Current Cites

September 2019

Edited by Roy Tennant

Contributors: Warren Cheetham, Peter Hirtle, Leo Robert Klein, Nancy Nyland

Conrad, Suzanna, and Christy  Stevens. "'Am I on the library website?' A LibGuides Usability StudyInformation Technology and Libraries  38(3)(2019): 49-81. ( - A month, or maybe a day, doesn't go by when we aren't treated to new research on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of research guides in academic libraries. Based on usability testing and focus groups, results here as elsewhere suggest the need for simplicity, consistency and the importance of user feedback both from faculty and students. - LRK

Godby, Jean, Karen  Smith-Yoshimura, and Bruce  Washburn, et. al."Creating Library Linked Data with WikibaseOCLC Research   (August 2019)( - For nearly a decade, the library community has been investigating linked data as a means to finally move beyond MARC as a way to encode library metadata, and to allow machine-understandable relationships in that metadata. The Project Passage work by OCLC Research is summarized in this report, demonstrating the value and challenges of working with library data and linked data. The work was undertaken by 16 institutions experimenting in a sandbox environment using Wikibase. Feedback from project participants indicate the project itself seems to have been an impressive success, compared to other linked data projects. Case studies fill out the report with finer details on the different experiments, and Seven Lessons Learned and a Reflection conclude the report and mention gaps that need to be filled before linked data can be fully adopted for library use. - WC

Strochlic, Nina. "On the Hunt for National Treasures With America’s Archive DetectiveAtlas Obscura  (16 August 2019)( - Archivists face a problem: we want people to use our unique materials, but with use comes the possibility of loss. With its billion of items, the National Archives is particularly at risk that some of its material may be stolen, in spite of its best efforts at supervising its reading rooms. Hence the need for the investigators of the Archival Recovery Program, profiled in this journalistic account. Its sole purpose is to search for missing and stolen items. How they do so makes for fascinating reading - and highlights the need for all of us to help the National Archives recover the nation's missing historical items when we think we may have identified one. - PH

Varnum, Kenneth J., ed.. Beyond Reality: Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality in the Library  Chicago: ALA Editions, 2019.( - As hardware and software evolve rapidly, libraries must constantly determine which products they wish to provide for their patrons. No one wants to be the library that chose video disks and Beta video format. For libraries who want to provide virtual reality tools but feel that the cost and space needs exceed their resources, librarians from eight libraries explain why and how it can be done. There are many suggestions for freely available apps and development platforms. Often funding is either through winning grants, or a combination of external or internal grants with existing budgets. Libraries that already have innovation teams will have a leg up, as do universities with graduate students who can be hired to work on virtual reality setup and maintenance. But that has not stopped public libraries, who have neither, from implementing augmented reality and virtual reality spaces, as well as maker spaces with 3D printers. Academic libraries have incorporated virtual reality into their information literacy instruction. Public, academic and special libraries have been able to purchase and offer virtual reality tools, regardless of the size of their budgets, illustrating Ranganathan’s fifth law: “The library is a growing organism.” (p. 67) - NN