Current Cites

October 2016

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

"Identifying Digital Librarian Competencies According to the Analysis of Newly Emerging IT-based LIS Jobs in 2013Journal of Academic Librarianship  42(5)(September 2016): 542–550. ( - Job requirements tend to change for all professions. This is particularly true for those of us in the library field who have witnessed the transition from a (mostly) text-based medium to a (mostly) digital, online one. The authors here analyze job listings and advertisements for the position of 'Digital Librarian'. They conclude, "[t]he findings of the present study showed that ‘digital librarians’ need good communication skills, flexibility, and problem-solving abilities to deal with patrons and to handle their requests. They also need to have discipline, self-management, and time management in order to succeed in libraries and be able to work with people." - LRK

Finch, Jannette L., and Angela R.  Flenner. "Using Data Visualization to Examine an Academic Library CollectionCollege and Research Libraries  77(6)(November 2016): 765-778. ( - The authors describe their work to better understand their college library book collection expenditures in light of other metrics such as the number of courses in a subject, the use of the collections in that area, and student enrollment. They used Microsoft Excel to take the data they gathered and create bubble charts that enabled the depiction of three variables: two by the placement of the bubble on the X and Y axes, and a third by the size of the bubble. Even with a relatively simple visualization, the authors were able to detect outliers more easily than by scanning figures. I would imagine probably any academic library would benefit from such an exercise, so that anomalies can be detected and either justified or adjusted to make more effective use of limited funds. - RT

Kim, Bohyun. "Cybersecurity and Digital Surveillance Versus Usability and Privacy: Why Libraries Need to Advocate for Online PrivacyCollege & Research Libraries News  77(9)(October 2016): 442 - 445, 451. ( - Libraries have some obligation to protect their patrons’ privacy, but the extent of that obligation and the specifics of how to fulfill it are not well defined. IT departments that work with libraries may know how to lock down the data in a system, but security that is controlled too tightly will interfere with patrons’ ability to use the library. The article reviews cases “in which security concerns conflicted with people’s right to privacy.” Computer security is a double-edged sword that can be used to either protect privacy or invade it. Since librarians must depend on their IT departments, “we do not always fully understand how the technology actually works….” The challenge is finding an appropriate balance between privacy and security. The author’s position is that libraries should advocate for privacy. There are more questions than answers in this topic, but some helpful resources are provided for further inquiry, such as the Library Freedom Project. - NN

University of California Libraries. Pay it Forward: Investigating a Sustainable Model of Open Access Article Processing Charges for Large North American Research Institutions: Final Report  s.l.: University of California Libraries, 27 July 2016.( - Would a large-scale conversion to open access scholarly journal publishing funded via article processing charges (APCs) be both financially sustainable for the publishers and save money for large North American research institutions? Over a decade ago, a draft report suggested that given the heavy level of publishing at research-intensive universities, open access might actually turn out to be more expensive for them than the current toll-access system. The final report of the Mellon-funded "Pay it Forward" project appears to confirm that earlier tentative conclusion. In a comprehensive and rigorous study, the report determines both the current average APC charge ($1500-$2000 for average journals; $2100-$2500 for above-average journals), current library expenditures on subscriptions, and the level of publication for the sample schools. The project found that for most research-intensive institutions, "the total cost to publish in a fully article processing charge-funded journal market will exceed current library journal budgets." It concludes that for there to be real competition and changes in pricing, authors will need "to act as informed consumers of publishing services." - PH