Odds & Ends & Useful Bits

Consider this post to be a little bit like that drawer in the kitchen where you put things because you don’t know where else to put them: buttons, an odd shoelace, a dead battery that may need recycling, that gadget that sculpts cucumbers into fancy shapes that you got for Christmas fifteen years ago, that piece of something that might be important if you only knew what it fell off of.

First of all, in re David v. Goliath, the ludicrous lawsuit by Reuters against Zotero for allegedly “reverse engineering” Endnote in order to make it possible to import and export citations between programs was dismissed by a judge. This is good news for innovation. More from the Jester, and a hat tip to Inside Higher Ed, which points to a good Crooked Timber piece on the suit.

A question raised on the Infocommons list struck me as a good example of how quickly things have changed in libraries. Not too long ago librarians debated banning cell phones in libraries. Now the question is whether to provide recharging stations. Once the question was posed, a certain amount of cognitive dissonance ensued. Joan Lippincott clarified the original poster’s intent by pointing out that a university in the Netherlands provides lockers with outlets where students can recharge their equipment while in class; another poster pointed to high-speed charging kiosks in airports. In any case, I found myself bemused by how quickly libraries adapt to changes that to some librarians seem at first antithetical to libraries and even, perhaps, civilization as we once knew it.

Finally, the useful bit: remember those preprints C&RL makes available online months before publication? You don’t? Well, here’s a refresher. Go to ACRL Insider and choose the tag or category “C&RL Preprints.” You’ll find articles that won’t see print for months. Be the first kid on your block to read about how professional education prepares academic librarians who go on to tenure track positions in a study by Rickey Best and Jason Kneip. Or read Kara Malanfant’s analysis of how the University of Minnesota Libraries are employing liaison librarians in discussions about scholarly communication.

Also at Insider you’ll find the contents of C&RL online, but it’s limited to members only, and further limited to members with the patience to log on and the ability to remember their password. Note to authors: for God’s sake, post your stuff online if you want it read, blogged, discussed, circulated. You can do that; the American Library Association is OA Green. While you take a few minutes to post your articles, hum to yourself “it’s not easy being green” – and then feel good that you did your professional bit for the cause, just like those U of M library liaisons.

Author: Barbara Fister

I'm an academic librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Like all librarians at our small, liberal arts institution I am involved in reference, collection development, and shared management of the library. My area of specialization is instruction, with research interests also in media literacy, popular literacy, publishing, and assessment.

One thought on “Odds & Ends & Useful Bits”

  1. I really appreciate C&RL preprints. Even though I’m an ALA member, I rarely want to dig up my password. Still, I want more! What would it take to make C&RL Gold open access this year? Let’s have open access not just for preprints and postprints-but for the final version of the journal as well.

    I’ve just read the ACRL strategic priorities for 2009-13 (great priorities by the way). Opening up C&RL would support these priorities! Specifically #4: (Increasing recognition of the value of libraries and librarians by leaders in higher education, information technology, funding agencies and campus decision making.) And to a lesser extent, the first 3 strategic goals as well. Sharing our content, and going gold OA, would benefit ACRL. What benefits, if any, do we derive from locking up our content?

    Geoffrey Bilder recently pointed out (at SSP09) that “librarians and publishers are conspiring to annoy users”.

    Let’s be part of the solution! Let’s stop conspiring to annoy ourselves (with those darned password walls). What would it take to make C&RL OA Gold this year?

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