Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Faculty and Staff Blogs at Rollins

I am trying to gather all the blogs published by faculty and staff at Rolllins. Ths is what I have so far. If you know of others, let me know and I will add them.

Not including my own of course! It turns out that the College website also has a partial list.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Librarian

Yesterday I participated in FLA's Virtual Job Shadowing by tweeting throughout the day about what I was doing. The idea was for library school students and others interested in the profession to get an up close view of how we actually spend our days. If you use Twitter, search for #libjobshadowFL and you can see all the tweets form all the librarians who participated

Normally I don't tweet. I had to set up an account on Twitter (rollinsmiller) to participate. I have never really seen the point of Twitter. I have a few things to say, but not enough to tweet frequently and if I something to say it usually can't be expressed in 140 characters or less, which is why I have this blog. I also can't keep up with all the news and information coming at me from e-mail, professional journals, books, blogs, my colleagues, and the traditional media so adding another rapid fire channel for communication just stresses me out.

But the experience was interesting in another way. I rarely have to reflect on my work while I am actually working, except during reviews. So it was interesting to pause every few minutes and think about what I was doing and then try to express it in 140 characters or less. It made the day seem somehow more purposeful. It was also interesting to see other participants tweets and how varied (and yet how similar) our experiences were. All in all a worthwhile experience, I wonder what the students thought of it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A strange and wonderful part of librarianship

Digital librarianship meets the Republic of Letters. Readers of this blog know that we launched an institutional archive of faculty publications in 2010. One of the articles posted there is Vidhu Aggarwal's Talking body parts and missing commodities: cinematic complexes and Sylvia Plath.

A graduate student all the way out on the old Silk Road in Urumqi, Xinjiang in China found that article on the web and contacted David Noe, the librarian who administers our IR, asking for help in tracking down a copy of Plath's Ariel, not the version edited by Ted Hughes, but the restored version of Plath's original edition.

We were so touched by the idea that our repository had reach far western China and by the student's herculean attempts to complete her literary studies that we decided to give her a copy. It would be cheaper than trying to arrange an interlibrary loan to Xinjiang anyway. It felt like an echo of the old Republic of Letters with a scholar at one end of the Silk Road reaching out to colleagues 13,000 miles away. With help with the Chinese address from Wenxian Zhang I just mailed the book today.

Let's hope it gets there and makes it through Chinese customs. Sometimes i just love my job!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

ACRL Poster sessions

The posters were in many ways more interesting than the panel discussions and contributed papers. Couple of ones to watch include:

Competence vs. Confidence: Assessment Knockdown! by Amy Hofer and Margot Hanson.

Student Success Retention, and the Academic Library. by Pam Baker and Jacqui Grallo.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Ithaka S+R urvey 2010 Report

The report will come out on Monday. We got a brief preview and comparison to the 2009 faculty survey. Ithaka surveyed library it.directors, which seems to assume that directors have all the ideas and set the direction. It doesn't feel like that to this director, but hey.

I am afraid it is pretty underwhelming report. Library directors perceive the value of libraries as higher than faculty, particularly in the areas of teaching and information literacy development (see figure 4 on page 15.) Part of my job is as a cheerleader for the value of the library, so I am sure that inflated the figures. Also, teaching is a core function of our institutions so library directors like to link to that. We are also not in the classroom and faculty offices every days so we overestimate the library's role in teaching.

The conclusions on discovery are just as underwhelming, are we "a starting point" or "the starting point" for research. The former is reasonable, the latter is not.

Google Book Search, what's next?

Corey Williams of ALA's Washington Office led a discussion of what might be next in terms of Google Book Search, now Judget Chin has rejected the amended settlement.

There is some trepidation about pursuing orphan works legislation because it could result in onerous procedures for libraries who seek to digitize such works. Jim Neal, of Columbia University, suggested that libraries continue the work of researching the copyright status of those purportedly orphaned works that have in fact already passed into the public domain because their owners did not fulfill all the various requirements that were law before the passage of the 1976 Act (like renewing the copyright) and digitizing those "new" public domain titles.

This could significantly shrink the number of orphan works. If we also take a somewhat more assertive view of fair use as well we may well be able to do without orphan works legislation.

Corey also promised a forth part of Jonathan Band's "Guide to the Perplexed" but I haven't found a link to that yet. Here is the link to Part 3.