News Archive

Friday, July 29, 2011

As some U.S. research libraries back away from so-called Big Deals with journal publishers, a major British library group has also taken a stand against high serials prices. Late last year, Research Libraries UK announced that its members would not sign any more large deals with two of the biggest journal publishers, Elsevier and Wiley, unless they agreed to significant reductions in what those deals cost.

The association represents 30 of Britain’s major research libraries, including those of the Universities of Cambridge, of Edinburgh, of Oxford, of Warwick, and of Kings College London, as well as the British Library and the national libraries of Scotland and Wales. The group’s members have collective deals with publishers that are negotiated on their behalf by JISC Collections.

David C. Prosser, executive director of the association, said it is pushing for a reduction of 15 percent in the cost of Big Deals, and that it focused on Elsevier and Wiley because those contracts expire at the end of 2011. “It was a slow and gradual realization” that they had grown too expensive, he said. “There are many benefits to the library community of the Big Deals. So...

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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has captured the essence of the research library in contextual and innovative ways with the publication of ARL Profiles: Research Libraries 2010, a report that includes a thorough content analysis of narrative descriptions of research libraries at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. The profile analysis has engaged qualitative methods to describe research libraries that complement the annual quantitative ARL Statistics®.

The contextual information provided in this report documents the importance of the public good research libraries provide in an increasingly globalized environment by making their services more readily available; they are becoming an integral part not only of the physical but also the virtual academic experience in addition to setting standards and exploring best practices with national and international visibility, among other things.

When ARL directors were interviewed in 2005 and asked to describe a research library in the 21st century, there was general sentiment that the annual ARL Statistics® and the toolkit of assessment services developed by ARL, though useful, were not...

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Digital collections marketing is an important, yet often ignored aspect of digital collection management. While many collections are laudable for the quality of their pictures, metadata, and preservation techniques, they often remain obscure, unknown, and therefore inaccessible to their intended user populations. One of the ways digital librarians can cultivate a broader awareness of their collections is through social networking. More importantly, digital librarians who participate in conversations with users through the use of social media become inextricably intertwined with the knowledge creation processes relevant to their collections. This paper presents a set of five general principles (listening, participation, transparency, policy, and strategy) that provide digital librarians with straightforward, concrete strategies for successfully integrating social media into a digital library's overall strategic plan. In addition to these concrete strategies, I also explain the theoretical importance of each principle and its relevance for establishing a rapport with current and potential users of a digital collection.

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