Friday, April 14, 2017

The Idealis, An Open-Access Journal for Library and Information Science Research


"High-quality, library-related scholarly communication research has been historically difficult to discover. The Idealis aims to fix that."
New open-access journal, The Idealis, has this statement under the heading Liberating Research on the homepage of their website. Founding editors, Stacy Konkiel, Nicky Agate, and Lily Troia, gather the "very best scholarly communication literature from across the Web, working with authors to make their research available, ensuring that librarians are connected to excellent research that’s relevant to their work" (from About section).

Their current focus is limited to academic librarians interested in scholarly communication but the journal intends to broaden the scope to other areas of librarianship as well.  In their Discover section, they offer a long list of essays and articles with wide ranging topics including Orcid annual report, humanities and social science creative commons, evolution of scientific communication, social media, and others.  They plan to expand past articles to "create a carefully curated journal full of research that is relevant first and foremost to the needs of library practitioners" with "difficult to access research in all forms–articles, books, code, data sets, presentations, white papers, and more."  You can subscribe for new research alerts, submit library-related research, or apply to be an editor

Full post can be found at Chronicle of Higher Education


*Picture taken from home page of the website.

Monday, April 10, 2017

NMC 2017 Horizon Report

The New Media Consortium recently released the 2017 Horizon Report for libraries. The report identifies trends, challenges, and developments in information technology, related to academic libraries. While much of the report is geared toward traditional research institutions, there are some relevant takeaways for academic law libraries.

One of the more relevant identified trends for academic law libraries is the rethinking of library spaces. As students rely less and less on physical holdings for research, libraries are opening areas for active learning and collaboration. While this trend is nothing new in academic libraries, it continues to accelerate across all libraries.

Other identified trends include:
  • Cross-institution collaboration
  • Evolving nature of the scholarly record 
  • Patrons as creators 
  • Research data management 
  • Valuing the user experience
One of the challenges identified facing information technology in libraries is adapting organizational structure and workflows to the new technological realities.  The rapid pace of technology changes often leads to steep learning curves from staff and a resistance to keep up. Other challenges listed in the report are:
  • Accessibility of library services and resources
  • Improving digital literacy 
  • Maintaining ongoing integration, interoperability, and collaborative projects
  • Political and economic pressures 
The full report can be found at the NMC web site

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Supporting other law school departments with the ILS

Brian T. Johnstone has an article in the March 2017 Computers in Libraries about setting up his ILS, SirsiDynix, to support lending from the art department at his university.  It isn't a directly applicable situation but it certainly got me thinking about ways we can support other law school departments.  He was able to create a "mini library" using his ILS; one obvious challenge to overcome is setting up the resources so they don't get lost or become clutter in your discovery layer.

As we think about ways to collaborate with other law school or organization departments, ideas like this keep our creativity going.  We just need to be careful with how we go about it so it's actually useful to the new group without making life more difficult for our existing patrons.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Chrome Browser Extensions for Librarians

Google’s Chrome browser has gained immensely in popularity, with more than half of the global browser market according to W3Counter (https://www.w3counter.com/globalstats.php). Browser extensions that allow users to add functionality to their browsing experiences are readily available from the Chrome Web Store (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions), and most of these extensions are free.

Library Technology Launchpad has identified six Chrome extensions that will be of particular interest to librarians:

  1. Adobe Acrobat (convert webpages to PDF)
  2. DOI Resolver (access resources via a DOI)
  3. Google Scholar Button
  4. Grammarly for Chrome
  5. Library Extension (to find books in a local library)
  6. Wayback Machine (automatically access a cached page from a 404 error)

Of particular interest to Technical Services librarians, the DOI Resolver and Google Scholar extensions may help in accessing article or ebook content for cataloging or acquisitions purposes, while the Wayback Machine is useful for locating those helpful cheat-sheet sites that have suddenly vaporized.

The full post can be found at http://libtechlaunchpad.com/2017/02/21/6-chrome-browser-extensions-every-librarian-needs/

Monday, March 27, 2017

Getting to Know TS Librarians: (Renee Chapman Award Winner) Jean Pajerek


1. Introduce yourself.
I'm Jean Pajerek and I am the Director for Information Management at Cornell Law Library.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?

My title used to be “Head of Technical Services.” This conveys something to people who work in libraries, but many people outside of libraries think (understandably) that it means I’m the head of IT. Quite a few years ago, we realized that tech services staff were involved in activities beyond traditional tech services work; for example, I am the administrator for our institutional repository. We think “Information Management” is more inclusive while also being sufficiently vague so that people still do not know exactly what it is we do!

3. What are you reading right now?
For recreational reading, I am just finishing up Louise Penny’s “How the Light Gets In,” which I really enjoyed. Louise Penny writes mysteries set in Quebec, a place I love visiting. For work, I am reading “Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist,” by Allemang and Hendler.

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
If I suddenly had a free day at work, I would want to spend it working on my upcoming Deep Dive program for AALL in Austin, Linked Data on Your Laptop. I want to provide a really eye-opening learning experience for the program participants, and that’s going to take a lot of work!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Librarians

The CaMMS Competencies and Education for a Career in Cataloging Interest Group presented Core Competencies for Cataloging and Metadata Professional Librarians at ALA Midwinter in Atlanta. The document supplements the American Library Association's Core Competencies in Librarianship. The document outlines Knowledge, Skill & Ability, and Behavioral Competencies and is meant to define a "baseline of core competencies for LIS professionals in the cataloging and metadata field."

Knowledge competencies are those providing understanding of conceptual models upon which cataloging standards are based. Skill & ability competencies include not just the application of particular skills and frameworks, but the also the ability to "synthesize these principles and skills to create cohesive, compliant bibliographic data that function within local and international metadata ecosystems. Behavioral competencies are those "personal attributes that contribute to success in the profession and ways of thinking that can be developed through coursework and employment experience."

Of particular note is emphasis on cultural awareness in the introductory section.  "Metadata creators must possess awareness of their own historical, cultural, racial, gendered, and religious worldviews ... Understanding inherent bias in metadata standards is considered a core competency for all metadata work."

Full text of the competencies document is available via ALA's institutional repository. Slides from the presentation at ALA Midwinter are also available.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Linked Data Catalog at Oslo Public Library

The Oslo Public Library, Deichmanske bibliotek, has developed a library services platform based on linked data. It can be seen in action at the library's website, and the source code is available on GitHub.

The platform uses a work-based model for its public-facing catalog; for an example of this "FRBR-ized" interface, see the display for the film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The display provides prominently positioned work-level information, and then shows information for two different DVD versions of the movie, as well as a Blu-Ray version. It also very nicely highlights the film's position in the Harry Potter series, by providing "continues" and "continued in" links to the appropriate films. It also includes a "based on" link to the book of the same name. Following this link brings you to an even more impressive display of various print and audiobook holdings for this title.

More information about the behind-the-scenes cataloging work can be found in this post from 2014 on the library's blog.