Want To Move Further Into Lib 2.0

We provided a post earlier this week on the growing conversation about Web/Lib 2.0. That circle continues to widen. It appears academic librarians are wondering just exactly how Lib 2.0 will manifest itself in their library environments. Certainly, new technologies for communicating with users, such as RSS, along with social networking and collaborative utilities, are at the core of Lib 2.0. For those who want to immediately begin shaping their libraries for Lib 2.0, there is an exciting new RSS device that will allow your community to acquire your RSS feeds and absorb them when they are most likely to have some free time on their hands. It seems like a must have for academic libraries on the cusp of entering the world of Lib 2.0.

More On OCLC’s “Perceptions of Libraries” Report

I just finished listening to a podcast that features George Needham of OCLC discussing the recently released “Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources“. If you don’t have time to read the report, Needham does summarize some of the most salient findings. Among the ones he mentions is that only one percent of the people surveyed indicated they begin their Internet research at a library web site. I would be interested to know if that sort of data is broken down by type of respondent. Is that number consistent for college students or are academic libraries more effective in connecting with their user communities? Needham mentions the importance of the library community communicating to the user community what it offers, and I think it’s well recognized in our profession that we need to market, promote, and educate users about our resources. With the advertisements it places in publications like the Chronicle, OCLC certainly tries to help in this effort. It would be interesting to know if the new report tells us how we are doing. The podcast runs about 40 minutes.

Another Kind of Impact Factor

An interesting article by Eileen Gifford Fenton and Roger Schonfeld examines “The Shift Away from Print” journals in libraries and the unintended consequences this may have for small scholarly presses. We’ve been making choices about format based on a variety of variables, not least of them cost, and the authors have concluded that an electronic-only journal publishing environment would be most cost-effective. But the transition itself is costly for undercapitalized small publishers and the authors argue we need to be thoughtful about how our decisions might doom a worthy publication.

What isn’t considered, except glancingly, in this article is the impact of full-text aggregators such as Ebsco and Infotrac on users and libraries, the growth of the open access movement, or the fact that articles that can be found online are altering the relative status of publications. Easy access is having an impact on the “impact factor.”

Whether or not libraries continue to pay for print subscriptions, scholarly journal publishers may have to find ways to get online – if they want to be read.

Higher Ed Associations Release Guide To Copyright

With its many gray areas, copyright law continues to puzzle both faculty and librarians. In an effort to clear up some of the confusion the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of American University Presses, and the Association of American Publishers have combined to produce Campus Copyright Rights and Responsibilities: A Basic Guide to Policy Considerations. I think this could be a helpful publication for academic librarians who want to raise awareness about copyright among faculty. It appears to do a good job of explaining copyright law and the essential provisions for educators, including TEACH and other issues related to the use of digital media. However, the section on electronic reserves isn’t nearly detailed enough. So it’s a good overview, but I don’t think it’s going to put any of those folks running copyright workshops out of business. The good news is there is a clear and concise copyright statement within the guide that grants permission for reproduction and distribution in nonprofit education organizations. At 36 pages it might be the sort of publication you’ll want to distribute to faculty.

A New Must Read OCLC Library Usage Report

As a follow up to its landmark 2003 Environmental Scan, OCLC has just released Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources. Here’s a description of the scope of this new report:

The topics explored in the survey include the perceptions and preferences of information consumers; users’ relationship with and use of libraries, including usage of and familiarity with electronic information resources; awareness of libraries and resources offered; the “Library” brand and its ubiquity and universality; trust of libraries and their resources; and people’s perceptions of the library’s purpose/mission.

While the report is not specific to the academic sector, OCLC did include close to 400 college students among its survey population. Here are two nuggets of information provided by the report about college students:

* College students have the highest rate of library use and broadest use of library resources, both physical and electronic.

* Only 10 percent of college students indicated that their library’s collection fulfilled their information needs after accessing the library Web site from a search engine

Many of the findings compare how users respond to search engines and libraries/librarians, and how satisfied they are with each for finding information. It will be interesting to see how library pundits use the findings in this report to promote their philosophies. But first, let’s give this report a thorough reading.