Current Cites

October 2015

Edited by Roy Tennant

http://currentcites.org/2015/cc15.26.10.html

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


Allard, Suzie. "Placements & Salaries 2015: The Expanding Info SphereLibrary Journal  (23 October 2015)(http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/10/placements-and-salaries/2015-survey/the-expanding-info-sphere/). - This story summarizes Library Journal's annual salary and placement survey. As a profession that is acutely aware that our salaries do not top the scale of professions, we can perhaps be forgiven for being obsessed with salary data. In a nutshell, this year's findings hold both bad and good tidings. Bad in that women still typically earn 15% less than their male counterparts, while good that this gap narrowed (albeit very slightly) this year. Other findings include what one would expect (jobs with a distinct technology component tended to attract higher salaries) as well as surprises (there was a marked increase in the number of 2014 LIS graduates who found employment, and at an improved starting salary). Don't miss the links at the bottom of the article, most notably "Explore all the data". - RT

Lamont, Lisa, and Jordan  Nielsen. "Calculating Value: A Digital Library's Social Media CampaignThe Bottom Line  28(4): (Preprint). (http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/BL-07-2015-0010). - So many articles and presentations are of the 'how we done good' variety that the moment we come upon one explaining 'how we done bad', it immediately stands out. That is the story of this first foray into social media by the digital collections staff at San Diego State University. To be fair, this was only a 'test' and, as the authors explain, "a low return on investment was expected". Pinterest and Tumblr were their vehicles. Following the initial trial, they ended up with no more than 12 contacts at an overall cost of $593.70. Nevertheless they conclude, given the importance of social media, that "further experimentation may prove differently." - LRK

Manzo, Christina. "5 Lessons Library Websites Can Learn from BuzzfeedWeave: Journal of Library User Experience  1(3)(2015)(http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/weave.12535642.0001.302). - This article is an interesting look at how libraries may be able to learn how to make their web sites more engaging and useful by studying what Buzzfeed, an insanely popular web site, does to engage its users. The five aspects discussed include formatting techniques, the use of personas, user engagement strategies, timeliness, and shareability. Although libraries will need to consider whether or how to implement any or all of these, it is likely worthwhile to give these techniques serious consideration. At least they seem to work for Buzzfeed. - RT

Schulkins, Rachel, and Joseph  Schulkins. "Streamlining Book Requests with Chromecode{4}lib Journal  (30)(15 October 2015)(http://journal.code4lib.org/articles/10996). - In this brief article, the authors describe the creation of a Chrome extension for book ordering at the University of Liverpool. The extension pulls bibliographic data from amazon.co.uk, searches against the library's catalog, and pre-populates a form that the requestor completes and sends to the acquisitions department. The extension is simple to use and has been widely adopted among staff. Acquisitions is saving time that was previously spent clarifying incomplete requests and gathering other data, and also has access to statistics that include time between request and receipt, and other useful metrics. In addition to discussing the process improvements that they have seen with use of the extension, the authors walk through the development and include code snippets. Future plans include adapting the extension for use by faculty and students. - AC

Strykowski, Jill. "Advanced v. Basic Search: Digital Perception and Library LearningThe Journal of Academic Librarianship  41(5)(September 2015): 689-691. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0099133315001639). - Library users come to our search screens having been trained by Google to expect a single search box. Librarians, on the other hand, are keenly aware of the advantages of the more focused searches that can be done using the multi-search boxes and filters provided by database vendors under the "Advanced" search tab. In spite of the considerable investment that libraries make in research databases, we have very little control over how they are constructed except for whether the initial search interface defaults to the Basic or Advanced search screen. Academic libraries have a responsibility to teach their student users how to make use of more complex search capabilities, an opportunity that public and other libraries may not have. The author reviews the evidence about how people search, and how that supports the arguments to default to either a basic, single search box or a multiple search box interface. - NN

Werner, Sarah. "How to Destroy Special Collections with Social Media in 3 Easy Steps: A Guide for Researchers and LibrariansWynken de Worde: Books, Early Modern Culture, Post-Modern Readers  (31 July 2015)(http://sarahwerner.net/blog/2015/07/how-to-destroy-special-collections-with-social-media/). - In this blog posting that presents a lecture given at this summer's Rare Books School, Werner lightly touches on some of the mistakes that special collections make when it comes to their digital collections. They include making it hard to find digital material; licensing the material in a way that makes it hard to use and reuse it; treating special collections as primarily a source of jokes and pretty pictures; and substituting click rates for appropriate engagement. The talk is heavily illustrated with fascinating examples of what works and what doesn't work. One wishes that more library literature was both thoughtful and entertaining. - PH