—even if our responses to some of Schneider’s rules continue to change." Schneider's assertions, besides the one in the title of her post, include: "We Are Not a Format, We Are a Service," "The OPAC Is Not the Sun," "Your Web site Is Your Ambassador to Tomorrow's Taxpayers," and "Meet People Where They Are—Not Where We Want Them to Be". Well, yeah. But one would do well to remember that the post was written some years ago, before such statements were considered to be common sense. - RT

Svensson, Lars G. "Are Current Bibliographic Models Suitable for Integration with the Web?Information Standards Quarterly  25(4)(Winter 2013): 7 - 13. ( - It is unlikely that anyone would ask the title question if the answer was that, yes, current bibliographic models are suitable for integration with the Web. The author takes the reader on a journey through various metadata systems used by more than half a dozen national libraries and consortia such as OCLC and Europeana. At a time when some library schools no longer require a cataloging class, many front-line librarians will find the alphabet soup of FRBR, RDF and BIBRAME, to list only a few of the acronyms, beyond their area of interest or expertise. But whether our patrons can find our physical materials on the Web in the future may depend on whether a "one-size-fits-all model for bibliographic information" can be developed. Currently there are "some elements of bibliographic descriptions where the semantics are extremely fuzzy." (p. 12) The prospect of getting libraries, museums and search engines across the globe to agree on a common model is daunting, but librarians, as domain experts who are accustomed to cooperating and creating consistent standards, are ideally positioned to accomplish it. - NN