Florida’s newest public university—Florida Polytechnic University (FPU)—is so new it doesn’t even have accreditation yet. Its mission is to educate students in the STEM fields, and Chief Information Officer Tom Hull describes it as part of a future “Silicon Valley East” between Orlando and Tampa. FPU features a lot of innovative, not to say controversial, departures from tradition, including a no-tenure model for its 26 newly hired professors and a library without physical books.
Libraries Test a Model for Setting Monographs Free – Wired Campus - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education →
Interesting new model proposal for open access to digitized books!
Liberal arts college library directors ask publishers to ease ebook licensing restrictions | Inside Higher Ed →
In a statement released by the Oberlin Group, a consortium of 80 liberal arts college libraries, the directors point to the “ecosystem of sharing” that academic libraries at small colleges depend on to plug gaps in the resources they offer — services such as interlibrary loans, for example.
“This system now faces an existential threat,” the statement reads. “The threat is simple: contractual agreements for electronic books regularly forbid sharing those publications with persons outside the licensing institutions.”
Whether librarians and faculty like it or not, Wikipedia remains at the heart of the research process for many undergraduate students. Rather than trying to stem the tide, the University of California (UC) Berkeley is trying to make students there into more responsible and effective users of the online encyclopedia. To that end, the university’s American Cultures program has hired alumni Kevin Gorman (pictured) as the first Wikipedian-in-Residence at a U.S. university.
Why is it important to make more students into better Wikipedians?
Wikipedia has an interesting demographic problem. More than 550 million people view Wikipedia every month, but just 30,000 edit the English version of the site more than five times a month. Of the people who edit, most are white folks with tech backgrounds. They write about what they’re interested in and have introduced a systemic bias into Wikipedia. If something isn’t on Wikipedia, it’s approaching a form of erasure, so we want to combat that by bringing in more editors.
Yes, this is an actual professional position.
In its search for space to house new classes, the University of Pennsylvania identified a pair of libraries whose collections could be moved offsite to make room. Under the original plan, the Math, Physics, and Astronomy Library in the David Rittenhouse Laboratory would be reduced in size by more than a third, while the Engineering Library in the Towne Building would be eliminated altogether. Collections for both libraries would have been moved offsite to UP’s book repository in New Jersey, meaning that students would have to wait several days to receive books they requested from the facility.
That idea ruffled feathers among students and faculty, particularly in the math department, who use the onsite libraries regularly, especially for print materials that may not be available online. “We think they’ve grossly underestimated how valuable of a resource this is,” mathematics graduate student Brett Frankel told Philly.com in an interview on March 12. “I have a book checked out right now that is more than 50 years old.” Faculty and students gathered more than a thousand signatures in two petitions to save the two libraries, and it seems the administration is listening—at least on the mathematics front.
Merry Christmas from the University of Maryland Libraries. Fun, except I think the singer mispronounced “library.”
Because the marketing people in our campus library system are awesome, they make things like these database trading cards. I can’t decide on my favorite.
This is just…so cool. Good job, UMD Libraries, good job.
There’s a breaking story in the world of scholarly journals and library science that’s worth tuning into. It kicked off with a post by Brian Mathewson his Chronicle of Higher Education blogThe Ubiquitous Librarian, in which he revealed that the entire editorial board of the prestigiousJournal of Library Administration(or JLA) had resigned due to the publisher’s onerous author requirements regarding copyright and access.
Mathews is the Associate Dean for the Virginia Tech Libraries, and had been asked to serve as guest editor for a special, speculative issue of the journal on the academic library in fifteen years. This is how he described it:
This special issue explores the possibilities of what libraries might become or cease to be. Experts from different sectors of academia, publishing, technology, and design will share their thoughts, dreams, fears, and hopes about the future. The intention is to produce insights that ignite the imagination — to leapfrog the adjacencies of the coming years and land on a strategic plateau of the near future. This is an opportunity to speculate on the arriving advances as well as to warn of potential loss due to these changes.
Invited authors included not only academic librarians such as Kelly Miller (UCLA), Michael Levine-Clark (University of Denver), and Steven Bell (Temple), but also Google engineer and search educatorDan Russell, Lennie Scott-Webber, an educational environment expert at Steelcase Furniture, and two authors affiliated with electronic resource vendors. It’s a compelling mix, but with the resignation of the JLA’s board, it’s not going to happen — at least in that venue.
Mathews had also invitedJason Griffeyto contribute, but in a move that anticipated the decision made by the editorial board, he declined participation due to the publisher’s restrictions. After Mathews broke the news, Griffeyposted on the subject himself:
On Feb 14, I got an intriguing email from Brian Matthews [sic] about a special edition of the Journal of Library Administration he was editing. It was a request for a chapter for an edition of the journal called Imagining the Future of Libraries, and the Brian’s pitch to me was enough to make me very interested:
[Brian]: “I’d love for you to contribute an essay around the topic of technology. Beyond most digital collections. Beyond everyone and everything mobile— what unfolds then?”
I mean, if I have a specialty, this is it. I love nothing more than I love a good dose of futurism, and told him so. My one concern was the Journal’s publisher, Taylor & Francis, and the fact that I refuse to sign over my copyright on work I create. I’m happy to license it in any number of ways that gives the publisher the rights they need to distribute the work, but I won’t write something for someone else to own.
Thefinal post covering the story(so far; there will be more, I’m sure) is from Chris Bourg, who had recently joined the editorial board of theJournal of Academic Librarianshipand resigned along with her colleagues. She describes the lengths editor Damon Jaggars had gone to convince the publisher to change its practices:
In the meantime, Damon continued to try to convince Taylor & Francis (on behalf of the entire Editorial Board, and with our full support), that their licensing terms were too confusing and too restrictive. A big part of the argument is that the Taylor & Francis author agreement is a real turn-off for authors and was handicapping the Editorial Board’s ability to attract quality content to the journal. The best Taylor & Francis could come up with was a less restrictive license that would cost authors nearly $3000 per article. The Board agreed that this alternative was simply not tenable, so we collectively resigned.
Look for more to emerge on this subject, as librarians start to assert their demand for change in the world of scholarly publishing. And hopefully, somewhere, Brian Mathews’ special issue will find a home — since it sounded fantastic.
So I’m editing this journal issue and…| Brian Mathews, The Ubiquitous Librarian
The Journal of Library Administration| Jason Griffey, Pattern Recognition
My short stint on the JLA editorial board| Chris Bourg, Feral Librarian
Great round up!
Librarian (Instructional and Digital Services) - Full-time, Tenure-track, College of Marin
The College of Marin is hiring an Instructional and Digital Services Librarian with responsibilities in electronic resource management, in-person and online instruction, and collection development.
Kentfield is a small community nestled in a valley between the Marin Headlands and San Francisco Bay, close to the larger community of San Rafael. The nearby Larkspur Ferry takes commuters to and from San Francisco.
The listed requirements include an MLIS (or equivalent), and a demonstrated sensitivity to the diverse backgrounds of community college students. Not listed? Experience. This is a potential opportunity for newbrarians.
In an intriguing twist, compensation for community college positions in California is higher than you’ll get working for UC Berkeley.
Okay, I am team Eastern Seaboard but the Bay Area is a pretty lovely place on Earth. Sounds like a cool job opening!
While faculty status isn’t necessarily all it’s cracked up to be, and plenty of academic librarians function just fine without it, librarians with it consider it to be something of a slap in the face when it’s threatened. They see it as an attack on their professionalism.
At least that’s the way they’re viewing it at the University of Virginia, where the University Librarian has just declared that no new librarians hired will have faculty status, even though some group of librarians has had it for the past 50 years. The announcement was handled the way that all significant and sweeping announcements should be handled…via email.
Because ACRL asked me to do this… I present to you: creepy dating-site John.
What struck me about the workshop — and part of why I felt it was so successful — was the curiosity it generated in the students. Students asked unprompted questions about not only Impact Factors, but open access journals, pay-to-publish journals, journal subscription fees, author reimbursement (or lack thereof), and tenure in academia. These are subjects that have almost never come up in my experience as an instructional librarian (with undergrads); the fact that these were student questions driven by their own investigative experience felt like a breakthrough, as if we crossed a threshold point in their understanding of scholarly resources. I feel like the minutiae of database search will now come more naturally to them despite the lack of any direct discussion of the subject — a win-win if there ever was one.
— Investigating Journals: An Information Literacy Workshop for Science Students | Daniel Ransom, The Pinakes: From Papyrus to PDF (via thepinakes)
The unpleasant truth is that the phenomenon I’ve been describing isn’t just how academia works, it’s how everything works. People want themselves and their publications to be judged on their inherent qualities, but the overwhelming amount of judgment people receive is based on external factors. Where you live, where you work, what you do, where or if you went to school, how you dress, how you talk, what kind of car you drive, and where or if you publish: the majority of people judge you by these signs regardless of what they reveal about your “true” self and its quality. Sometimes that’s the only thing they can do.
Positions available at Humboldt State (part of the California State University system):
Humboldt State is in remote Arcata, California, a coastal town not far from the Oregon border and close to redwood forests and the legendary Lost Coast.View the Humboldt State employment listings»>
- Electronic Resources/Collection Development Librarian (full-time, 12-month, tenure track).
- Librarian for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (full-time, 10-month, tenure track).
- Librarian for the College of Natural Resources and Sciences (full-time, 10-month, tenure track).