Monthly Archives: January 2007

Congratulations To Excellence In Academic Libraries Award Winners

The ACRLog blog team extends its congratulations to the three libraries that are the winners of the 2007 Excellence in Academic Libraries award. Sponsored by ACRL and Blackwells Book Services, the award recognizes the staff of a college, university, and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.

The 2007 winners are:

- University Category: Georgia Institute of Technology Library and Information Center, Atlanta, GA, Richard W. Meyer, Dean and Director of Libraries

- College Category: Elizabeth Huth Coates Library at Trinity University, San Antonio, TX, Diane J. Graves, University Librarian

- Community College Category: Hostos Community College/CUNY Library, Bronx, NY, Lucinda Zoe, Professor and Chief Librarian

Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipients campus. The winners also will receive special recognition at the ACRL Presidents Program during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference on Monday, June 25, 2007, at 1:30 p.m. in Washington D.C.

Posted by StevenB

Journal of Information Literacy

This morning’s inbox included the delightful news that another open-access information literacy journal has started up and released its first issue. From the email:

Volume 1, Issue 1 is now available from the Information Literacy website: http://www.informationliteracy.org.uk/JIL.aspx

JIL is an international, peer-reviewed, academic journal that aims to investigate Information Literacy (IL) within a wide range of settings. Papers on any topic related to the practical, technological or philosophical issues raised by the attempt to increase information literacy throughout society are encouraged. JIL is published in electronic format only and is an open-access title. The aim of JIL is to investigate and to make generalised observations on how Information Literacy impacts on organisations, systems and the individual. While recognising the firm foothold already established by IL in the Higher Education sector, the editorial board, seeks to consolidate and extend this to a wider educational audience. Furthermore the board welcomes ever-wider interpretations of IL that extend its theoretical interpretation and practical use beyond the educational arena and across national frontiers.

Interestingly, this journal also provides its definition of information literacy and the understanding that skills/competencies in informaiton literacy require(http://www.cilip.org.uk/professionalguidance/informationliteracy/definition/):

Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.

This definition implies several skills. We believe that the skills (or competencies) that are required to be information literate require an understanding of:

  • a need for information
  • the resources available
  • how to find information
  • the need to evaluate results
  • how to work with or exploit results
  • ethics and responsibility of use
  • how to communicate or share your findings
  • how to manage your findings.
  • Two things that strike me about this. First, perhaps obviously – the different listing of “top level” items than we see in many standards documents in the United States. Second, that this is a list of understandings required for information literacy skills and so I wonder if these understandings are considered to co-develop with skills, be pre-requisite for, or causal of? Good food for thought.

    JIL looks a welcome addition to the information literacy field. Happy reading!

    Lisa Hinchliffe

    For the Record . . .

    Scott Jaschik hasa spooky article in Inside Higher Ed today – reporting that, when Linda Bilmes, a Havard economist, wrote an analysis that said the administration had underestimated the cost of rehabilitation for soldiers injured in Iraq, the Pentagon challenged her findings. When she pointed out the data she used was from a government Website, the information on the site was changed. The Pentagon says it was correcting the number – by subtracting all injuries that were not a result of combat or enemy action. They became aware of the “error” when Bilmes wrote up her findings for the L.A. Times.

    This certainly has implications for the preservation of government information. It’s disturbing that official numbers can be erased and altered if the conclusions scholars draw from them are uncomfortable.

    Meanwhile, this might be just the right time to read a new report from The First Amendment Center, Government Secrecy vs. Freedom of the Press.

    posted by Barbara Fister

    Toobin on Google’s Library Project

    Jeffrey Toobin, in The New Yorker, provides an overview of the lawsuit against Google’s library project and predicts that Google will become impatient with the time it takes for the suit to work its way through the courts and will settle with publishers and the Author’s Guild.

    Like most federal lawsuits, these cases appear likely to be settled before they go to trial, and the terms of any such deal will shape the future of digital books. Google, in an effort to put the lawsuits behind it, may agree to pay the plaintiffs more than a court would require; but, by doing so, the company would discourage potential competitors. To put it another way, being taken to court and charged with copyright infringement on a large scale might be the best thing that ever happens to Google’s foray into the printed word. . . .

    But a settlement that serves the parties’ interests does not necessarily benefit the public. “It’s clearly in both sides’ interest to settle,” Lawrence Lessig, a professor at Stanford Law School, said. “Businesses in Internet time can’t wait around for years for lawsuits to be resolved. Google wants to be able to get this done, and get permission to resume scanning copyrighted material at all the libraries. For the publishers, if Google gives them anything at all, it creates a practical precedent, if not a legal precedent, that no one has the right to scan this material without their consent. That’s a win for them. The problem is that even though a settlement would be good for Google and good for the publishers, it would be bad for everyone else.”

    Some interesting tidbits:

    • Google will not say how many books have been digitized. Why so coy? It’s hard to trust a company that won’t provide the most basic information.
    • Pat Schroeder, president of the AAP, says ““This is basically a business deal.” No problem from the publishers, so long as they get a piece of the action. Not that there is, to date, any actual action (i.e. profits).
    • “Piracy” is a concern for publishers, but Toobin points out “Sadly, for writers and publishers, demand for their products has never been robust enough to generate a major piracy problem.” And all the evidence to date suggests exposure of book content on the Web is good for sales.
    • Stanford scaled back its participation in the library project because, as a private institution, they are greater legal risk than public institutions like UMich (an issue that also influenced the AAP’s decision to go after Cornell on e-reserves).

    Posted by Barbara Fister

    ACRL Launches Podcast Series

    One of the events I always look forward to at the ALA midwinter conference is the Sunday afternoon forum at which the candidates for ACRL vice-president/president-elect respond to a series of questions about academic librarianship and respond to questions from attendees. The fact that there is a free lunch (Thank You EBSCO!!) has no impact on drawing me to this program. It’s always interesting to hear what the questions are (compiled by the local ACRL chapter from what I understand) and how the candidates respond.

    The vast majority of ACRL members are unable to attend. Last year, and again this year, ACRLog will be providing the candidates notes from this program. That will present ACRL members who could not attend with an opportunity to see what the candidates think about these different issues. If you’d like to hear the candidates respond to some of the questions yourself, you can now do that.

    ACRL has recently launched a new podcasting initiative. The first podcast being made available features Erika Linke and Scott Walter, the two candidates, responding to some of the questions asked at the candidates’ forum. I’m not quite sure what the subject of future podcasts will be, but I’m interested to find out. I subscribed to the feed. Visit the ACRL podcasting home page for more information.