Friday, June 28, 2013

Library of Congress Transitions to Free, Online-Only Cataloging Publications

The Library of Congress has announced a transition to online-only publication of its cataloging documentation. As titles that are in production are released, the Library’s Cataloging Distribution Service (CDS) will no longer print new editions of its subject headings, classification schedules and other cataloging publications. The Library will instead provide free downloadable PDF versions of these titles.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Entire library journal editorial board resigns, citing 'crisis of conscience' after death of Aaron Swartz

In a dramatic show of support for the open access movement, the editor-in-chief and entire editorial board of the Journal of Library Administration announced their resignation. In a letter to contributors, the board singled out a conflict with owners over the journal's licensing terms, which stripped authors of almost all claim to ownership of their work.

In a blog post after the resignation, board member Chris Bourg cited her experience of "a crisis of conscience about publishing in a journal that was not open access" in the days after the death of Aaron Swartz.

Friday, June 21, 2013

New ‘Subway Libraries’ Encourages Commuters To Read On-The-Go

Students from the Miami Ad School—Max Pilwat, Keri Tan and Ferdi Rodriguez— came up with an innovative concept that allows people to read the first ten pages of popular books while riding the subway. 

Using near field communications (NFC) technology, commuters select the desired book from a list of popular titles and read its first ten pages—upon finishing, the reader will be informed of the closest library location from which they can pick up and read the rest of the book. 

 It is a simple but ingenious idea that can be adopted and adapted to encourage reading in the 21st century, when new technology is changing the way we consume books. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

U.S. Takes Huge Step Forward in Opening Access to Publicly Funded Research

The world has watched as two major developments were launched from the U.S. federal government that will open access to articles produced as a result of grant funding from key U.S. agencies. On Feb. 14, 2013, exactly 11 years after the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) was first signed, representatives from Congress introduced the “Fair Access to Science and Technology Research” (FASTR) Act, proposed legislation which, if passed, would require public access to publicly funded research from major funding agencies including: Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
by Abby Clobridge

Friday, June 7, 2013

10 Great Technology Initiatives for Your Library

Libraries have become technology leaders by integrating cutting-edge tools to enhance users’ experience. It’s not enough to redesign the library website. Best practices mean developing user personas and following usability strategies to produce user-informed designs. New digital collections are stored in the cloud and mobile applications are developed around them.

Here are 10 ideas for you to leverage today’s most innovative tools and techniques. All of these come straight from The Tech Set #11–20 series (ALA TechSource, June 2012).

Host a cloud-based collection

As libraries increasingly deliver digital content, storage requirements may strain their local resources.  In the absence of a full-fledged trusted digital repository that conforms to digital preservation standards and best practices, libraries will need to provide as much redundancy and security for digital object files as possible. Two options are Amazon’s S3 with Amazon CloudFront and DuraSpace’s DuraCloudservice.

Create a basic mobile website

Mobile sites and app generators offer everyone the opportunity to create a mobile view of their library data.Winksite is an easy-to-use tool that can create a mobile site using an RSS feed from a WordPress or Drupal content management system. The site is free and allows five mobile sites for each user account.

Start a location-based photo stream with Instagram

Featuring a powerful suite of location-aware technologies, Instagram claims more than 80 million registered users who have shared nearly 4 billion photos. Users shoot, manipulate, and share photos with their smartphones, associating them with location information through a mobile application.

Integrate LibGuides into Drupal

The Views module, developed for Drupal 7, enables access and interaction with library data—the catalog, for example—without having to export the data from its source and import it into Drupal before working with it.

Balance the library voice with the personal in social media

Useful internal guidelines for social media posting provide expectations and guidance to reach a level of consistency across the staff without stifling people.

Use crowdsourcing to create a collection

Crowdsourcing can be used as a great tool for archiving. For instance, that is how the New York Public Library has transcribed and categorized all of the menus in its extensive collection of historical restaurant menus.

Make a quick screencast

As librarians grow accustomed to screencasts, more ideas and possibilities emerge for their use in instruction. A great way to get started with screencasting is to dive in and use some of the software. With so many free recording and hosting options, all you need is a computer with internet access.

Create personas before you design your website

Personas are fictional depictions of your website’s target audiences. As composite character sketches generated from researching your library users, they represent the cornerstone of your website planning process and have an ongoing role as the site evolves. Personas help to ensure that everyone is on the same page about your main demographic.

Use Google Voice to implement text reference

Google Voice gives you a single phone number that rings all your phones, saves your voicemail online, transcribes your voicemail to text, and allows you to send free text messages. You can use Google Voice from your computer, tablet, or cellphone to respond to reference questions from patrons.

Visualize your Twitter relationships with Mentionmapp

Mentionmapp displays connections among your followers, along with the hashtags they are using. The interface is simple, yet the information it provides can be significant. To get started, sign in with your Twitter account and enter your library’s handle into search. Mentionmapp scans your account’s recent tweets and hashtags, along with those of your followers, and draws a map of connections along with hashtag labels.