Posts about Libraries and librarians

Improving Awareness : The San Diego Air & Space Museum

Katrina Pescador talked about one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of aerospace related materials in the world. The collection includes books, documents, films, photos, periodicals, manuals, drawings, and other archival materials. Over the past several years, the Museum has reviewed and revised its processes for cataloging, organizing, and digitizing these collections, as well as improving connectivity. Digitization has dramatically enhanced worldwide awareness of the Museum’s collection.

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Capturing business intelligence required for targeted marketing, demonstrating value, and driving process improvement

Title may not seem relevant to us, but the highlights are of interest:

â–º Students using library resources more frequently perform better academically on average. â–º Inexperienced students tend to gain more than their experienced counterparts. â–º Males use electronic resources less, but benefit more than females when they do use e-resources. â–º Many students never borrow print material. â–º Print material has a lesser impact on academic performance than electronic.

Published in: Library & Information Science Research   Volume 34, Issue 4,  Pages 247-332, October 2012


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Toward knowledge access for all: Brewster Kahle and the Internet Archive

Internet Archive logoPrior to attending the 2012 APLIC Conference, I was only partly aware of Brewster Kahle and his work with the Internet Archive Project (IAP). I knew that he was the person behind one of my favorite resources on the Web: the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. I’ve used this valuable tool for both work and leisure when seeking out historic website pages now missing from the Web. But while listening to his presentation at the conference, I soon realized that the Wayback Machine is just a tiny part of his vision.

What I wasn’t fully aware of is Brewster’s infectious passion for the idea of “universal access to all knowledge.” The no-frills Internet Archive website belies this passion. Don’t get me wrong; I understand why the website is text-heavy and light on design (quicker load-time and less distraction from the content). I just never took the time to poke around on the site and read more about the Archive’s mission, and I felt bad about that in retrospect. After hearing Brewster speak, though, I suspect he would care less about whether people know why the Internet Archive exists and more about if they know it exists at all. Certainly its underpinning philosophy drives the project, but end users don’t need to dwell on that to benefit. The important thing is that people know this amazing resource is available online and free of charge.

I think it’s safe to say that all librarians support the idea of facilitating access to information. That is essentially our job description in a nutshell. But Brewster’s take on it is different from the traditional librarian-as-intercessor model. Placing an entire library online, freely accessible to the public, minimizes this traditional role of a librarian. It gets at the heart of what seems to be a shift in the roles we as librarians play in modern information discovery. These days we are at a crossroads in librarianship: should we continue to provide access to print materials for on-site patrons or do we move toward shuttering our physical doors and fully embracing digital collections as the libraries of the future, opening them up online to the world?

In his presentation, Brewster made the case that the cost of digitizing a library’s collection is the same as the cost of constructing a building to house that collection. And yet a digital collection can be made available to an exponentially larger audience. To this end, Brewster is asking libraries to digitize their collections and send the files to be included in his digital library. The University of Toronto has already donated 250,000 scanned books! For books still under copyright, online patrons can check them out from the Ebook and Texts Archive on (a copyrighted book can only be checked out by one user at a time, just like in a traditional library). However, those books in the public domain don’t require a check-out process and can be enjoyed simultaneously by multiple users.

How each library decides to move through the crossroads will vary. Some libraries are indeed closing their doors and devoting all their attention to online services. Patron demand can dictate this in certain cases. However, I think that for the majority of libraries, a compromise is the more likely route. Traditional libraries can still keep their doors open to meet the needs of walk-in patrons, but they can also reach a wider global audience by turning over digital copies of their collections to the IAP. The Project will even loan out its state-of-the-art scanning equipment to help achieve this goal. Together we can help build the biggest online library in the world. It seems like a win-win situation, with everyone benefiting from increased access to information. Why shouldn’t we have the best of both print and digital worlds?

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Conference keynoter Kahle thinks big

Lori Delaney points us to a New York Times article featuring the titanic vision of Brewster Kahle. One interesting quote : “A lot of libraries are doing some pretty drastic weeding. . . .”

You’ll have the opportunity to hear Mr. Kahle and ask questions pertinent to your own operations at the APLIC 45th Annual Conference.

See you in SF !

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The case for partnering doctoral students with librarians: a synthesis of the literatures

Colleen S. Harris, (2011) “The case for partnering doctoral students with librarians: a synthesis of the literatures”, Library Review, Vol. 60 Iss: 7, pp.599 – 620 Abstract

The paper demonstrates an obvious need for focus of library instruction on graduate students, and doctoral students in particular. The paper poses a number of research agendas that can be taken up by practitioners in the field, including various models for implementing instruction for doctoral students.

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Knowledge management project and job descriptions in USAID RFAs

The Knowledge Management Working Group is seeking descriptions of Knowledge Management (KM) activities and jobs from USAID RFAs. We are looking for the KM sections of RFAs or RFPs, and another KM job description. Some RFAs may list KM activities under “Communications” or “Advocacy,” as in the third example.
The purpose of collecting these descriptions is to determine how KM is defined and the types of KM activities undertaken in USAID-sponsored projects and programs. Please send the relevant portion of any USAID RFAs that you have, or information about ones you know about, to Cornelia Lee at We will compile the responses and send them out via HIPNet [] listserv.

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Reflections on a year as ALA president – at LOC 6 Dec 2011

Press contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public contact: Office of Scholarly Programs (202) 707-3302
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6382 (voice/tty) or

Photo of Roberta Stevens


Roberta Stevens, who has managed the Library of Congress Bicentennial and the National Book Festival in her 26 years at the Library of Congress, will discuss her year as the 2010-2011 president of the American Library Association (ALA).
The presentation will take place at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture, sponsored by the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.
Stevens will describe how she used the visibility of ALA’s presidency to build support for libraries during a time of economic uncertainty and the re-examination of the value of public and private institutions. She will discuss how the year’s major controversies reflected fundamental shifts in America’s economy and society, how it affected libraries and how to work with the media in times of change.
A particular focus of her talk will be experiences from her national and international travels as president and perspectives on the evolution of libraries in response to political transformations throughout the world.
Stevens is the sixth person in the history of the Library of Congress to be elected to the presidency of ALA, a 61,000-member organization dating back to 1878 and dedicated to providing leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship.
Stevens has worked in libraries for 37 years. She began as the coordinator of a school media resource center, was chairperson of media services for the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and directed technical operations for the Fairfax County Public Library system before joining the Library of Congress as the customer services officer in the Cataloging Distribution Service.
Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit
The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

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American Libraries Launches E-Content Blog

American Libraries has launched an “E-Content” blog ( that provides information on e-books, e-readers, e-journals, databases, digital libraries, digital repositories, and other e-content issues. The blog complements the new section on e-content that appears in the weekly e-newsletter American Libraries Direct and focuses on similar issues.

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College Librarians Value Role in Information Literacy, but Faculty Demur

An overwhelming majority of directors of academic libraries consider teaching information literacy skills to undergraduates to be a very important role for their libraries, but faculty members are considerably less enthusiastic, according to surveys conducted by Ithaka S+R, a consulting firm that specializes in online teaching and scholarship issues.

More than 250 library executives at four-year colleges and universities completed the Ithaka S+R Library Survey, which was conducted late last year to identify the directions in which administrators want to take their libraries. Ithaka researchers compared the results of the library survey to those of a 2009 poll of attitudes of faculty members and found areas of broad agreement as well as divergence.
For more information, visit and click on “Library Survey 2010.”

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Inside Higher Ed article features APLIC President Claire Twose

APLIC President Claire Twose was featured in an article about embedded librarians on Inside Higher Ed.

Embedded librarianship is a hot topic (there were two sessions about it at the SLA conference last week). APLIC members got an early look at what Claire is doing at the Hopkins Population Center during the 2005 APLIC conference.

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