Current Cites

February 2018

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

Adams, Jr., Richard M.. "Overcoming Disintermediation: A Call for Librarians to Learn to Use Web Service APIsLibrary Hi Tech  36(1)(2018): 180-190. ( - While predicting the future is always a tricky business, libraries are already headed in a direction where they are functioning more and more as portals to information, rather than repositories. This can be seen as both a threat to libraries as they are currently constituted, and a transformative opportunity. One way for librarians to address their potential “disintermediation” in the “information supply chain” may be to learn to use web service application programming interfaces, or APIs. For librarians to “reintermediate” themselves, it will require that they “at a minimum understand the basic concepts of an API and be familiar with the common APIs relevant to library and information studies work.” Reference librarians and other non-IT staff may not agree with the author's contention that “not all can be programmers, but all can program;” but for those who have the interest and some aptitude, the explanation provided here of the basic technical skills required to use APIs will be a starting point. - NN

Australian Library and Information Association. "Australian Libraries: the Digital Economy Within Everyone's ReachAustralian Library and Information Association  (December 2017)( - A day may come when journalists, politicians and other decision makers no longer refer to the tired tropes and stereotypes of libraries, but it is not this day. Until that day, our professional organisations and colleagues will continue to advocate for, and highlight to breadth and depth of library services, with useful reports like this one. Created by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) in response to the Australian Federal Government’s consultation on the digital economy, this report explains how libraries support digital inclusion, digital and information literacies, and innovation in industry and in government. It covers public, school, special, academic and state libraries. Bolstered by statistics and case studies, this report should be a useful advocacy document, and not just for Australian audiences. The conclusion has a message we should repeat often, “In the rapidly changing digital environment, libraries are among the best-equipped and most experienced organisations to take advantage of innovation and adapt to new challenges.” - WC

Bustillos, Maria. "Erasing historyColumbia Journalism Review  (Winter 2018)( - If you need for the general public an explanation of the the need for digital preservation, this article is a good place to start. It describes how digital newspapers are even more at risk than paper ones because of both the general fragility of digital information and the threat posed by ornery billionaires and autocrats who want to control the truth. Even the Internet Archive, while praised, is also depicted as a possible single point of failure. While the author notes that Brewster Kahle hopes to be able to bake openness into the structure of the network itself, in the interim there is likely to be an important role for digital archivists across all institutions. - PH

Dressler, Virginia, and Cindy  Kristof. "The Right to Be Forgotten and Implications on Digital Collections: A Survey of ARL Member Institutions on Practice and PolicyCollege & Research Libraries  (January 2018)( - With digital collections, the possibility that embarrassing or private information will inadvertently be released to the general public increases. How do libraries and archives address the issue? The authors of this preprint surveyed some collections to learn current policy and to gather responses to some realistic hypothetical scenarios. Unsurprisingly, there was little consensus among those surveyed, which leads the authors to conclude that there is "a need in the profession to create a framework for evaluating such requests, and the need for more education and discussion on the issues of publication, privacy, and ethics of data removal." Thinking in advance about how one's institution would respond to the different scenarios is a good first step in the process. - PH

Kohls, Alexander, and Salvatore  Mele. "Converting the Literature of a Scientific Field to Open Access through Global Collaboration: The Experience of SCOAP3 in Particle PhysicsPreprints  (23 February 2018)( - This preprint overviews the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) and provides financial information about its first three-year publishing cycle (2014-2016). SCOAP3, with over 3,000 global member organizations, is devoted to making key High-Energy Physics journals open access without author charges. During its first cycle, SCOAP3 paid publishers 13.8 million Euros to make 13,368 physics articles open access: an average of 1,032 Euros per article during the cycle. These publication expenditures don't include operational or governance costs: CERN covers operational costs and governance is done on a voluntary basis. - CB

Lonergan, Nicholas. "Reference management software preferences among liberal arts facultyReference Services Review  45(4)(2017): 584-595. ( - While many academic institutions including libraries support various citation management tools (eg. Endnote, Refworks, Zotero), it is interesting to poll faculty as to what they actually use. In this short study, the author found that Zotero was the most popular though many (43%) of respondents said they used none. - LRK

Zaytsev, Angelina. [Engaging the Collection: By the Numbers] HathiTrust Growth and Usage in 2017  Ann Arbor, MI: HathiTrust, 8 February 2018.( - HathiTrust manages the largest collection of digitized printed library materials available to libraries. Largely but not completely based on the Google Library Project, HathiTrust continues to grow in both content and usage as this publication describes. While still substantially below the Library of Congress' claimed 38 million books and printed materials at over 16 million, the sheer size puts the digital collection alongside the largest physical libraries in the world. This brief (14p.) publication summarizes use statistics of a few different cohorts of users, and includes such puzzling tidbits as the most popular books of the year ("Handbook of marks on pottery & porcelain," for example). Still, an interesting look at this important aggregation. - RT