Academic Libraries

Who's better: Google or CU librarians? Search me

geckomlis spotted This One From Ithaca on a recent study done by Cornell University's Instruction, Research, and Information Services (IRIS) that pitted Cornell librarians against freelance researchers at Google Answers -- a fee-based system, where more than 800 freelancers answer questions for a minimum of $2.50. The company claims to be able to provide answers within 24 hours.

In the study, 24 questions --ranging from the population of Afghanistan (about 26 million) to where Geoffrey Chaucer died (London) -- were given to library research staff and to Google Answers. Responses were scored by university librarians on a blind basis. The librarians looked at the accuracy and clarity of the answers given, and the validity of sources cited in answers. Cornell's researchers scored just slightly better than Google's in the study.

Dershowitz to donate archives to Brooklyn College

Mock Turtle writes "Newsday reports that attorney Alan Dershowitz is donating an archive containing more than 1,000 boxes of memos, manuscripts, letters, legal documents, clippings, and other artifacts to his alma mater, Brooklyn College. Documents from the Simpson and von Bulow cases will be included."

NCCU students improvise as fuzzy invader makes its mark on books

News From NC says N.C. Central University is suffering mold, which has appeared in fuzzy patches on the spines of many of the books in the 567,000-volume collection. But administrators are still trying to decide whether the library mold is a big deal. In the meantime, they're erring on the side of caution.
"We have bent over backwards to be conservative," Provost Lucy Reuben said. Barricades were put up before the fall semester began Aug. 25 and have not been removed, she said. Still, she toured the blocked-off areas herself last week and said the mold didn't look that bad.

Libraries cut off access to the scientific literature

Bob Cox points us to Scientific American and word that access to journals is rapidly changing as public research libraries, squeezed between state budget cuts and a decade of rampant inflation in journal prices, drop printed journals in droves. The online versions that remain are often beyond the reach of "unaffiliated" visitors.

Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook

David Dillard writes "Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook, from
The Society of American Archivists is a full text monograph online that is available at no cost to the reader at the above website. A significant part of the coverage of this
book is of interest and value to the general library user in general
collections as well as of importance in archival practice. The section
covering subject headings would be a prime example of this.

It's a music mecca

An Anonymous Patron writes "This Sacramento Bee article describes the Beethoven Center at San Jose State University."
They say the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, the only facility of its kind outside Europe devoted to the great composer.

With a multimillion-dollar collection of first-edition music, books, handwritten notes, and even a peculiar lock of hair no one dares touch, the center serves as a resource for everyone from scholars to armchair enthusiasts.

The costs and benefits of meeting law firms' information needs

Law.com takes a look at in Library Economics 101, by Joan L. Axelroth.
She says In these days of limited resources, it is not enough to present management with the costs of running the library, assuming that they will support the operation because it has value. Rather, library managers must be prepared to explain what is involved in running a library system that meets the firm's information needs. Managers must also be prepared to show how the library's resources, products, and services enhance the firm's bottom line.

Online future for Nuremberg archive

Mock Turtle writes "The BBC reports that Harvard Law School plans to post the entire one-million-page archive of the Nuremberg trials to the Internet ... provided they can raise the $7 million required. Here's the story."
Harvard's Law School has already posted 7,000 pages on one of its own web sites but it says it needs as much as $7m to make the entire Nuremberg archive available.

From Movies to Minutia: DVDs Eyed for Archival Uses

A Slashdot Thread pointed the way to an NIST Data Preservation Program to develop specifications for "archival quality" CD and DVD media that agencies could use to ensure the procurement of sufficiently robust media for their long- term archiving needs (i.e., 50 years and longer).
The working group shares information and best practices concerning the use of DVD and related technologies in the federal government. It will identify the needs of the federal community in relation to the durability of storage media and work with industry to develop suitable archival grade specifications.

An Online Library Struggles to Survive

Anonymous Patron writes "9/8/2003 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education -- THE FOR-PROFIT ONLINE LIBRARY QUESTIA, having competed unsuccessfully with college libraries, is scaling back and rethinking its business plan. -> SEE The Chronicle Site for the full story.
(may require password and id until it moves into the free zone of the chronicle)"

They say Questia that looks desperate. It has drastically shrunk its work force, halted its marketing campaign, and closed offices in Los Angeles and New York, leaving only the Houston headquarters open. The company also has scaled back aspirations for its library collection and expanded its target audience to include high-school students.

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