“College students view their academic libraries favorably—especially as freshmen. Yet as they advance in their academic careers, undergraduates may be losing esteem for the library as a place that offers unique academic support not found anywhere else on campus, according to LJ’s Patron Profiles: Academic Library Edition. Compiled in conjunction with Design Think Do consulting, Beacon Hill Strategic Solutions, Bowker, and a dedicated advisory board, this stand-alone report asked faculty and students about “actual usage and perceived value of their academic libraries, with an emphasis on products and services both now and in the future, in the context of digital and emerging technology trends.”
via Library Journal.
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“Leaders of Harvard Library touted the successful integration of Harvard’s 73 libraries into a single University library in an interview with The Crimson Wednesday. “This is unprecedented,” said Executive Director for the Harvard Library Helen Shenton. “We’ve never done this before. Harvard’s never done this before.” But librarians interviewed by The Crimson said that from their perspective working within the system, the dust has far from settled.”
via The Harvard Crimson
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“At age 90, William Blair Jr., a former Negro League pitcher, Dallas-area civil rights leader and longtime newspaperman, came to the realization that much of the history he had lived through had already been forgotten by younger generations. “They don’t know. They don’t read nothing,” he said by telephone this week from his office at The Elite News, the publication he founded in 1960 to bring light to Dallas’s often-overlooked black community. He recently turned over the photographs, newspapers and memorabilia he had collected to the University of Texas at Arlington Special Collections Library. It took seven trucks to haul Mr. Blair’s collection to the university, which intends to develop a public exhibition around it.”
via NY Times
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“The heat comes quickly in the summer. By early June, working at home with no air-conditioning, I have no concentration. Everything feels close and impolite and loud. So I go to Butler Library, on the southern end of Columbia’s campus in Morningside Heights. What began as a diversion has become a self-preserving summer thing: not just Butler, but the Butler stacks, the stillness capital of my imagination.
via NY Times
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“UC Berkeley ranks among the five best universities on the planet in part because an engineering researcher there has no trouble finding the gravity study he needs from the 1970s. An art historian doesn’t have to be in Japan to lay his hands on a 128-year-old Kyoto guidebook. And a French scholar can examine a certain 16th century manuscript on European literary academies, no problem. Yet the great university’s libraries are in trouble.”
via SF Chronicle
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“Students’ library cards are a passport to the specialized knowledge found in academic journal articles — covering medicine and math, computer science and chemistry, and many other fields. These articles contain the cutting edge of our understanding and capture the genius of what has come before. In no uncertain terms, access to journals provides critical knowledge and an up-to-date education for tomorrow’s doctors, researchers and entrepreneurs. But should that access cease at graduation? Or would you rather a graduating medical student, perhaps your future doctor, be able to keep up with the latest advances? Would you rather an ambitious graduate student feel comfortable leaving the academy to found the next Google, knowing she still has access to the latest insight in her field and is able to build upon it?”
via The Washington Post.
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Law.com – “In case you hadn’t heard, college students these days consume a lot of their information online, and university faculty have tried to accommodate them by posting more course materials on college library Web sites. But academic publishers are crying foul in federal courts from Georgia to New York to California. Backed by trade groups and copyright enforcement houses, the publishers are litigating aggressively, while the universities—almost all of them public—are zealously defending the practice of putting some portion of course content online. Federal district court judge Orinda Evans in Atlanta is expected to throw down the first marker when she rules on Georgia State University’s “e-reserve” service, where professors post individual chapters of books—or sometimes multiple chapters—when the entire book isn’t necessary for a class. There’s “not a single case in the U.S. at any level that spells out what the standards are for fair use within a university like Georgia State,” Evans said during closing arguments in a three-week bench trial conducted last spring. Lawyers in the case say that they expect the judge to rule any day now.”
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Labor Notes – “Harvard has 73 libraries that comprise the largest private library collection in the world. The library system attracts researchers from around the world, a major draw for attracting the best faculty in all fields. From ancient maps to personal effects to photography collections, not to mention millions of books and journals in multiple languages, the materials of Harvard’s libraries are the keystone supporting billions of dollars in research grants awarded to the Harvard community each year. Such a large collection is unusable without librarians and library staff to catalog materials and help researchers sift through the mountains of information. Most research using the Harvard library would be impossible without the aid of library workers. Yet the Harvard administration feels its libraries are a drag on finances, as they do not directly create revenue. Library closings and staff reductions have been part of a continued corporatization of the university, begun under former President Larry Summers (who later was appointed to head President Obama’s National Economic Council). The focus on revenue and serving corporate ends has accelerated under current President Drew Faust’s recession-bound tenure.”
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Columbia Spectator – “For most Columbia undergraduates, making bibliographic citations boils down to a few formatting styles, like MLA and Chicago, to learn in University Writing. But for professors, researchers, and graduate students, there are over 1900 different styles to contend with. Their lives might be about to get a little bit easier—the Columbia University Libraries received a $125,000 grant last month to build a new digital tool to help manage existing styles and make new ones. In collaboration with Mendeley, a private developer of reference management software, the Libraries hope to develop a simple, graphical interface with which authors can navigate the maze of styles available, and modify them to create their own.”
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Inside Higher Education – “Some campus libraries might be under pressure to cut costs, but as of 2010 academic libraries were spending more money than they were before the financial downturn that started in 2008, according to new data released Tuesday by the Education Department. In the latest in a series of occasional surveys, the National Center for Education Statistics collected data from nearly 3,700 academic libraries, accounting for 86 percent of all libraries at two- and four-year institutions.”
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