Current Cites

February 2016

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

Blakiston, Rebecca, and Shoshona  Mayden. "How We Hired a Content Strategist (And Why You Should Too)Journal of Web Librarianship  9(4)(2015): 193-215. ( - Web Content Strategists were created in the business world, and then migrated into libraries, like so many technology-related positions. Because the job is relatively new, the University of Arizona crafted a description specific to an academic library. There are two stories here, one a review of the literature and available information about web content strategy, and the other a recounting of how one library used that knowledge to employ a Web Content Strategist. The first can be useful even for libraries that don't have funding for a full-time Web Content Strategist. Interested staff can educate themselves and blend some web content work with existing responsibilities. The authors provide resources for this education: Library Juice and ALA online courses, as well as a conference that began in 2013, ConFab Higher Ed. Web content strategy is an opportunity for staff with the interest and aptitude to expand their knowledge and move into an area that should have a future as long as libraries have Web pages. - NN

Davidson, Bret, and Jason  Casden. "Beyond Open Source: Evaluating the Community Availability of SoftwareThe Code4Lib Journal  (31)(28 January 2016)( - In this article, the authors take a critical look at the open source software that the library technology community has created. They believe that for software to be truly open source, it should be tested and packaged in such a way that the installation and setup is as easy as possible for people with little technical expertise. To that end, they have performed case studies with their own software, examining two methods of measuring the ability to implement and use their projects. The guidelines they outline are put to work using two development environments that allow the developer to lower the barrier to adoption. It remains a little unclear to this non-developer what this would ultimately look like for those trying to implement software developed and tested in this way, but anything that lowers the barrier for smaller, underfunded libraries and systems to take advantage of these tools is certainly a good thing. - AC

Enis, Matt. "How to Talk CodeLibrary Journal  (24 February 2016)( - As this piece asserts, there is growing interest in knowing more about software coding even for those not destined to make money doing it. Knowing enough about it to be able to speak with others doing it is a skill that is now seen as valuable in the business world, and as Enis points out, libraries are increasingly stepping up to the task of educating their communities about coding. Some libraries offer computer labs, coding courses, makerspaces, and robotic resources to their communities. For those interested in this trend, this article can be a good introduction to strategies that a few libraries are taking to serve this new need in their communities. - RT

Lange, Jessica, Andrea  Miller-Nesbitt, and Sarah  Severson. "Reducing Noise in the Academic Library: The Effectiveness of Installing Noise MetersLibrary Hi Tech  34(1)(2016)( - The article looks at the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of a device called 'NoiseSign' which lights up once a certain decibel is reached. The idea was to see if using this device would keep 'quiet areas' in the library a bit more quiet. Results were not particularly successful. - LRK

Maron, Nancy, Christine  Mulhern, and Daniel  Rossman, et. al.The Costs of Publishing Monographs: Toward a Transparent Methodology  [New York, NY]: Ithaka S+R, 5 February 2016.( - How much does it cost to produce a monograph? In this careful new study, Ithaka S&R looked at 20 university presses and found that costs could range from $15K to $130K per title. Overall, costs were much higher than the $10K per title subsidy that faculty at Emory University recently proposed in support of open access publishing. University press monographic publishing is depicted as "a fairly high-touch process, with many individuals in a variety of roles helping to shape the scholarly work from concept through final execution and distribution." Clearly there is a need for an entirely different production model, one that exploits new technologies and distribution methods to radically lower the cost of producing a book. Library publishing initiatives, which are not burdened by past publishing models, may have an important role to play in transforming academic publishing. - PH

Schwartz, Katrina. "What Colleges Can Gain by Adding Makerspaces to Their LibrariesKQED MindShift  (5 February 2016)( - The first sentence of this piece is "Libraries are one of the fastest-evolving learning spaces." It then backs up that credible claim by focusing on what has been happening at North Carolina State University, San Diego State University, and the College of San Mateo. These examples are held up as perfectly natural extensions of library services to meet the evolving needs of their institutions. A library staff member at NCSU who is quoted in this article probably says it best: “Our library mission is to be a competitive advantage for our campus and for our students." - RT

Straumsheim, Carl. "Riding the WaveInside HigherEd  (24 February 2016)( - If you hadn't heard about the recent discovery that the long-predicted (by Albert Einstein) gravitational waves actually do exist, then you must like it under that rock. But what you may not know is how this news came to light in the published literature, and the story is revealed in this fascinating piece that involves a private vote, intense secrecy, a last minute cover design, and enough web traffic to bring down the publisher's server. It isn't every day that Nobel-worthy research is published, nor is it every day that researchers pony up the money required to make it open access. But it was definitely warranted in this case, and clearly appreciated. - RT

Thomson, Sara Day. Preserving Social Media  [Glasgow, Scotland]: Digital Preservation Coalition, February 2016.( - Technology Watch Reports from the DPC are almost always worth reading, and this latest study is no exception. Everyone is agreed that social media should become part of the collections of libraries and archives. Thomson outlines some of the technical, legal, and ethical challenges to making this happen. Not the least of these are the policies of most social media sites that make it impossible for researchers to deposit their research databases of social media with a library or archives. By highlighting the efforts of some organizations that have taken the lead in the area, however, Thomson suggests ways that the challenges can be overcome. A recently announced program, Documenting the Now, promises to create easy-to-use tools to assist in the capture and preservation of social media. Until then, this report is a welcome introduction for anyone interested in the issues surrounding capturing, using, and preserving social media. - PH