Current Cites

September 2016

Edited by Roy Tennant

http://currentcites.org/2016/cc16.27.9.html

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


Libraries 2016  Washington, DC: Pew Research Center, 9 September 2016.(http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/09/09/libraries-2016/). - Pew Research Center can be counted on for interesting research about public libraries and how the American public perceives, and uses, them. This latest survey is no different in that regard. "Most Americans view public libraries as important parts of their communities," they state, "with a majority reporting that libraries have the resources they need and play at least some role in helping them decide what information they can trust. When asked to think about the things that libraries could do in the future, notable numbers of Americans respond in a way that can be boiled down to one phrase: “Yes, please.”" In other words, the oft-cited opinion that the internet has replaced the need for public libraries couldn't be farther from the truth. - RT

"A New Partner in the Process: The Role of a Librarian on a Faculty Research TeamCollaborative Librarianship  8(2)(2016): 80-83. (http://digitalcommons.du.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1045&context=collaborativelibrarianship). - In this article, the author describes her participation with faculty who were writing a systematic literature review of the connections between nutrition and mental health. The librarian was asked to join the team to assist in developing the search strategy and managing the research papers selected for the review, but had opportunities to participate beyond those aspects of the project. Her involvement with the group not only enabled her to support faculty research in a very real way, but also provided valuable insight into the mechanics of how faculty work collaboratively. This case study provides the reader with helpful insight into what a librarian's involvement with a systematic review can look like, and the impact that participation can have on the outcome of the project. - AC

Conway, Mikka Gee, Marissa  Clifford, and Nathaniel  Deines. "Open Content at the Getty: Three Years Later, Some Lessons LearnedThe Iris: Behind the Scenes at the Getty  (16 August 2016)(http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/open-content-at-the-getty-three-years-later-some-lessons-learned/). - This brief article describes the legal and technical challenges of releasing two digital art history projects via open licensing. One is an edited and annotated online version of a 1681 publication. The key challenge was making sure that the Getty owned all the copyrighted content so that it could be published with a CC BY license. The other project is the Getty Scholars' Workspace software. Because it was built on a variety of software modules, each with its own license terms, determining whether the software could be released with an open license, and determining which license to use, was challenging. The Getty used an outside consultant to review the license terms in the more than 5,000 files in 121 directories that comprised the codebase before concluding that the software could be made available under the GNU General Public License, version 3. The article has a number of recommendations on how to work on an open access projects, with the most important being to adopt an open ethos from the start. - PH

Cross, William. "More than a House of Cards: Developing a Firm Foundation for Streaming Media and Consumer-Licensed Content in the LibraryJournal of Copyright in Education & Librarianship  1(1)(12 September 2016): 1-24. (https://www.jcel-pub.org/index.php/jcel/article/view/5919). - It is hard to select one article from the knock-out inaugural issue of the open access Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, but Cross's article will do. Cross summarizes how Congress and the courts in constructing copyright laws have privileged the work of libraries. With ever-more content licensed rather than purchased, and hence insulated from many library-friendly legal exceptions such as first sale, it is unclear whether libraries can legally continue to fulfill their mission. Cross suggests that if libraries act as if licensed content was subject to the same exceptions as purchased content, successful legal actions against libraries will be unlikely. For any librarian worried about how to offer the public access to content that is only available on streaming sites, Cross's article will become must reading. - PH

Levy, Steven. "The Internet's Own Instigator: Carl Malamud has StandardsBackchannel  (12 September 2016)(https://backchannel.com/the-internets-own-instigator-cb6347e693b). - For over 25 years, tech pioneer Carl Malamud has been striving to make public information freely accessible to everyone via the internet using his site Public.Resource.org. Some of his initiatives, such as the partnership of the International Amateur Scanning League and the National Archives, have been uncontroversial. Other efforts, however, have resulted in lawsuits. In one current action, the state of Georgia is suing him to try to keep the annotated version of its laws as a proprietary product. In the suits that are the focus of this article, standards organizations are suing Malamud for distributing copies of the standards that have been incorporated by reference into state and local laws. In support of public access, Malamud pushes boundaries in a way that few librarians can. I found this to be a fascinating portrait of a complicated and admirable public advocate. - PH

Poynder, Richard. "Q&A with CNI's Clifford Lynch: Time to Re-think the Institutional Repository?Open and Shut?  (22 September 2016)(http://poynder.blogspot.com/2016/09/q-with-cnis-clifford-lynch-time-to-re_22.html). - Has the institutional repository concept lived up to its promise? After a lengthy overview, Poynder interviews Clifford A. Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information to further illuminate this question. In part, Lynch said: "I think that many of the institutional IRs have fallen far short of their potential. The software isn't where it needs to be; barriers to submission are too high; we don't yet have smooth cross-repository replication in place, which would allow the IR to act as the author point of interface into the various funder requirements for deposit, etc. I also have some qualms about the results of promoting IRs to faculty as a central part of a green open access agenda, particularly in light of the US Funder requirements that aren't consistent with this message that's been shared with the faculty by open access advocates over the past decade or more." - CB

Thomsett-Scott, Beth, Ed. The Librarian's Introduction to Programming Languages  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.(https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442263321/The-Librarian's-Introduction-to-Programming-Languages-A-LITA-Guide). - As library materials and services converted from physical to digital, librarians with no knowledge of computers found that they had to retrain, not just as users, but also as managers of computer systems. Their dilemma was reflected in books with titles like The Accidental Systems Librarian. This LITA guide was written for the accidental computer programmer. It starts with basic suggestions for librarians to become self-taught coders in nine computer languages. The introductory chapter addresses the question, "... why should a librarian learn to program?" Examples of uses specific to libraries illustrate the value of some knowledge of code. Each chapter includes the history and development of one programming language, the environment and setup, uses, and pros and cons. Links to online sites and books for further self-instruction are provided which cover Python, Ruby, Javascript, Perl, PHP and four other languages. There is a lot of information packed into the 175 pages that will be useful for any librarian who wishes to become conversant with concepts of coding and the languages of computer programming. - NN

Vecchione, Amy, Deana  Brown, and Elizabeth  Allen, et. al."Tracking User Behavior with Google Analytics Events on an Academic Library Web SiteJournal of Web Librarianship  10(3)(2 July 2016): 161-175. (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19322909.2016.1175330). - Analytics is a critical tool in determining both user behavior and user success on anyone's website. Google Analytics is often the primary service provider. What we get in this article is a good summary of key concepts including "bounce rates", "user flow" and most importantly "event tracking". The team at Boise State was able to identify what links were most popular and based on these results, they proceeded to reconfigure their library's website. In other words, analytics at its best. - LRK