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05/23/2018

How can libraries transform and thrive? Dorothy Stoltz and James Kelly on successful collaboration

Posted by Rob Christopher

How does a library amplify the skills and enthusiasm of its staff while also identifying what the community wants? In their new book Transform and Thrive: Ideas to Invigorate Your Library and Your Community, Dorothy Stoltz and her coauthors Gail Griffith, James Kelly, Muffie Smith, and Lynn Wheeler argue that adhering to a handful of straightforward principles will point the way forward. We spoke with Stoltz, director for community engagement at the Carroll County (MD) Public Library, and Kelly, library director of Frederick Public Libraries (MD), about their prescriptions for library success.

How did the book come together?  What was your starting point?

Dorothy Stoltz: People inside and outside the profession ponder whether libraries are on the verge of becoming extinct.  My experiences...

05/18/2018

George Stachokas on ERM issues and trends

Posted by Rob Christopher

"Electronic resources are now the predominant component of academic library collections," says George Stachokas, editor of the new ALCTS monograph Reengineering the Library: Issues in Electronic Resources Management. "Special collections, archives, and other physical collections are still important, but libraries spend most of their money and much of their technology acquiring and managing electronic resources." It's more crucial than ever to look at electronic resources management (ERM) using a variety of perspectives. His new collection does exactly that, discussing how ERM can best fulfill the mission of today’s academic libraries. In this interview we asked him about putting the book together, some key cost containment strategies, and where he thinks technology is heading.

As you mention in your introduction,...

05/02/2018

Merrilee Proffitt on collaboration between Wikipedia and cultural heritage institutions

Posted by Rob Christopher

A senior program officer at OCLC Research, Merrilee Proffitt first started exploring how to develop better relationships between Wikipedia and cultural heritage institutions about seven years ago. Since then she created OCLC’s Wikipedian in Residence program, has helped run several edit-a-thons, and contributed to Wikipedia, Wikidata, and Wikimedia Commons. In her new book she and her contributors explore how to connect these various communities of knowledge, which she expands upon in this interview.

What was the genesis of this book project?

A while back, Grace Agnew from Rutgers University told me that librarians would naturally expect a collection of case studies about how librarians are engaging with Wikipedia to be in a book. There are case studies published “on Wiki” and individual...

04/25/2018

Celebrating Preservation Week 2018: an interview with Janet Delve and David Anderson

Posted by Rob Christopher

ALA encourages libraries and other institutions to use Preservation Week to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. In collaboration with Facet Publishing, UK, we spoke with some of the field's leading figures to discuss the importance of preservation. Janet Delve and David Anderson are co-editors of Preserving Complex Digital Objects.

Why is preservation awareness so important?

So many institutions today are pushing for a paperless society: for example, banks frequently suggest getting online statements...

04/24/2018

Celebrating Preservation Week 2018: an interview with Helen Forde and Jonathan Rhys-Lewis

Posted by Rob Christopher

ALA encourages libraries and other institutions to use Preservation Week to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. In collaboration with Facet Publishing, UK, we spoke with some of the field's leading figures to discuss the importance of preservation. Helen Forde and Jonathan Rhys-Lewis are co-authors of Preserving Archives, now in its second edition.

Why is preservation awareness so important?

The preservation of material culture is crucial for society, for an appreciation of the past and for building...

04/23/2018

Celebrating Preservation Week 2018: an interview with Walker Sampson

Posted by Rob Christopher

ALA encourages libraries and other institutions to use Preservation Week to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. In collaboration with Facet Publishing, UK, we spoke with some of the field's leading figures to discuss the importance of preservation. Walker Sampson is co-author of The No-nonsense Guide to Born-digital Content.

Why is preservation awareness so important?

I think there’s an assumption for many that we know about everything we’ll ever know about the past, both near and distant. Preservation,...

04/20/2018

Celebrating Preservation Week 2018: an interview with Michèle Valerie Cloonan

Posted by Rob Christopher

ALA encourages libraries and other institutions to use Preservation Week to connect our communities through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections. In collaboration with Facet Publishing, UK, we spoke with some of the field's leading figures to discuss the importance of preservation. First up is Michèle Valerie Cloonan, author of the classic text Preserving our Heritage: Perspectives from Antiquity to the Digital Age.

Why is preservation awareness so important?

I am in the UK right now. Just yesterday I toured a historic site that...

04/04/2018

Finding answers to legal questions: an interview with Virginia M. Tucker and Marc Lampson

Posted by Rob Christopher

More people than ever are using the library to obtain legal information and legal research advice, and library staff need to be able to serve these users efficiently and confidently. Veteran law librarians Virginia M. Tucker and Marc Lampson just published an update of Finding the Answers to Legal Questions, their benchmark text. We caught up with them to hear their perspective on what's new in the field and to get some handy reference tips.

About seven years elapsed between the first edition and this new second edition. When it comes to legal information, what do you think have been the biggest changes in the landscape?

It appears to us that all law libraries - academic, government, public - continue to cut back on subscriptions to hard copy resources, so people with limited resources for paid, online research are left more and more out...

03/23/2018

Ensuring libraries' future through sustainable thinking: an interview with Rebekkah Smith Aldrich

Posted by Rob Christopher

For the past several years the library world has been abuzz with the concept of "sustainable thinking." Yes, we all want to help the environment and also ensure that libraries are on board too. But beyond being just a feel-good catchphrase, how does sustainable thinking translate into concrete action? Rebekkah Smith Aldrich explores exactly that in her new book, and in this interview she discusses how many libraries are taking the initiative in areas ranging from community outreach and programming to building design. 

You’ve done quite a bit of writing for various publications, including your regular column for Library Journal, but this is your first book. What was different about doing this kind of long-form...

03/21/2018

Metadata – have we got the ethics right?

Posted by Rob Christopher

Guest post by David Haynes, author of Metadata for Information Management and Retrieval: Understanding Metadata and its Use, Second Edition

Use of metadata by the security services

“Metadata tells you everything about somebody’s life.  If you have enough metadata you don’t really need content” (Schneier 2015, p.23)

If anyone wondered about the importance of metadata, this quote by Stuart Baker of the US National Security Agency should leave no one in any doubt.  The Snowden revelations about the routine gathering of metadata about international telephone calls to or from the United States continues to have repercussions today (Greenwald 2013).  Indeed Privacy International (2017) has identified the following types of metadata that is gathered or could be gathered by security...

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