Current Cites

August 2015

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

"Libraries Are the Future of Manufacturing in the United StatesPacific Standard  (27 July 2015)( - This piece begins with a rather compelling story of a team of doctors, when faced with a long and expensive process to print a facsimile of a patient's head before surgery, they were able to get it done much faster at a much lower cost at their local public library. This is because, as this piece reports, over 100 libraries throughout the U.S. offer "makerspaces" or "fab labs" where anyone can create physical items. The maker lab at Chicago Public Library has laser cutters, milling machines, and vinyl cutters besides the 3-D printer that enabled the doctors to print a model of their patient's head. Many of us have been aware of this trend for years, but with articles like this in the popular press, soon everyone else will too. - RT

Carroll, Michael. "Sharing Research Data and Intellectual Property Law: A PrimerPLOS Biology  13(8)(27 August 2015)( - Most librarians have a nodding familiarity with the copyright issues associated with the use of books and journals in our collections. As we start providing access to research data, however, the rules become less clear. Help is now here. Carroll, after noting that "the law makes all of this far more complicated than it need be," provides an eminently clear introduction to the various kinds of property rights that can be associated with research data. Carroll argues that in order to encourage data reuse, "it is incumbent on the owner(s) of these rights to mark the data with the associated permissions." As might be expected from one of the founders of Creative Commons, he suggests the use of CC licenses, and doesn't even mention the competing licenses from Open Data Commons. Nevertheless, this is a must read for anyone creating or managing research data. - PH

Huber, John J., and Steven V.  Potter. The Purpose-Based Library: Finding Your Path to Survival, Success, and Growth  Chicago, IL: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2015.( - For those who have not read his previous book, Lean Library Management, Huber gets the reader’s attention from the Introduction with stories of budget cuts and library outsourcing. In Part I: “Survival,” he takes us on a journey with libraries who have survived a competitive review, or “managed competition,” that put them at risk of being outsourced. The techniques presented align library resources and initiatives with community needs at multiple levels. It is not simple or easy for libraries to co-exist and compete with what he calls the “BANG” group: Barnes&Noble, Amazon, Netflix and Google. But the step-by-step processes outlined here help libraries to sort out the complexities. Huber, the industrial engineer, partners with a librarian who has created his own related approach, the “Customer-Centered Transaction Model.” Together, they point libraries toward a future of relevance, growth and sustainability through partnership with the communities they serve. - NN

Link, Forrest E., Yuji  Tosaka, and Cathy  Weng. "Mining and Analyzing Circulation and ILL Data for Informed Collection DevelopmentCollege & Research Libraries  76(6)(September 2015): 740-755. ( - In this paper, the authors report on a study to assess whether or not their print collections were meeting their users' needs. For this purpose, they determined that the circulation of an item (from the collection or via ILL), indicated a user need. The authors pulled acquisition, circulation, and ILL data for print monographs from July 2008 - June 2012, and looked at titles with an imprint date of 2007 or later. In order to look at the data by broad subject area, the authors employed LC classes, and dropped five that each represented less than 1% of the data. They wound up with a final data set of about 13,000 acquisitions, 10,000 circulations (5,000 unique titles) and 1,600 ILL transactions (1,400 unique titles). Findings include that ILL requests were particularly high for Philosophy, Psychology, Religion and Language and Literature. Overall, about 35% of unique title lending occurred via ILL for those two classes, compared to 20% overall. Conversely, ILL requests were particularly low for Social Sciences. This information, among other conclusions, gave them some new insights into how effective their acquisitions activities are, and how they can consider re-balancing their buying. - AC

Rainie, Lee, and Kathryn  Zickuhr. Americans' Views on Mobile Etiquette  Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, 2015.( - Reading this on your cell phone at a social gathering? If you're an 18-29 year-old American, welcome to the club: 49% of your peer group browse or search the web in similar circumstances according to this new Pew Research Center report. If you are older (30-49), that number drops to 32%, and, for the old folks (65+), it plummets to 3%. But the 65+ crowd could be busy taking photos/videos (29%) or reading texts or e-mails (23%) at your get-together. And that text could be from the 75% of 18-29 year-olds who text in social settings. Forget about guns: it's cell phones that you'll have to pry from Americans' cold, dead hands. - CB

Schmidt, Aaron, and Amanda  Etches. Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library  Chicago, IL: ALA Editions, 2014.( - User experience design is concerned with “how someone feels when using a product or service.” Anywhere a user interacts with a library service is a “touchpoint.” The twenty or more library touchpoints suggested to consider are likely to cover any and all interactions that patrons may have. The eight principles of library user experience design are guideposts by which libraries can make sure that their services have the three qualities of useful, usable and desirable. My favorite principle is the second, “The User Is Not Broken.” We are not here to educate library patrons in how to navigate user-unfriendly services. The goal is to design services so easy to use that they function without mediation or instruction from library staff. The authors explain the need to start with research, then walk us through a checklist of how to spot good and bad user experience design in every area of the library. They end with a mantra for library staff: “Every decision we make affects how people experience the library. Let’s make sure we’re creating improvements.” - NN