Current Cites

March 2015

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Charles W. Bailey, Jr., Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Nancy Nyland, Roy Tennant

Environmental Scan 2015  Chicago, IL: ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee, March 2015.( - This 32-page PDF serves as a good overview of issues facing academic libraries in 2015. Although there are few, if any, surprises and little detail on the broad set of issues, the document achieves the goal of the committee to provide "an overview of the current environment for academic libraries rather than an exhaustive examination." For those for whom even 32 pages is too much, a lot can be gleaned by only reading the bulleted "Implications" at the end of each section. To dive deeper on any single issue, the document cites a number of sources that can offer further explication. All told, a credible and useful effort that highlights much of the best literature in this area for the last several years. Recommended for any academic librarian. - RT

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), . 7 Things You Should Know About Visual Literacy  S.l.: ELI, 9 March 2015.( - Titles in EDUCAUSE's 7 Things You Should Know... series are terrific two-page introductions to hot topics in learning technology such as visual literacy, the subject of the most recent issuance. What is striking in the document is the absence of any awareness that libraries could have a role to play in fostering visual literacy among students other than for a brief nod to the Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education from ACRL. It tells me that on some campuses, faculty members and IT specialists may not think about the library when developing programs in this area, which means that librarians may need to be proactive. This document can help ensure that everyone is speaking the same language. - PH

Hanrath, Scott, and Miloche  Kottman. "Use and Usability of a Discovery Tool in an Academic LibraryJournal of Web Librarianship  (23 Feb 2015)( - Interesting read to get people thinking about usability in general as well as how their own 'discovery system' may (or may not) be working. Note, current status of article, 'Published online'. An author's copy is available at - LRK

Marquez, Joe, and Annie  Downey. "Service Design: An Introduction to a Holistic Assessment Methodology of Library ServicesWeave: Journal of Library User Experience  1(2)(2015)(;rgn=main). - Libraries use many techniques to assess individual services, such as usability studies, UX design or ethnography. The goal of “service design” is to employ traditional assessment tools in a more holistic and comprehensive way, looking at all of a library’s services as a “whole entity” from a user perspective. Like user experience design, service design focuses on library patrons and their experiences. Rather than looking at individual services in a vacuum, service design evaluates services in the context of the library as an ecological system. While remaining user centered, service design includes as many stakeholders as possible, whether external or internal: “Ideas provided by those who offer and support the service are just as important as patron or user input.” Thoughtful analysis by frontline personnel can reveal previously unseen connections between service processes and user interactions. Established assessment tools that can be incorporated into service design include blueprinting, prototyping, journaling, and journey mapping. The authors provide a four-phase framework that could be used by any library to set up a service design project customized to create or refine services based on user demand. - NN

Poynder, Richard. "The OA Interviews: Alison Mudditt, Director, University of California PressOpen and Shut?  (8 March 2015)( - In January, the University of California Press launched Collabra, an open access megajournal, and Luminos, an open access monograph publishing program. Both publishing programs are notable for pushing the envelope in open access publishing business models. For example, Collabra has set its APC well below its major competitors at $875, and it is reserving $250 of the fee for a Research Community Fund that will pay editors and reviewers, who are encouraged to donate their fees to funds that pay or waive authors' APCs. After providing a detailed and informative introduction, Poynder interviews UC Press Director Alison Mudditt to get her insights into these new publishing programs. - CB