Monday, October 25, 2010

More on the future of the book

The transformation of the book continues.As I wrote in an earlier post I think digital technologies and their ability to add multimedia to text will change the nature of the book. But I had not thought about this variation. Stephen Elliott, a writer, has produced a book as app that enables the interactivity that is such a feature of the web. As the NYT article puts it,

"Once readers buy the app, he says, they are beginning a relationship with him and other readers; they can leave comments and read responses and updates from the author. They may even be told down the line that he has a new book for sale and then be able to buy it through the app."

Again, we see the book in digital form seems to inexorably move away from quiet individual reading and communion with the author's words and towards a more social, shared, collective experience.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Who is that guy in the library?

21010 is the 125th anniversary of Rollins and the 25th anniversary of the Olin Library so we are celebrating. We thought it might be fun to populate the library with some ghosts of libraries past. So Susan Montgomery and her group of display mavens are busy dressing mannequins in appropriate clothes (and giving them appropriate information accoutrements.)Here is Darla Moore working on the 1960's era student.

Did you know the first African American students enrolled at Rollins in 1966? I personally find that shockingly late, but I suppose that is part of the point of the display.

If you wander round the library before November 7th you will also find models from the 1880's, the 1930's and one from 2010 lurking in various spots.

Gotta love the cool Malcolm X shades! Kudos to Susan, Darla, Marina, Shawne, Cathleen, and Kim Griffis for a great job.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Excellent customer service like a beagle on a woodchuck.

One of the fun parts of my job is to read and respond to all the comments we receive from users. I respond to each one, then we place the comment and the response on the plasma screen outside the library and archive them on the website. I send my responses to each person who leaves an e-mail. But then the fun begins. When a user mentions a staff person or department in a positive way, we congratulate that person and often give them a pickle pin as well. This time I got to congratulate two of our student workers, Allia Alli and Steven

One user described Allia as a librarian. In my response I wrote that she was something far more impressive: a Rollins student! Here she is with Patti Haley and Pat Grall of Circulation.

Steven wins for garnering the most creative comment, he "tracked that book down like a beagle on a woodchuck." This is our new standard in customer service! Here he is with a whole bunch of us.

From Drop Box

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Now This Is What I Am Talking About!

Alexander Street Press just announced that you can download clips from their Dance and Opera in Video databases to your iPhone or Android.

If you read this blog you know I think mobile devices are going to play a big part in your library future. This is exactly the kind of functionality that I have been envisaging.

You search their databases, click on the mobile phone icon next to the record, up pops a screen where you can scan a QR code or type in your phone number,

and a link to the video download appears on your phone. Hit play. They have managed to design this so that it is about as easy as viewing a video on the Onion Network. Brilliant.

Why would students or faculty want to do this? Maybe the student has been asked to bring an example to class or wants to show an example of a particular genre to a study group, or a topic comes up during office hours (in the Bookmark Cafe) and the instructor was to show the student an example.

Give it a try, but be warned we have a limit of 3 simultaneous users on these two databases at Rollins.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Going forward with Georgia State lawsuit

Kevin Smith discusses the latest ruling in the Georgia State copyright case (which concerns course reserves and fair use)in this post Going forward with Georgia State lawsuit.

He highlights three points that I will excerpt here (but, really, read the whole thing.)

First, ... Judge Evans includes a substantial discussion of the economics that underlie providing course materials to students. She acknowledges statements from several faculty depositions that they would not ask students to buy the books excerpted in e-reserves if that option were not available and also that they would not use many of the readings if a licensing fee were necessary. ... the upshot seems to be that a ruling against fair use would have significant negative social consequences and little real benefit for the plaintiffs. ...

Second, ... the Judge is following the Supreme Court precedent that says that a technology does not show “culpable intent” if it is “capable of significant non-infringing uses.” Since e-reserves and course management systems clearly are capable of such uses, the Judge declines to hold that merely making those systems available renders GSU liable for contributing to copyright infringement. So the plaintiffs will have to prove “ongoing and continuous misuse of the fair use” by producing evidence of “a sufficient number of instances of infringement.” The defendants — Georgia State — will then have the burden of proving fair use as to each alleged infringement. ...

Finally, .... This emphasis on the local practices rather than the policy itself will certainly make it easier for other campuses to learn from an eventual ruling and, if necessary, adjust their own implementations to meet whatever standards arise, but it decreases the likelihood that large and dramatic changes will be needed.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Oberlin Group Meeting 2010

 First day of one of my favorite annual meetings. The first discussion was an example of why I like this group so much. An open, thoughtful, egalitarian, discussion of whether and how we should be organized. As a director, I rarely get to participate in such discussions.

I was asked to lead a discussion with Ray English of Oberlin on open access. My part was OA trends to keep track of because they are relevant to the liberal arts. I included OA campus policies, OA content -- production and consumption -- including journals, monographs, reference works, and data, institutional repositories, open education resources, and OA student activism. I tagged a bunch of sites in delicious for examples etc.

This afternoon we are talking about institutional repositories with Sabrina Pape of Vassar, Richard Fyffe of Grinnell, Carol Dickinson of Colorado College, Amy Badertscher of Kenyon, Gail Scanlon of Mt Holyoke, and Niel McElroy of Lafayette. Things to keep track of include:

Grinnell College Libraries Data Repository
Alliance Digital Repository
OhioLINK Digital resource Commons
Digital Collections at Lafayette

Next step Dave Pilachowski of Williams College on EBL. An e-book collection development system in which you only buy the book once it is used three times.This patron driven acquisitions model is something I am very interested in.
Pat Tully  on cooperative collection development of e-books using Coutt's MyiLibrary. A similar product to EBL.
John McDonald of Claremont Colleges has done a study that found that patron driven purchases result in higher circulation beyond that patron request. They are using Elsevier. Loaded the MARC records (14,000) to the catalog, and would buy the most heavily used  at the end of the year. Users are comfortable with the model, they use fewer books that you think, we would not overly buy books. Conclusion: use patron driven purchasing for non-core titles and subjects.
I will publish this now, but add to it as the day progresses, so stay tuned.