Tag Archives: Academic Libraries

As Researchers Turn to Google, Libraries Navigate the Messy World of Discovery Tools

“Many professors and students gravitate to Google as a gateway to research. Libraries want to offer them a comparably simple and broad experience for searching academic content. As a result, a major change is under way in how libraries organize information. Instead of bewildering users with a bevy of specialized databases—books here, articles there—many libraries are bulldozing their digital silos. They now offer one-stop search boxes that comb entire collections, Google style.That’s the ideal, anyway. The reality is turning out to be messier.” (via The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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Bridges and Barriers: Factors Influencing a Culture of Assessment in Academic Libraries

“In an environment in which libraries need to demonstrate value, illustrating how the library contributes to student learning is critical. Gathering and analyzing data in order to tell the library’s story as well as identify areas for improvement require commitment, time, effort, and resources – all components of a culture of assessment. This paper presents the results of a survey designed to understand what factors facilitate the development of a culture of assessment of student learning in academic libraries and what factors may hinder it.” (via ACRL)

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Education Dept.’s Biennial Report Examines State of Academic Libraries

“Academic libraries lent about 10.5 million documents to other libraries in the 2012 fiscal year and borrowed some 9.8 million from their peers and commercial services during the same period, according to report released on Friday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the Education Department’s statistical arm.” (via The Chronicle of Higher Education)

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Coherence at Scale and the Research Library of the Future

“The dilemmas that higher education library and IT professionals are now facing and the way we characterize them—centralizing or decentralizing—or the ways we distinguish between them—the library or the IT department—have very much to do with the origins of the modern research university and its growth and development in the period that many people call “the age of modernity.” In the mid-to-late nineteenth century, many people thought that the increasingly complex world that was emerging could be managed by reducing each problem to discrete parts and tasks. The library embodied this idea: the separation of spaces into distinct work areas and the development of library stacks, file drawers, and filing cabinets were closely linked with modern corporate techniques of classifying information and categorizing tasks. The birth of the silos that we often bemoan in our libraries, our colleges and universities, and other parts of our world seems to have begun in a moment when we thought that we could build a universal library, a vast research university, a giant corporation, and even a powerful nation-state by breaking up the work into discrete tasks.” (via EDUCAUSE)

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Library hours do not encourage academia

“An essential part of a university experience occurs at the library. It is a place of studying, of commiserating and of learning. Most of all, it offers students a quiet study environment. However, The University of Alabama’s libraries have variable hours that change with activities, especially with football. Gorgas Library, McLure Library and Bruno Business Library, for example, are almost always closed on home football Saturdays. Even the UA library with the most expansive hours, Rodgers Library, closes Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and opens on Sunday at 1 p.m. These hours encourage a culture of cramming and are a symptom of a university that does not emphasize academics first.” (via The Crimson White)

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