Current Cites

November 2019

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Nancy Nyland

Bossart, Jean Louise, Sara Russell  Gonzalez, and Neelam  Bharti. "Retrospective Analysis of a Sustainable 3D Printing Service in an Academic LibraryLibrary Hi Tech  37(4)(2019): 669-678. ( - Because the University of Florida libraries were one of the early adopters of 3D printing, they have four years of data to share, helping alleviate the problem that “there has been little analysis of how these library-based 3D printing services are used or how self-sustaining they may be.” The data counteracts any possible stereotype that 3D printing would be used only, or primarily, by engineering or science students. Although most use began with engineering students, it quickly expanded into the fields of anthropology, architecture, medicine, the arts, the sciences, business, IT and education. 3D printing services provided the library with an opening “to expand usage of our services across other disciplines and collaborate with faculty and researchers.” However, they are as clear about the challenges as the benefits. The project may not have happened at all except for multiple grants from the student technology fee. It is a challenge to find spaces with appropriate ventilation. Staffing the labs and keeping the equipment maintained, repaired and up and running creates an opportunity for student employment. But in spite of the challenges, the library is looking to expand the service, because it enables “learners to acquire practical and applied experience with 3D and other technologies that can have significant impact on student learning.” - NN

Haggerty, Kenneth C., and Rachel E.  Scott. "Do, or Do Not, Make Them Think?: A Usability Study of an Academic Library Search BoxJournal of Web Librarianship  13(4)(2019): 296-310. ( - Following in the 'Don't-Make-Me-Think' tradition, this article looks at preferences and success rates of library patrons using what used to be called in the old days, 'basic' and 'advanced' search boxes. Results indicate that simplicity is king. The authors remark, "If we do not do so [i.e. simplify], we risk alienating our growing population of distance students, and the countless students that we will not encounter face-to-face." - LRK

Wenman, Cosmo. "A German Museum Tried To Hide This Stunning 3D Scan of an Iconic Egyptian Artifact. Today You Can See It for the First TimeReason  (13 November 2019)( - There is an ongoing struggle between some libraries and museums that wish to monetize and control digital reproductions of public domain works in their collections and public domain advocates who believe the reproductions should be free of all restrictions. In this fascinating example of the competing visions, Wenman describes his struggle to secure a copy of the 3D scan of Nefertiti made by the Staatliche Museen in Berlin. It initially refused to provide him a copy for fear that it would conflict with its licensing program. Thanks to freedom of information requests, Wenman was finally provided with a copy of the scan as well as documentation on how little money the museum had made through licensing. But the copy he was given also came with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license. Michael Weinberg provides some useful commentary on what rights, if any, the museum may have in its scans in "The Bust of Nefertiti is Free (With One Strange Caveat)." - PH