Current Cites

May 2016

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

Editor's Note: If this month's issue appears thin, it is. As the Editor I must apologize to our loyal readership, as it is my fault. Normally I would be able to contribute cites to the monthly issue, but not this month. My wife is in a major political campaign and the election is less than a week away. As it is, I am trying to put this issue out between putting up signs, phone calling, and the many other things we are doing to win this campaign. I promise to be back in action next month, like we have been for over 25 years. Thank you for understanding. And without our awesome volunteer contributors, there would not have been an issue at all. Thanks, team!

Dietrich, Dianne, Julia  Kim, and Morgan  McKeehan, et. al."How to Party Like it’s 1999: Emulation for EveryoneCode4Lib Journal  (32)(4/25/2016)( - In 1995 Jeff Rothenberg proposed in an article in Scientific American that emulation could be an effective method for preserving digital information. Was he right? The authors of this article report on efforts at four different institutions to use emulation to preserve early video games and a variety of digital artworks. They argue that emulation is a practical response to their preservation problems, and provide advice on how others can use emulation to preserve complex digital objects that otherwise would be lost. While they are upbeat about emulation's potential, there are things in their very thorough report that could give one pause. One repository, for example, discovered that its emulators could only run on older host machines, something that could limit the usefulness of the approach over time when those machines are no longer available. There is no report on cost, either, and it is unclear if this is a technique that could scale or will be limited to special items that require boutique treatment. Still, it is encouraging to see another functional tool added to the preservation tool chest. - PH

Molaro, Anthony, and White  Leah L., Eds.. The Library Innovation Toolkit: Ideas, Strategies, and Programs  Chicago: ALA Editions, 2015.( - Technology innovations are included in this discussion of different creative ideas for libraries of all types. One library formed an internal Digital Materials Group, and another sent their staff to an innovation boot camp. A library that created a formal trend watcher's committee also rewarded staff who implemented useful ideas by giving them the title Innovation Champion. Technology innovations for patrons include an online carrel reservation system, a speedier barcode scanning system at the security exit, a digital media lab, and a video game program based on Angry Birds. The contributors to each of the sixteen chapters deal with the challenges of finding funding, space, and staffing for innovative projects, as well as training and constructive methods to generate enthusiasm for new initiatives. A chapter in the first section,” Innovation Culture," posits that "Driving Creativity and Innovation" is "Easier Than You Think." The Library Innovation Toolkit will get people thinking that it might not only be easier, but much more within the range of the possible than they had ever imagined. - NN

Pomerantz, Jeffrey, and Robin  Peek. "Fifty Shades of OpenFirst Monday  21(5)(2016)( - When the authors investigated the concept of "open," they found at least 50 terms that used the word, and they concluded that there is a growing ambiguity about what "open" really means. This paper attempts to disambiguate the different meanings of the word. The authors analyze key aspects of openness, such as access, rights, participation, transparency, and use. One of the most important characteristics of openness is that it creates a "virtuous cycle": "The user of an open resource is free to do with it what they like, which may include creating a new resource, which another user may be free to do with what they like, etc." The authors also discuss "openwashing," which Michelle Thorne defined as "to spin a product or company as open, although it is not." However, they decided not to examine the Open Source Washing Machine Project: you'll have to investigate that one yourself. - CB

Swindler, Luke. "New Consortial Model for E-Books AcquisitionsCollege & Research Libraries  77(3)(May 2016): 269-285. ( - Acquisition of e-books within academic libraries is challenging. Despite any previously stated preferences for print or electronic books, faculty and students will often use whatever format is available. In addition, these preferences vary based on the user's intended purpose in consulting the title, and differ between disciplines. Here, the author provides a brief overview of a purchasing strategy a consortium adopted with one publisher, which moved away from title-by-title acquisitions to purchasing all of the publisher's e-book output. This change led to a pilot of a similar program with a second publisher, which is described in greater detail in this article. Over the course of the two-year pilot program, the publisher, the consortium, and a third-party provider faced several difficult and time-consuming challenges. Ultimately, the pilot was successful, and was converted into a permanent model at the start of the third year. An interesting approach to a challenging problem, and certainly something well worth considering by other consortia and libraries. - AC