Academic Libraries

Academic libraries need to be embedded in campus culture

Working with Library Journal, we reached out to academic faculty and librarians across the U.S. and received roughly one thousand survey responses. The objective of the survey was to see if faculty and librarians were on the same page when it comes to understanding the purpose and essential functions of an academic library: Do they communicate their respective needs to each other? Is there room for improvement?

From Bridging the Library/Faculty Gap « The Gale Blog

Walking Away From Academia

Briefly put, "alternative academia" is a catchall term for the process wherein individuals, unsuccessful in their quest to become university professors or disillusioned with that sort of work, seek alternative employment at places like libraries, nonprofits, university presses, and private sector think tanks.

From I have one of the best jobs in academia. Here's why I'm walking away. - Vox

The Case for Free Online Books (FOBs): Experiences

Abstract: This article is a short (well, not that short) summary of our experiences in writing a free online text book known as Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces (OSTEP for short, and sometimes pronounced "oh step"). It has been developed by myself (Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau) and my wife (Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau) over the past many years while teaching CS 537, the undergraduate Operating Systems course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The chapters of the book have been downloaded over 1/2 million times since 2012, and the web page for the book has been viewed nearly 3 million times in the past year, including a recent burst thanks to Hacker News and Reddit. In discussing our experiences, we make the case for Free Online Books (FOBs) - a now-serious alternative to classic printed textbooks.

From The Case for Free Online Books (FOBs): Experiences with "Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces" | From A To RemZi

Academics are being hoodwinked into writing books nobody can buy | Higher Education Network

These may sound like stories of concern to academics alone. But the problem is this: much of the time that goes into writing these books is made possible through taxpayers’ money. And who buys these books? Well, university libraries – and they, too, are paid for by taxpayers. Meanwhile, the books are not available for taxpayers to read – unless they have a university library card.

From Academics are being hoodwinked into writing books nobody can buy | Higher Education Network | The Guardian

Knowledge-Based Trust: Estimating the Trustworthiness of Web Sources

ABSTRACT
The quality of web sources has been traditionally evaluated using
exogenous signals such as the hyperlink structure of the graph. We
propose a new approach that relies on endogenous signals, namely,
the correctness of factual information provided by the source. A
source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy.
The facts are automatically extracted from each source by information
extraction methods commonly used to construct knowledge
bases. We propose a way to distinguish errors made in the extraction
process from factual errors in the web source per se, by using
joint inference in a novel multi-layer probabilistic model.
We call the trustworthiness score we computed Knowledge-Based
Trust (KBT). On synthetic data, we show that our method can reliably
compute the true trustworthiness levels of the sources. We
then apply it to a database of 2.8B facts extracted from the web,
and thereby estimate the trustworthiness of 119M webpages. Manual
evaluation of a subset of the results confirms the effectiveness
of the method.

From Knowledge-Based Trust: Estimating
the Trustworthiness of Web Sources [PDF]

The Cartographer Who's Transforming Map Design

Brewer, who chairs the geography program at Penn State, is a popular figure in part because she has devoted much of her career to helping other people make better maps. By bringing research on visual perception to bear on design, Brewer says, cartographers can make maps that are more effective and more intuitive to understand. Many of the same lessons apply equally well to other types of data visualization.

From The Cartographer Who's Transforming Map Design | WIRED

Even University Libraries Aren’t Keeping Hard Copy Books

In the face of these changes, academic librarians have no choice but to take action. Their challenge, though, is that there are simply too many print books and not enough on-campus space to store them.

The most obvious solution to too many books is “weeding,” the library profession’s term for removing books from a collection. While weeding creates space for new books, it has significant labor and disposal costs. Also, it can meet with stiff resistance from faculty and students.

So an increasingly popular strategy for managing overcrowded stacks is moving books to high-density, low-cost, off-campus storage.

From Even University Libraries Aren’t Keeping Hard Copy Books

Even University Libraries Aren’t Keeping Hard Copy Books

In the face of these changes, academic librarians have no choice but to take action. Their challenge, though, is that there are simply too many print books and not enough on-campus space to store them.

The most obvious solution to too many books is “weeding,” the library profession’s term for removing books from a collection. While weeding creates space for new books, it has significant labor and disposal costs. Also, it can meet with stiff resistance from faculty and students.

So an increasingly popular strategy for managing overcrowded stacks is moving books to high-density, low-cost, off-campus storage.

From Even University Libraries Aren’t Keeping Hard Copy Books

The Heart of the University: MU Libraries celebrate the centennial of Ellis Library

"More than a century ago, the University of Missouri’s first professionally trained librarian, James Thayer Gerould, campaigned for a building to house the library’s books. The collection was relatively small; all of the books, except the few on loan, had been destroyed in the Academic Hall fire of 1892...Today, the structure houses nearly 2 million print volumes."
“It’s hard for me to think of another profession that has been more fundamentally changed than librarianship,” says Director of MU Libraries Jim Cogswell. “Librarians have always said they are trying to do the impossible, which is to try to take all of the world’s recorded knowledge and information and make it available to anybody at any time. That’s crazy. How could anybody ever do that? But with every iteration of technology, we get closer.”
Read more of Ellis Library'shistory at MIZZOU Magazine

Yale Library Wins Princeton Review's Annual College Rankings Library

According to a Princeton Review survey that asked 136,000 students at 380 top colleges to rate their schools on dozens of topics and report on their campus experiences, the school at which students gave their professors the highest marks was Swarthmore College (PA). "Best College Library" – Yale University (CT)
 

From Best 380 Colleges Press Release | Public Relations | The Princeton Review | The Princeton Review

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