The Evolving Role of University Libraries
Since we are assessing our materials and their usage, I’m working to reframe the conversation to one where we talk more about stewardship, content reformatting, and preservation. Although the usage may be low for a book in the middle of a densely populated campus like this, we’re anticipating that the need still exists, not that it’s going to be met elsewhere. When we make an investment in preserving something, whether it be here or a different facility off campus, we have to believe that the need for it still exists.
Letter received via Facebook message to Save Libraries and reprinted its entirety:
In our effort to continue meeting the research needs of our students of EASTERN SAMAR STATE UNIVERSITY GUIUAN CAMPUS, we knock at your kind heart to assist us financially, provide or donate us with books or others reading materials to restart what has been ruined by super typhoon “Yolanda”, in our campus!
Our Campus Library accommodates an average of 3,000 students (undergraduate and graduate) distributed to the different programs of the campus: education, engineering, technology, hotel/restaurant and entrepreneurial management programs.
At present, the Campus Library was vastly devastated by the wrath of super typhoon on November 8, 2013, damaging around P15M of our library building, equipment, and collection. Hence, this appeal for your benevolent assistance so we can help restore our library, attend to the research needs of our clientele and start resume our library services the soonest possible time.
You may visit our Facebook account ESSU GUIUAN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY for the complete photos to see the extent of damage typhoon Yolanda has ruined our Library.
Your assistance for this purpose will be highly and gratefully appreciated. If our prayer finds favor in you, please visit our campus or you may contact us at this cell number 09158717354/09199738753.
Thank you. May God return the blessings to you a thousand fold.
EVA H. ABLETES (Sgd)
OpenHatch brings open source to campus
Our solution? Open Source Comes to Campus In a Box. We’re carefully documenting every part of our events, from the materials we present to the way we build our publicity websites, from food and space checklists to templates of all the emails we send. Our hope is that local organizers will be able to use our materials to run their own events, as has happened with our Python Workshops.
Caltech Announces Open Access Policy
On January 1, 2014, a new open-access policy for faculty's scholarly writings will take effect at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). According to this policy, approved by the faculty at their June 10 meeting, all faculty members will automatically grant nonexclusive rights to the Institute to disseminate their scholarly papers, making wider distribution of their work possible and eliminating confusion about copyright when posting research results on Caltech's websites.
"I had this idea that if I could like help students do work that meant something to them, that expressed who they really were, then they would be more engaged with their schoolwork and that would help them research better," the new librarian said.
The students have been heard.
Tampa FL, Tampa Bay Times: Students gathered outside the University of South Florida library Thursday afternoon, prepared for another night of sit-ins and camp-outs to demand the ability to study at all hours of the day and night.
Melissa Grazon passed out pens, encouraging students to write letters to administrators, when news cameras started to gather in the grass. Everyone walked over to see what was happening. They stood there, absorbing the announcement.
After a hotly-contested reduction in library hours, administrators announced that the Tampa campus library will return to a schedule of being open 24 hours a day, five days a week, possibly within a week's time.
From The Washington Post: "The Library of Congress no longer needs the computer room that visitors once used to search its electronic card catalogue. These days the entire library has a wireless Internet connection, so workers this summer put a collection of old microfilm machines in that room instead. Meanwhile, the library’s old-school physical catalogues, the kind filled with carefully penned index cards, have long since been relegated to cool basement hallways where schoolchildren marvel at their obscurity. “I told them, ‘Before Google, this is what we used to do,’ ” said Fenella France, the library’s chief of preservation research. “They had never seen [card catalogues] before. Then I was teaching children another day, and I said, ‘Let’s go clockwise,’ and they just looked at me. I said, ‘Oh, no. Didn’t you learn analog?’” These are some of the several quiet moves that hint at much larger changes underway at the Library of Congress." Full Story
Aaron Swartz, an advocate for open access to academic journals, committed suicide in January after being charged with hacking into MIT computers and illegally downloading nearly 5 million academic journal articles from JSTOR, one of the largest digital archives of scholarly journals in the world. At the time of Swartz's death, the 26-year-old faced 13 federal felony computer fraud charges — and the near certainty of jail time.
In this NPR blog All Tech Considered, MIT denied "targeting" the programmer and claimed no wrongdoing. But the report raises concerns about existing university policies and whether MIT should have been actively involved in supporting Swartz.
Perhaps the best thing we can do, in planning for onsite library computing today, is to aim for maximum flexibility. Students may express a demand for desktops today, but it’s hard to imagine that will be our future. When we gaze out upon our fields of computers we should, in our mind’s eye, envisions it as a room that holds nothing but an enormous, as far-as-the-eye-can see card catalog. Because, ultimately, as the next generations of students make it to our doors, it is less likely they will expect us to provide them with computers, and it may be that they would consider such amenities laughable and a waste of their tuition dollars. It is a bit premature perhaps, but not unreasonable, for us to begin thinking about how we will use all the space currently devoted to desktop and laptop-loan computers. My crystal ball is less clear on this matter, although I suspect we can always improve things by expanding the café.