Inspiration Architecture: The Future of Libraries

Adapted from a chapter that Peter Morville wrote for Library 2020, a book edited by Joseph Janes and published by Rowman & Littlefield (in press).

Courtesy: http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/000664.php 

The library in 2020 is the last bastion of truth. Sure, you can search yottabytes of free data by simply batting an eyelash. But it’s dangerous to believe what you see through the iGlass lens. As you learned the hard way back in the Facebook era, if you’re not paying for it, you are the product. That research study about the safety and efficacy of Lipitor Lollipops™ was sponsored by a subsidiary of a subsidiary of Pfizer. That consultant you almost hired wrote his own customer reviews. And while you can’t tell for sure because the algorithms are opaque, it sure seems like the first page of web search is pay-to-play. You routinely skip past the top ten results.

Unfortunately, this state of corruption isn’t limited to the Web. Politicians are in the pocket of lobbyists. Doctors push pills for profit. Teachers and bank clerks work on commission. And journalists? Well, they don’t really exist. And neither does evolution, climate change, or Newton’s Law of Gravity.

Polarization was solved by personalization. Now, people learn their own truths. We should have known back in 2015, when the ratio of adults who believe “God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years” hit 51 percent, that we had passed a tipping point. At least we’re not burning witches at the stake, except in Texas, which doesn’t really count.

The good news is we still have the library. In a world that won’t stop spinning, it’s the one place you can go for truth. Their articles, books, and databases are mostly ad-free. And librarians are the folks you can trust. Is it safe to ride your bicycle to work? Do vegans live longer? Which refrigerator has the best privacy controls? And why does your self-driving car sometimes take the long route home? Librarians help you find the best answers. As a result, you make informed decisions, and over time all this learning adds up to improve not only your quality of life, but your longevity as well.

The bad news is nobody uses the library anymore. Most folks are too busy or too lazy to venture beyond the fast food of the free Web. Plus, they have absolutely no idea what they’re missing. While many schools and colleges make half-hearted attempts to integrate information literacy into their curricula, only the best students learn much from these tutorials. If their brains fail to explode when the librarian begins speaking in Boolean, their patience surely runs out when told they must know, before they start to search, which database (of dozens, each with unique interfaces and query languages) contains the answer to their question.

It didn’t have to be this way. There was a time, not so long ago, when librarians had the chance to change the future. People’s infatuation with Google had begun to ebb. They were hungry for something better. If libraries had offered a good alternative – an integrated search and discovery tool that enabled fast, easy access to popular content, scientific research, and scholarly sources – we might have moved forward, not back. We almost did.

Those “web-scale discovery tools” with single search boxes, faceted navigation interfaces, and aggregated indexes brought us so close to success. But many of the older, more powerful faculty and librarians resisted this “dumbing down.” They preferred the native database interfaces because only they knew how to use them. And, thanks to the squabbling of database vendors and the greed of journal publishers, seamless access to full text content remained a mirage. There were a few brilliant open discovery projects at the crossroads of open source and open access, but librarians lacked the money, power, and resolve to scale and sustain these systems.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Top 200 Jobs of 2012: Librarian ranked as 61st

By Victoria Brienza

Finding your dream job requires more than just hoping the stars will align in your favor. You probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than having the job fairy deliver you the perfect job just when you need one. In fact, you likely ended up in your current career because you followed in your parent’s footsteps (or heeded their advice), or you took a job because it was something you thought might be “cool” to do. Perhaps a teacher suggested your current career path, or maybe a job simply “opened up” just when you needed one.

Landing the job that’s right for you – that’s a good match for your skills and interests – requires soul-searching, some trial and error and lots of research.

With the Overall Score: 804.00and Income: $55,147.00 Librarian is ranked in the 61st place in the Top 200 Jobs of 2012.

URL: http://www.careercast.com/content/top-200-jobs-2012-61-80

Courtesy: CareerCast

 

Think like a startup: A white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism

“We have to face the future boldly. We have to peer upwards and outwards through telescopes, not downwards into microscopes. Over the next decade we need to implement big new ideas, otherwise the role of the library will become marginalized in higher education. We’ll become the keepers of the campus proxy, rather than information authorities. We’ll become just another campus utility like parking, dining services, and IT rather than the intellectual soul of the community.
Now is the time to “zoom out” rather than “zoom in.”1 Let’s not pigeonhole ourselves into finite roles, such as print collections, computer labs, or information literacy. These self-imposed limitations will only ensure our vulnerability and gradual decline. We can’t abide by the dictionary definition of “library.” We can’t stay basically the same and only make small changes. Not only will that constrain the library, but it will also hold back scholarship and learning. With or without us the nature of information, knowledge creation, and content sharing is going to evolve. It’s already happening.
Which side of the revolution will we be on? Dyson offers beautiful state-of-the-art vacuum machines. Their tools are top of the line. But ultimately, it’s still a chore to push a vacuum cleaner around the floor. If we’re talking about transformative ideas then iRobot is the place to focus your attention. Their machines are autonomous. Vacuuming isn’t a chore; it’s just something that happens while you sleep, work, or run errands. Their focus isn’t on providing new hardware, but on providing an ingenuous system that cleans surfaces for you. Carpets. Tiles. Hardwood. Pools. The Roomba is a revolution! It’s a new way of thinking. It’s solving a problem in a different way. And that’s what we need right now. We need to reinvent not just what we do, but how we think about it.
This document is intended to inspire transformative thinking using insight into startup culture and innovation methodologies. It’s a collection of talking points intended to stir the entrepreneurial spirit in library leaders at every level.”

A must read for all the new generation library professionals by Brian Mathews, Associate Dean for Learning & Outreach
at Virginia Tech www.brianmathews.com                            

Download and read the exciting paper now.

Think like a startup: A white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism

Key Issues for e-Resource Collection Development: A Guide for Libraries

by Sharon Johnson, with Ole Gunnar Evensen, Julia Gelfand, Glenda Lammers, Lynn Sipe and Nadia Zilper

Publisher: IFLA Acquisition & Collection Development Section

Edited by members of the Acquisition and Collection Development Committee, including Jérôme Fronty, Joseph Hafner, Judy Mansfield and Regine Schmolling.

The purpose of this Guide is to help develop an awareness of the key issues that every library will need to consider and address in developing an e-portfolio. The Guide is not intended to be exhaustive, but is written to provide a reasonable and informed introduction to the wide range of issues presented by electronic resources.

A guide that addresses an evolving subject area, such as electronic resources, requires updates. Thus, updates to this Guide at appropriate intervals, as determined by the Standing Committee of the IFLA Acquisition and Collection Development Section, will replace the previous edition on IFLANet. The current document is simply a snapshot of best practices at this point in time.

Download

IFLA Electronic Resource Guide – ACD 2012 [PDF]

Courtesy: IFLA

“Meta-Universities” and Libraries

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal announced on 3rd February 2012  that a network of universities, forming a meta-university, will allow students to pick courses from across disciplines from different institutions from the coming academic session (2012-13).

He explained that this would reinterpret the concept of a university as not just a traditional, physical space of learning, but as a repository of knowledge and information that can be delivered in multiple ways and can be accessed from anywhere and anytime.  (Source: Times of India)

So, what will be the nature and scope of libraries in this ‘meta’ environment ? Definitely it will not be the traditional ‘print version’ Libraries. What else exactly we can suggest for this new generation of learning systems. Hybrid, Library 2.0, Library 3.0  ?

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries

This is a code of best practices in fair use devised specifically by and for the academic and research library community. It enhances the ability of librarians to rely on fair use by documenting the considered views of the library community about best practices in fair use, drawn from the actual practices and experience of the library community itself.

This code was developed by the  Association of Research Libraries (ACR), Center for Social Media (CSM), School of Communication, American University and Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP), Washington College of Law, American University and released in January 2012. (arl.org/fairuse,
centerforsocialmedia.org/libraries , pijip.wcl.edu/libraries)

This code of best practices identifies eight sets of common current practices in the use of copyrighted materials in and around academic and research libraries, to which the doctrine of fair use can be applied.

They are,

  1. SUPPORTING TEACHING AND LEARNING WITH ACCESS TO LIBRARY MATERIALS VIA DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES.
  2. USING SELECTIONS FROM COLLECTION MATERIALS TO PUBLICIZE A LIBRARY’S ACTIVITIES, OR TO CREATE PHYSICAL AND VIRTUAL EXHIBITIONS.
  3. DIGITIZING TO PRESERVE AT-RISK ITEMS
  4. CREATING DIGITAL COLLECTIONS OF ARCHIVAL AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS MATERIALS.
  5. REPRODUCING MATERIAL FOR USE BY DISABLED STUDENTS, FACULTY, STAFF, AND OTHER APPROPRIATE USERS.
  6. MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF WORKS DEPOSITED IN INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORIES.
  7. CREATING DATABASES TO FACILITATE NON CONSUMPTIVE RESEARCH USES (INCLUDING SEARCH).
  8. COLLECTING MATERIAL POSTED ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB AND MAKING IT AVAILABLE.

Download the full document