Current Cites

March 2016

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

Bastian, Jeannette A., Megan  Sniffin-Marinoff, and Donna  Webber. Archives in Libraries: What Librarians and Archivists Need to Know to Work Together  Chicago, IL: Society of American Archivists, 2015.( - We often refer to "libraries and archives" on the assumption that they are fundamentally the same. Libraries and archives do share many similarities, but they also have fundamental differences in, for example, the nature of the material collected and how it is acquired, organized, described, and used. This slim volume explicates for library administrators some of the key differences. Particularly striking are the tables comparing the different meaning of common terms in each environment and the chart contrasting the ethical standards of each profession. Any librarian who finds herself overseeing an archives can learn from the vignettes, interviews, and analyses presented. - PH

Breeding, Marshall. Perceptions 2015: An International Survey of Library Automation  NA: Library Technology Guides, 2016.( - Integrated library systems are big ticket items for libraries. They are complex and they become more so each year as new capabilities are added. Moreover, they are deeply intertwined with libraries' major workflows. Consequently, replacing one is not to be taken lightly, especially since an RFP-based procurement process can result in mind-numbing reams of information from vendors, lengthy presentations, and divisive selection committee meetings. It is therefore with some relief that those contemplating such a change will greet Marshall Breeding's annual library automation survey with its very helpful survey data. This year, the data is from 3,453 libraries in 64 countries that analyzes 138 proprietary and open source systems. There are over 1,000 narrative comments included in the survey. Libraries of all sizes and types will find this survey to be very useful. - CB

Cirella, David. "Going the Third Way: Developing Custom Software Solutions for Your LibraryComputers in Libraries  (March 2016): 12 - 16. ( - In 2003, a book titled The Accidental Systems Librarian highlighted how librarians have recreated themselves in various roles that use and manage technology. Since everything was now going to be available on the Web, including library resources, many of us fell into roles as accidental Web developers. Our own library literature urges us to learn to “talk code” and be able to install open source software (Current Cites, February 2016.) The author of “Going the Third Way” outlines a process for librarians to become accidental software developers by using open source software such as Flask and Bootstrap to customize small-scale solutions to common problems in libraries. The conclusion acknowledges that although “many of our needs are beyond the abilities of non-developer librarians,” we are the ones who know our users best. Our first-hand knowledge of library users’ information needs and search behaviors creates an on-going need for at least some staff members to remain conversant with a range of current software options and solutions. - NN

Keyek-Franssen, Deborah. "Be a Meeting Hero: A Five-Step PlanEDUCAUSE Review  (23 February 2016)( - We've all been there -- the meeting that drags on without much happening of any consequence, the babbler who says nothing worth noting, the tangents that go nowhere -- so now we have a five-step plan to prevent such disasters. The steps? 1) State the meeting purpose(s) so you can be intentional about everything else, 2) Be prepared (mostly an agenda created and shared in advance), 3) Give your participants the gift of structure, 4) Use facilitation as chiropractic for your meeting (several subpoints about this), and 5) Wrap it up and put a bow on it. Read this blog post. Please. And do your meeting colleagues a big favor. - RT

Leetaru, Kalev. "Reimagining Libraries In The Digital Era: Lessons From Data Mining The Internet ArchiveForbes  (19 March 2016)( - Data miner Kalev Leetaru summarizes in this piece his investigations over the last few years based in the digitized content available via the Internet Archive (as well as HathTrust and Google Books). The success of the collaborations highlighted in this article leads him to conclude that libraries have "an incredible opportunity... to reinvent themselves as a data-rich nexus of innovation." Key to his efforts is that the data he uses is first, in machine-readable form and second, openly accessible via standardized tools and APIs. This suggests to me that if libraries want to meet the data needs of the new breed of researcher that Leetaru represents, then commercially-licensed restricted resources should be much less important. Libraries may instead want to spend more time ensuring that their unique holdings are in a form that can be used by data miners. - PH

Marcum, Deanna. Issue Brief: Library Leadership for the Digital Age  New York: Ithaka S+R, 28 March 2016.( - This article-length treatment covers ten aspects of successful digital organizations asserted by four authors in this paper. Marcum then provides a gloss from the perspective of libraries. The ten points are these: 1) Building a comprehensive digital strategy that can be shared broadly and repeatedly across the organization, 2) Embedding digital literacy across the organization, 3) Renewing focus on business fundamentals, 4) Embracing the new rules of customer engagement, 5) Understanding the global differences in how people access and use the Internet, 6) Developing the organization's analytical skills, 7) Focusing on the customer experience, 8) Developing leaders with skill sets that bridge traditional and digital expertise, 9) Paying close attention to cultural fit when recruiting digital leaders, and 10) Understanding the motivations of top talent. - RT

Suber, Peter. Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002-2011  Cambridge, MA : The MIT Press, 2016.( - Peter Suber is a prominent open access proponent, who is known for his lucid analysis of open access issues and his well-argued defenses of open access. Suber was the principal drafter of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, and he currently is the Director of Harvard Library's Office for Scholarly Communication. His two newsletters, the Free Online Scholarship Newsletter and the SPARC Open Access Newsletter were enormously influential in the movement. This book is a selection of papers from those newsletters, supplemented by a few additional works. The book, which has open access digital versions as well as charged paper versions, is a fine complement to his earlier book, Open Access. - CB

Sultan, M. Al-Daihani, and Alan  Abrahams. "A Text Mining Analysis of Academic Libraries' TweetsJournal of Academic Librarianship  42(2)(March 2016): 135-143. (http://doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2015.12.014). - Digital text analysis is pretty well established with a hefty number of tools to examine and compare large amounts of data. The authors of this article take some of those tools and examine the tweets from ten different academic libraries. Such an analytical approach is useful, as the authors explain, "to help [libraries] analyze their postings, benchmark against the postings of other libraries, and evaluate their users' satisfaction and level of engagement." - LRK