Current Cites

February 2017

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

Adams Becker, S., M.  Cummins, and A.  Freeman, et. al.NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition  Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium, 2017.( - The Horizon reports on technology in higher education have appeared frequently in Current Cites, and this 14th edition is now added to the list. It profiles in detail six key trends in technology adoption, six significant challenges impeding adoption, and six important developments in higher education technology. Many, such as "Redesigning Learning Spaces" or "Improving Digital Literacy," are of obvious importance to libraries. As Roy Tennant noted about the 2014 editon, "Anyone interested in the future of higher education would do well to spend some time with this report and consider the implications." - PH

Bates, Jessica, Paul  Best, and Janice  McQuilkin, et. al."Will Web Search Engines Replace Bibliographic Databases in the Systematic Identification of Research?Journal of Academic Librarianship  43(1)(January 2017): 8-17. ( - Yet another battle of the databases, this time between standard research databases and popular search engines (including Google Scholar). The academics still win but the article is also useful in its discussion of the detailed search process used by the authors. - LRK

Conrad, Lettie Y. "Headlines From the Discovery Files: Key Publications on Scholarly Content DiscoverabilityLearned Publishing  30(January 2017): 31 - 37. ( - Libraries and publishers who want to improve users’ access to their online resources must first understand users’ needs. Providers can get a summary here of 13 papers that looked at discoverability. One recurring theme is that online providers must use their knowledge of online patrons’ needs to make their interfaces “user-centric.” Understanding who goes to Google first for information, or to Amazon for materials, and when, is critical for both physical and digital libraries. Another conclusion reached by more than one article is that libraries must understand differing preferences in different economic and geographic sectors, as well as “across academic departments and industry sectors.” Two appendices further summarize key findings. - NN

Formanek, Matus, and Martin  Zaborsky. "Web Interface Security Vulnerabilities of European Academic Repositories LIBER Quarterly  27(1)(2017): 45-57. ( - In this study, the authors analyzed the security of 33 European institutional repositories selected from that included coverage of the field of Library and Information Science. Unfortunately, many were a bit too "open": 50% did not use "any kind of transfer security for access and other user data." These insecure systems were established production systems, not trial or early development systems. And that was not the end of the security issues: out-dated SSLv2 protocols, CVE-2016-2107 vulnerabilities, and other issues were also found. Just a European problem? Maybe, but this article is a wake-up call for all institutional repository managers to take a hard look at the security of their systems. - CB

Metropolitan New York Library Council. "Culture in Transit Toolkit Culture in Transit: Digitizing and Democratizing NYC’s Cultural Heritage  (October 2016)( - Low maintenance, mobile, straightforward, community focussed – any library program or service ticking these boxes has my attention! The Culture in Transit Toolkit, developed by the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), the Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Library, brings mobile scanning equipment to smaller libraries, archives, museums, and communities. At community scanning events, a mobile digitization kit was set up in library branches and residents were invited to bring in photos, documents and memorabilia. The materials were scanned and returned to the donors with a flash drive of digital copies. The digital files were then included in the digital archives of the project partner’s respective repositories, as well as included into the Digital Public Library of America. The toolkit itself outlines everything you need to do to start and run a similar program, and it is very straightforward. The kit covers Event Planning, Outreach, Event Administration, Educational Resources, Assessment and Resources. A series of comprehensive blog posts published over the life of the project provide interesting observations and lessons learned, and are a useful ‘further reading’ list. The information and all resources in the toolkit are licensed under a CC0 1.0 license, which means other people and institutions can copy, modify, and distribute the toolkit, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. - WC

Rebolini, Arianna. "'Not Sitting Quietly Anymore': How Librarians are Fighting TrumpBroadly  (20 February 2017)( - Taking as its title a line out of an interview in 2003 of our new Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, this piece highlights the fact that librarians (in the United States at least) hold liberal values that the election of President Trump has thrown into peril. What was true in 2003 is clearly now on steroids in 2017 as librarians and the libraries they lead step up to oppose those who would control information, put forward lies as "alternative facts", and encourage racism, sexism, the marginalization of the poor, and the deportation of undocumented immigrants. "It's not hard to see how political protest can feel like an extension of the job," Rebolini concludes, "When hateful rhetoric encourages hate crimes, the preservation of safe spaces and cultural exchange is even more vital. When "alternative" facts are legitimized, information literacy must be emphasized. When the future of public education is under threat, continued access to free and unlimited information is paramount. And when a travel ban promises to keep out immigrants and refugees, those who serve immigrant and refugee communities are impelled to fight it." And librarians are proudly serving on those front lines. - RT

Sims, Nancy. "Rights, Ethics, Accuracy, and Open Licenses in Online Collections: What’s “Ours” isn’t Really OursCollege & Research Libraries News  78(2)(February 2017): 79-82. ( - Creative Commons licenses are a great way to let readers know what they can do with your own copyrighted work, but it can be tricky to apply them to online resources digitized from library collections. In this brief (and unlicensed) article, Sims highlights some of the most common traps that could lead libraries to use CC licenses in a well-meaning but fraudulent manner. She notes that "it is not to libraries' advantage to grant questionable open licenses"; her exemplative "use cases" can help avoid this fate. - PH

Wilkin, John P. "How Large Is the “Public Domain”? A Comparative Analysis of Ringer’s 1961 Copyright Renewal Study and HathiTrust CRMS DataCollege & Research Libraries  78(2)(February 2017): 201-218. ( - Prior to 1 March 1989, when any original work received copyright upon fixation, a complex series of rules governed whether printed items were protected by copyright or in the public domain. Wilkin's article highlights how difficult it is to determine the number of works that may have lost copyright protection after having first secured it. His analysis indicates that for printed books, the number of books that entered the public domain is likely much smaller than we have assumed, though deficiencies in the available data make it impossible to establish a definite percentage. Nevertheless, his work is an important contribution to a deeper understanding of the material found in library collections. - PH