Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
Grazing in the Stacks of Academe
Inside there is the deep quiet of protection and near-abandonment. You hear the hum of the lights, turned on as needed; that’s it. There’s a phone to make outgoing calls on the fifth floor. To me the stacks are the most sacred space in the library, yet here nobody’s telling you not to talk. You’re on your own. It’s a situation for adults.
"There are no first-rate universities in the world without a first-rate
library," 110 faculty members declared in a petition asking the university
for an extra year to find other ways of keeping Cal libraries not just
afloat, but great.
"We are in a crisis, and we have to kind of breathe a bit more deeply,"
said engineering Professor Panos Papadopoulos, who signed the petition.
"We need to think more strategically."
Read the entire story, from the San Francisco Chronicle.
An interesting article reporting on a recent session at the meeting of the American Association of University Presses (AAUP), relating a discussion about patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) and its impact on library collection development.
"Libraries...are beginning to flip the process of collection-building on its head by striking deals that let their patrons’ reading habits determine which works they purchase."
"Infidelity in the Library" ooooh, another story about people fooling around in the stacks! No? Oh, it's about books? huh. OK, fine, I'll post it anyways.
"So my books, you see, need some attention. And I just can’t give it to them right now. Fortunately, I am a librarian, and so I know a thing or two about loaning books. So come on over sometime. I’ll set you up with a borrower’s card and you can check out a few books and take them home with you, while I hide in the spare bedroom tenderly opening up tomes on current copyright trends, or sit in my car out in the driveway to steal delicate glimpses into the latest interlibrary loan initiatives."
During his 14 years at Shorter University, Michael Wilson, a librarian, built a library collection for the college’s satellite campus in Atlanta. He shaped his post as the first full-time librarian for adult and professional students. Then he won tenure, and planned to stay at the Baptist college in Rome, Ga., until retirement.
Instead, last week, he effectively handed in his resignation.
At the University of New Hampshire, this is evidently an old tradtion- to scream at the library in order to reduce stress.
See it in action at:
A few weeks ago at Brown University, book conservation technician Marie Malchodi opened yet another leather-bound book, one of more than 300,000 rare volumes in the hold of the John Hay Library. With surgical precision, she turned the pages of a medical text once owned by Solomon Drowne, Class of ’73 (1773, that is.). And there, in the back, she found a piece of paper depicting the baptism of Jesus. It was signed:
“P. Revere Sculp.”
Ye gods! Had Marie Malchodi just made contact with Paul Revere, of Boston, silversmith? Revere, who knew of the fiery need to share vital information, would have appreciated Ms. Malchodi’s galloping reaction, which was:
“I have to show this to somebody.” More from The New York Times.
20 years of cowardice: the pathetic response of American universities to the crisis in scholarly publishing
Although their record is pretty bad, universities could still play a major role in making scholarly publishing work better – and save themselves money in the process – with two simple actions:
--Stop the flow of money to subscription journals. Universities should not renew ANY subscriptions. They should, instead, approach them with a new deal – they’ll maintain payments at current levels for 3 more years if the journal(s) commit to being fully open access at the end of that time.
--Introduce – and heavily promote – new criteria for hiring and promotion that actively discourage the use of journal titles in evaluating candidates.
Harvard vs. Yale: Open-Access Publishing Edition
Earlier this week, Yale university student, Emmanuel Quartey, posted a video interview with the school's librarian, Susan Gibbons, in which he asked her about open-access publishing. Her response was far more ambivalent than the Harvard faculty council's. Though she noted that open-access journals are more accessible, she worried that asking younger faculty to publish in open-access (presumably less prestigious) journals could jeopardize their chances to attain tenure. In essence, prestige would stay put but tenure would move away from younger Yale professors. So, the library would continue to support both open and closed-access journals. You can read her full answer below or check out the video interview.
Carrier librarian to sail on 'Semester at Sea'
This fall, one JMU librarian will step out of the library to set sail toward the places he’s only read about in books.
Jonathan Paulo, the education librarian in Carrier Library, will embark on a “Semester at Sea” from Aug. 23 to Dec. 7. Organized by the University of Virginia, Semester at Sea acts largely like a college campus — but on a ship.
The MV Explorer, a 590-foot passenger ship, is equipped to carry more than 800 passengers. With nine state-of-the-art classrooms that include overhead projectors, close-circuit televisions, wireless Internet access, a multi-media lab, pool and three dining decks, the ship’s a floating campus.