Dave Pattern (from Huddersfield University Library) gives an interesting insight into future developments for Summon. Makes me glad we’re on board, even if it’s not perfect, they’re making it better all the time.
- coming soon — discipline searching (currently 63 subject disciplines have been defined, which work at the journal title and journal article level)
- coming soon — new article linking improvements (when relevant, Summon results will link directly to the article abstract page on the supplier’s platform, instead of using OpenURLs)
- Daniel Forsman (Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden) suggested that we should promote Summon to our users as being more comprehensive that Google Scholar
Felix drew my attention to this [rather depressing] new report that describes the results of a joint study by OCLC Research and the UK’s Research Information Network. They surveyed the value to researchers of support provided by administration and libraries in four US and four UK universities. A lot of the focus is around institutional repositories which, compared with discipline/subject repositories, appear to be less appreciated by researchers.
MacColl, J & Jubb, M 2011, Supporting Research: Environments, Administration and Libraries OCLC Research, Dublin, Ohio.
The ACRL publication Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report is a review of the quantitative and qualitative literature, methodologies and best practices currently in place for demonstrating the value of academic libraries, developed for ACRL by Megan Oakleaf of the iSchool at Syracuse University. The primary objective of this comprehensive review is to provide academic librarians with a clearer understanding of what research about the performance of academic libraries already exists, where gaps in this research occur, and to identify the most promising best practices and measures correlated to performance.
For the full report go to : http://www.acrl.ala.org/value/
An interesting article in The Guardian discussing the increasingly personalised results that Google gives us. The argument is that this will result in an internet that reinforces our exisiting views and prejudices and “traps us all in our own little bubble”.
“I asked two friends to search for the term “BP”. They’re pretty similar – educated white left-leaning women who live in the north-east. But the results they saw were quite different. One saw investment information about BP. The other saw news.”
The whole article goes into detail about how other major technology companies are aiming to give us a personalised world view, that doesn’t make us uncomfortable, perhaps this is partly a response to information overload?
Two more articles about the Fisher Library, UNSW:
The curious case of shrinking libraries, coffee carts and ‘the dust test’ Gary Pearce (RMIT University) http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2730066.html
Everything e and d: what about the books? Andrew Wells, inCite June 2011
“It’s not often that libraries find themselves on the front page of a major newspaper. On Tuesday March 8, 2011, it was the University of New South Wales Library’s turn, right below the masthead. University Librarian Andrew Wells found himself on the frontline – and it got him thinking. The first paragraph in the front page story, titled Books Get the Shove as University Students Prefer to Do Research Online, stated the University was “throwing away thousands of books and scholarly journals as part of a policy that critics say is turning its library into a Starbucks”. The story had many inaccuracies and it is not my intention in this opinion piece to refute them. If you want to see how I responded to the UNSW community, there is a statement on collection management on the UNSW Library website. But the story -and reactions to it – have led me to consider wider questions about the role and perceptions of academic libraries. In my pessimistic moments, I often feel we fail in communicating the nature of the changes that are taking place, as well as the opportunities….” http://www.alia.org.au/publishing/incite/2011/06/ (You’ll need to logon using your ALIA member number and password. I’ll bring in a print copy next week and leave it in the tea room.
The Miller Library, McPherson College (in the US) have created a graphic novel, Zombies in the library as a guide for their students.