Current Cites

June 2018

Edited by Roy Tennant

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

Algenio, Emilie R. "Making the Transition as the New Copyright LibrarianJournal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship  2(1)(Spring, 2018)( - In 1994, Kenny Crews was appointed as the first copyright specialist in a library. Since then the number of libraries that employ copyright librarians has increased dramatically. But what is it that copyright librarians do, and how do they spend their time? Algenio addresses these questions by describing her own transition into the role. Her story, and the handy list of useful references and tools included in the appendices, will be of use to anyone who finds themselves in a similar position. - PH

Emery, Jill. "How Green Is Our Valley?: Five-Year Study of Selected LIS Journals from Taylor & Francis for Green Deposit of Articles Insights  31(23)(2018)( - Contrary to several reports in the scholarly literature, the battle for open access did not begin in 2001 with the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Rather, it began in the late 1980's when free journals began to be published on the Internet by librarians and faculty and authors began to ask publishers to retain their copyrights. So, here we are about 30 years later and this study finds that self-archiving rates in institutional repositories for five library and information science journals published by Taylor&Francis ranged between 18% and 26%. This result is for a publisher who took steps to encourage self-archiving from 2011 through 2017. It falls within the general range for self-archiving activity in all disciplines. The author suggests several reasons for this level of self-archiving, including administrators undervaluing self-archiving activities and "imposter syndrome" (i.e., librarians aren't perceived as real faculty). The article includes a link to open data from the study. The question this and similar studies raise is: should librarians be held to a higher standard than other scholarly authors? That depends on whether librarians truly have a higher level of belief and commitment to open access than other authors. If so, one would expect a higher level of self-archiving behavior. The battle for open access is a long one, measured in decades. It won't get any shorter if librarians, who are important open access supporters, don't walk the talk. - CB

Foster, Anita K. "Determining Librarian Research Preferences: A Comparison Survey of Web-Scale Discovery Systems and Subject DatabasesThe Journal of Academic Librarianship  44(3)(May 2018): 330 - 336. ( - Because library users expect a Google-like single search box, libraries have adopted discovery systems to meet the demand for centralized searching. Librarians are well aware of what less-than- optimal results can come from searching a large black box of information. The more a searcher has at least a general concept of what is in the box they are searching, the better the results. This survey of librarians confirms that they prefer subject-specific databases for their own searching, and the reasons why. The observation of “a lack of transparency around how information is included in the systems” and other comments provide an opening for the creators of web-based discovery systems. “Details about Google Scholar’s index, content and functionality are not readily available,” nor likely to be. In contrast, vendors have an opportunity to address some of the librarians’ concerns articulated here. - NN

Gilliland, Anne T. "The General Data Protection Regulation: What Does It Mean for Libraries Worldwide?Association of Research Libraries Issue Briefs  (May 2018)( - The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is providing guidance to libraries on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), starting with the most basic facts, such as that it took effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR applies to EU citizens and residents, whether resident in Europe, or living or visiting outside the EU. It grants users the choice to opt out of their personal data being collected, rather than allowing companies to assume that anyone using a site has opted in to having their data collected. The GDPR grants six specific rights that allow users to better control the collection and use of their personal data. Besides summarizing the GDPR, the issue brief points readers to an explanation by the Library of Congress and the EU’s GDPR Information Portal. In the introduction, the ARL promises an update focusing on implementation of the GDPR. - NN

Griffin, Melanie, and Tomaro I  Taylor. "Employing Analytics to Guide a Data-Driven Review of LibGuidesJournal of Web Librarianship  (19 June 2018)( - Many librarians are involved with creating research guides, many in fact using LibGuides. So studies like this which use analytics to find out how our client base (i.e. students) actually use these guides can be extremely helpful. The goal, as the article makes clear, is "to create a more holistic picture of usability that will, in turn, guide more thoughtful, user-driven creation of library guides." - LRK

Haran, Judith A. "The Nuremberg Trials Project at Harvard Law School: Making History Accessible to AllJournal of Contemporary Archival Studies (JCAS)  5(22 Jun 2018)( - Back when I was a new archivist, one of the first collections on which I worked was the National Library of Medicine's collection of court documents from the medical prosecution at the Nuremburg Trials. In preparing its finding aid, I learned that the documentary history of the trials was a mess, with no clear single record copy available anywhere. The librarians at the Harvard Law School Library discovered the same thing when they began their ambitious project to digitize its massive ("between seven and twelve tons of paper") collection of mimeographed trial documents. Haran notes the existence of other Nuremburg collections (though she overlooks the set of documents at NLM) and properly suggests that it may be time for repositories to cooperate in building a virtual common collection. The other big take-away for me from this fascinating digitization project is the massive commitment of human and financial resources it took. Documents are thoroughly analyzed at the item level, with an average of 15 minutes spent on each document. It is terrific that Harvard has been able to muster the resources to undertake this level of analysis, but one wonders if it is a model that is transferable to other large collections. - PH

Marchant, Jo. "Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in MillenniaSmithsonian Magazine  (July 2018)( - I have noted in the past general news articles about Brent Seales and his effort to use various forms of imaging to read nearly indecipherable texts. Others are just as fascinated by his efforts, as the recent story about him on 60 Minutes demonstrates. This longer article reviews Seales's earlier work and then focuses on his most recent investigation of a papyri fragment in the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. It does a good job of highlighting the technical, financial, and professional challenges Seales faces. But how exciting it would be if we could finally make the invisible writing on charred fragments readable again! - PH

Matthews, Leni, . "Terminology for Librarian Help on the Home PageEvidence Based Library and Information Practice  13(2)(2018)( - The process of choosing terms for web links leaves designers balancing between a label long enough to be comprehensible, and one brief enough to be grasped immediately in a user’s first quick scan of a page. Librarians at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) discovered that user comprehension of link names is different than what page designers might have predicted. In spite of the usual advice for web designers to keep text on pages succinct, students preferred a longer link name, “Librarians by Academic Subject,” to shorter ones such as “Ask Us.” The students’ preference for a longer link was borne out by a rise in page views after the name was changed. The UTA librarians confirmed the importance of user testing and the value of designing for users rather than what library staff might think users want. - NN

Watkins, Alexander, Bridget  Madden, and Alexandra  Provo, et. al.Fair Use in the Visual Arts: Lesson Plans for Librarians  (n.p.): Art Libraries Society of North America, 14 June 2018.( - ARLIS/NA has produced an interesting addition to the field of copyright education. This volume provides overviews of twelve lesson plans developed by visual resource librarians and used to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to some of the important elements in copyright. Because the students are often artists themselves, much of the focus is on how students can use the work of others in their future professional lives. Each course includes a summary of what was taught, reflections on the experience, and a collection of teaching materials and presentation slides in appendices. Because it is often easier to illustrate key copyright concepts with visual examples, any librarian who is faced with the challenge of teaching a workshop on copyright may find material of use. - PH