Current Cites

December 2015

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Alison Cody, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant

Hall, Nathan, Sara  Arnold-Garza, and Regina  Gong, et. al."Leading by Example? ALA Division Publications, Open Access, and SustainabilityCollege & Research Libraries  (November 2015)( - This e-print examines the evolving publishing practices of five ALA division journals: College & Research Libraries, Information Technology and Libraries, Library Leadership & Management, Library Resources and Technical Services, and Reference & User Services Quarterly. The good news is that three out the five journals are gold open access, with the access change happening in the 2011-12 period. The remaining two are green open access. C&RL, ITAL, LL&M, and LRTS allow authors to retain their copyright; RUSQ gives authors "the option of signing a limited license or a full agreement form." LL&M publishes articles under a Creative Commons Attribution License. In the 2010-2015 period, all five journals became electronic only. Four of the five journals use the Open Journal Systems software; C&RL uses HighWire. Not surprisingly, moving to e-only access cut costs: ITAL's publishing costs plummeted by about 94% and RUSA's annual publishing deficit was halved. Since the first electronic open access library journal was published in 1990, it has taken over twenty years to reach this encouraging, but still suboptimal, state of open access for these ALA journals. Hopefully, this progress will continue with increased use of gold publishing and Creative Commons licenses. - CB

Mitchell, Erik T. "Library Linked Data: Early Activity and DevelopmentLibrary Technology Reports  52(1)(January 2016)( - This is a refreshed version of Library Technology Reports (vol. 50, no. 5), “Library Linked Data: Research and Adoption,” published in July 2013. Since that time a lot has happened in cultural heritage institutions relating to linked data, so an update is welcome. Given its length (less than 30 pages of content) it should be viewed as an overview of linked data in libraries and not an in-depth treatment. The four chapters are: "The Current State of Linked Data in Libraries, Archives, and Museums", "Projects, Programs, and Research Initiatives", "Applied Systems, Vocabularies, and Standards", and "The Evolving Direction of LD Research and Practice". Highly recommended for getting up-to-date on how linked data is beginning to make an impact in libraries, archives, and museums. - RT

Scales, B. Jane, Lipi  Turner-Rahman, and Feng  Hao. "A Holistic Look at Reference Statistics: Whither Librarians?Evidence Based Library and Information Practice  10(4)(2015): 173 - 185. ( - Washington State University librarians at the Pullman campus employed various methods to generate useful data about their reference transactions. Using LibAnalytics software, they tracked not just the number of reference questions, but also the method of communication, type of question, level of difficulty of each question, and whether it was answered at the reference desk or in a librarian's office. The complexity of the data gathering and analysis was increased by the fact that the library has five modes of communication: in person, by telephone, instant messaging, e-mail, and via LibAnswers software. The library balanced this by simplifying the number of question types, limiting them to four: policy, technology, directional and reference. Questions were rated according to the Reference Effort Assessment Data Scale, or READ Scale. The READ Scale determines which questions are referred up through a tiered reference service consisting of undergraduate and graduate students, librarians and subject specialists. The resulting “snapshot” of reference services suggests as many questions as it answers. The study provides several follow-up areas of inquiry for other libraries that would like to undertake similar research. - NN

Wheeler, Emily, and Pamela  McKinney. "Are Librarians Teachers? Investigating Academic Librarians' Perceptions of Their Own Teaching SkillsJournal of Information Literacy  9(2)(December 2015): 111-128. ( - For this piece, the researchers interviewed 6 academic librarians in the UK who deliver information literacy instruction sessions. Through the interviews, they identified four different mindsets about teaching roles - subjects saw themselves as teacher-librarians, librarians who teach, learning support, and trainers. The authors first define each of these categories, making good use of quotes from the subjects. Much of the discussion of these conceptions centers around the difference between training and teaching, and one's level of engagement with and understanding of theories of pedagogy. All in all, a very interesting read for any instruction librarian, and something that would be an excellent starting point for a group discussion. - AC