Current Cites

November 2014

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Alison Cody, Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant

Anglada, Lluís. "Are Libraries Sustainable in a World of Free, Networked, Digital Information?El Profesional de la Información  23(6)(November 2014): 603 - 611. ( - A formula assigning a number to the sustainability of libraries cannot be precise, but is rather, as the author suggests, an “academic amusement.” The equation proposed here posits a quantifiable relationship between the value of libraries, their cost and use, the perception of libraries, and something defined as “dysfunctions.” Dysfunctions represent the gap between users’ expectations and their experiences in libraries. Although the values assigned to the variables are necessarily subjective, even estimates of values show a clear decrease in the sustainability of libraries through the phases of mechanization, automation and digitization. Anglada reviews trends, connecting the nature of library functions such as intermediation and assistance to their “permanent invisibility.” He suggests ways that libraries can increase their sustainability by adapting to the new paradigm of the Googlization of information. Through this flexibility, libraries can make stereotypes of libraries outdated, bringing user perceptions into line with the evolving role of libraries. - NN

Brook, Michelle, Peter  Murray-Rust, and Charles  Oppenheim. "The Social, Political and Legal Aspects of Text and Data Mining (TDM)D-Lib Magazine  20(11/12)(November/December 2014)( - As more and more research material moves into digital form, the questions we can ask of that data can change. We can, in the words of Franco Moretti, replace "close reading" with "distant reading." But to build an empirical data set for analysis, text must be "mined": accessed, copied, and parsed. As a policy matter, this shouldn't be hard: if humans can read text, computers should be able to as well. Unfortunately, for computers to be able to read text, copies must be made. That raises many legal and commercial issues that are limiting the implementation of TDM. This article discusses many of them, including a nice summary of the new TDM exemptions in UK copyright law. One can only hope that as publishers make their text available to licensed users in the UK as the law demands, they will provide comparable access to their US subscribers. - PH

Kirschenbaum, Matthew, and Sarah  Werner. "Digital Scholarship and Digital Studies: The State of the DisciplineBook History  17(2014): 406-458. ( - At first glance, there might not appear to be much connection between the artifactual and textual traditions encompassed in the study of the history of the book and modern digital resources. In this review essay, Kirschenbaum and Werner argue convincingly that book history and digital scholarship are inexorably linked in at least two ways. First, digitization and online cataloging efforts are changing the way traditional book historians approach their subject. There are interesting suggestions here that might challenge any book digitizer who thinks that her responsibility is simply to make a text available. Second, a slew of new texts, formats, and publishing ventures are challenging the acquisition plans of the library. All in all, this is an excellent introduction to many of the exciting developments in digital publishing and scholarship. - PH

Kortekaas, Simone, and Bianca  Kramer. "Thinking the Unthinkable -- Doing Away With the Library CatalogueInsights: The UKSG Journal  27(3)(November 2014): 244 - 248. ( - Despite the title, Utrecht University has not done away with its library catalog, at least not yet. They have done away with their home-grown discovery tool, called Omega, and have not replaced it with a commercial discovery service. Their decision to focus on delivery instead of discovery was grounded in data showing increased use of Google Scholar, as use of Omega declined. The transition was informed by what their users said they wanted: “tailored support when and where they need it,” among other things. A carefully thought out plan included the critical step of using multiple communication channels. The library explained that the remaining, alternative methods for users to find what they need would be better, and provided Libguides with information on the effective use of other search engines, such as Scopus and Web of Science. Their step-by-step plan resulted in minimal complaints. The success of the project makes doing away with their library catalog the next logical phase, by substituting the existing access that library users already have through the Dutch national catalog and WorldCat. - NN

Lawrence, Amanda, John  Houghton, and Julian  Thomas, et. al.Where is the Evidence? Realising the Value of Grey Literature for Public Policy and Practice  Melbourne, Australia: Swinburne Institute for Social Research, 17 November 2014.( - Although this paper is focused on public policy literature, and from an Australian perspective, it is quite likely that much of what the authors are finding in their research, preliminarily reported here, can apply to other geographies and perhaps to a lesser extent, other disciplines. Much that is of interest in public policy is made available on the Internet in a variety of informal ways that presents particular barriers for locating the available literature. This of course has ramifications for libraries that serve communities that need to locate such "grey" literature. One recommendation they make in particular seems aimed at librarians: "Improve collection and curation of policy resources." Substitute "grey literature" for "policy resources" and you start to get a sense of the potential scale of the issue from the library perspective. Highly recommended. - RT

Matteson, Miriam L.. "The Whole Student: Cognition, Emotion, and Information LiteracyCollege & Research Libraries  75(6)(November 2014): 862-877. ( - In this article, Matteson reports on a study looking at how cognition and emotion impact students' information literacy skills. Four constructs were measured and compared to information literacy skills: emotional intelligence, dispositional affect (how an individual perceives situations, typically measured in positive and negative affect), motivation, and coping. These constructs were measured via an online survey that combined several existing measures, as well as an information literacy assessment. Over the course of two semesters, approximately 1,000 undergraduates in a communications course completed the survey. Emotional intelligence and motivation had the strongest relationships to information literacy skills. This makes intuitive sense, as students who are able to manage their emotional reactions, such as stress, or who are more interested in the work at hand, can more easily identify and engage in a productive response when faced with a challenge. Matteson wraps up by recommending that librarians work to integrate an awareness of students' emotional and cognitive states into information literacy programming. She briefly reviews K-12 teaching models developed with this in mind, and recommends working with campus departments that are already addressing students' emotional health, such as student life or residence life. - AC

Novotny, Eric. "From Inferno to Freedom: Censorship in the Chicago Public Library, 1910–1936Library Trends  63(1)(Summer 2014): 27-41. ( - Trip down memory lane at least as far as the Chicago Public Library and censorship is concerned. The article highlights the first third of the 20th Century as CPL moved from accommodating censorship by basically hiding the books to a more independent position represented by the "Intellectual Freedom statement" of 1936. - LRK