Monday, December 9, 2013

IT News in Review - 2013

ITI ( Information Today, Inc.) Brandi Scardilli provides an overview of newsworthy trends, events, and topics publishde in the newsletter NewsBreak for 2013. Chick here for full posting.

News in Review 

Ebooks were a hot topic yet again this year, and NewsBreaks analyzed a variety of news, from SAGE Publications’ statistics etextbook to Amazon’s patent for used digital content. Other articles in the Ebook Trends 2013 series include “The Transformation Accelerates,” “The New World of Ebook Publishing,” and “What’s Trending in Ebooks.”

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) became more popular than ever in 2013, with NewsBreaks issuing a primer (“The Wild West of MOOCs”) as well as an exploration of their impact on education (“Google Gives MOOC Development a Major Push”).

Two information companies went through major changes this year: OCLC appointed a new leader (“Skip Prichard Named OCLC President and CEO”), and EBSCO Publishing merged with EBSCO Information Services for improved product integration.

While ebooks and MOOCs continue to generate conversation in the industry, these three topics dominated NewsBreaks in 2013:

OA: It seemed the OA announcements were never-ending this year, with new initiatives and opinions coming in regularly. NewsBreaks reported on the debuts of eLife and the Open Library of Humanities. Approaches to OA were covered from the university (“OA Rules at the University of California”) and government (“Obama Administration Advances Open Data Policy”) perspectives. NewsBreaks also celebrated Open Access Week and chronicled the U.S. government’s policies about research (“U.S. Takes Huge Step Forward in Opening Access to Publicly Funded Research”; “Dialogue Over Public Access to Scholarly Publications Continues in the U.S. ”).

Acquisitions: In 2013, businesses both large and small made headlines as they joined the ranks of other companies. NewsBreaks highlighted Elsevier’s acquisitions of Knovel and Mendeley, ProQuest’s acquisition of EBL (Ebook Library) and its makeover of Dialog, Amazon’s acquisition of social reading site Goodreads and Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post, and Nielsen’s acquisition of two Bowker product units.

Legal Issues: When it came to lawsuits, NewsBreaks was on the case. The big news to follow this year was the ebook price-fixing trial that pitted Apple against the Department of Justice. Five NewsBreaks articles reported on the trial as it happened and offered analysis once it ended (“Apple Ebook Price-Fixing Trial Underway”; “Apple Gambles on Winning Ebook Antitrust Suit”; “Apple Ebook Dealings Violated Antitrust Law ”; “DOJ Proposes Injunction on Apple Ebook Practices ”; “Federal Court Restricts Apple’s Ebook Deals”). Other legal issues in 2013 included Cengage Learning’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and the Associated Press’ lawsuit against Meltwater, an online news aggregator.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Library 2.012 sessions - Archived are available for viewing

Library 2.012 sessions have been archived and are available for viewing. Altogether, there were eight conference strands covering a wide variety of timely topics, such as, MOOCs, e-books, maker spaces, mobile services, embedded librarians, and green libraries. This confernce is always well attended providing a  great opportunity for professional development and global networking.

View the Conference Strands.

Archived recordings of the Library 2.012 Worldwide Virtual Conference presentations are available here

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

PEW Research : Future of Libraries

The Pew Internet & American Life Project as a nonprofit "fact tank" continues to provide valuable information for the library community. It is the "go to" authoritative source on the evolution of the internet and data (mainly through surveys) on how Americans use the internet and how this activity affects their lives.

Here are some recent reports which provide an insight into the future of libraries in a digital world:

  • Books, libraries, and the changing digital landscape. In this presentation, internet researcher Kathryn Zickuhr draws on data from the Pew Research Center’s nationally representative surveys and rich qualitative material to explore not only how libraries are dealing with the changing technological environment, but also the larger context of Americans’ reading and library habits, and what they expect from libraries in the future.
  • The New Library Patron. Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, discusses the Project’s new research about library patrons and non-patrons: who they are, what their information needs are, what kind of technology they use, and how libraries can meet the varying needs of their patrons.
  • Reading, writing, and research in the digital age. Research associate Kathryn Zickuhr draws on data from the Pew Research Center’s nationally representative surveys, as well as rich qualitative material to explore not only how libraries, schools, museums, and other organizations are dealing with the changing technological environment, but also the larger context of how Americans find, consume, and share information in the digital age.
  • Library Services in the Digital Age. The internet has already had a major impact on how people find and access information, and now the rising popularity of e-books is helping transform Americans’ reading habits. In this changing landscape, public libraries are trying to adjust their services to these new realities while still serving the needs of patrons who rely on more traditional resources. This PEWsurvey finds that many library patrons are eager to see libraries’ digital services expand, yet also feel that print books remain important in the digital age.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Americans ages 16-29 are heavy technology users, including in using computers and internet at libraries. At the same time, most still read and borrow printed books, and value a mix of traditional and technological library services".

Read more details in the latest PEW report titled Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations.

Part 1: A portrait of younger Americans’ reading habits and technology use
Part 2: Libraries in younger Americans’ lives and communities
Part 3: Library patrons’ activities and expectations
Part 4: New services and innovations

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Research Article From Project Info Literacy: “What Information Competencies Matter in Today’s Workplace?*

“Here’s a new full text article by Project Information Literacy researchers.

It appears in the latest issue (Vol 37, No 114 (2013)) of Library and Information Research.


What information competencies matter in today’s workplace?


Alison J. Head
Director of Project Information Literacy (PIL,
Fellow at the Harvard University‟s Berkman Center for Internet and Society
Affiliate Associate Professor, University of Washington
Michele Van Hoeck
PIL researcher and the Instruction Coordinator at California Maritime Academy Library
Jordan Eschler
PIL ResearcherDoctoral Student, U. of Washington Information School
Sean Fullerton
PIL ResearcherDoctoral Student, U. of Washington Information School


This is a qualitative study about the information competencies that employers seek in university graduates and the skills which graduates demonstrate when they enter the workplace. Included are findings from interviews with 23 US employers and focus groups with a total of 33 recent graduates from four US colleges and universities. Employers said they recruited graduates for their online searching skills but once graduates joined the workplace they rarely used the traditional, low-tech research competencies that their employers also needed. Graduates said that they used skills from university for evaluating and managing published content; yet most graduates still needed to develop adaptive strategies to save time and work more efficiently. A preliminary model compares information problems in the university with those of the workplace. Opportunities are identified for preparing students to succeed beyond the academy in the workplaces of today and tomorrow.

The article lists the following opportunities for Academic Librarians to assist students with Information Literacy Skills:

1. Reconfigure team-based assignments. Teamwork has become more prevalent in course assignments in recent decades, but according to employers recent graduates are not comfortable conducting collaborative research. A possible explanation may lie in the fact that undergraduate project groups are made up of a set number of student peers, while workplace teams include more experienced colleagues, even supervisors. Furthermore, in the workplace one must often identify and seek out an expert as a new information-need arises. Research assignments could include more „team-oriented scaffolding‟, such as small group brainstorming or discussion questions. Students could be encouraged to meet in groups with seasoned advisors, such as subject-specialist librarians.


2. Revise library reference services. The emerging consultation model of reference may be a better approximation of the workplace research environment. Traditional library reference service could be viewed as encouraging students to use people as sources. Yet, the drop-in reference desk, staffed by an information arbiter and generalist, is not found in most workplaces. In a scheduled consultation, by contrast, academic librarians can address higher-level competencies such as refining research questions and iterative, contextual exploration of sources. In this way, they can function as informal and occasional members of a student‟s research team.


3. Work with academic staff to develop research assignments that include the use of people as sources. To fill the competency gaps identified by this study, instruction librarians could focus additional effort on those ACRL learning outcomes that emphasize the social components of research.3 For example, instruction librarians can teach undergraduates how to identify a needed expertise and locate potential experts.


 4. Incorporate social media into research assignments. Instructors can set up online social spaces for project teams to brainstorm, plan, share sources, and synthesize work. There is no shortage of free tools for collaborative research work: Zotero, Mendeley, Google Docs, and Diigo are popular and robust. These tools make the iterative nature of research more explicit and transparent. Annotated bibliographies posted on the Zotero cloud show the contributions of each team member; peer review of paper drafts can be submitted via Google Docs.


5. Go beyond coursework. One final solution emerged from the graduate focus groups, in which a participant described the value of managing a performing group on campus, which included a variety of challenging research tasks. Increased participation in such extracurricular activities may expose „near graduates‟ to the multifaceted challenges that they can expect to find in the workplace. Academic librarians could explore outreach to extracurricular groups to strengthen the information literacy learning opportunities already present in these activities.


Direct Link to Full Text Article (31 pages; PDF)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Launch of Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a large-scale, collaborative project with the goal of  creating "a unique and consolidated digital library platform, ensuring America’s cultural and scientific record is free and publicly accessible online through a single access point, available anytime and anywhere.” The new platform delivers digital collections found in American archives, libraries, museums, and cultural heritage institutions to students, teachers, scholars, and the public.

In addition to performing as a one stop search engine to disparate collections, the portal also includes special features such as a dynamic map, a timeline that allows users to visually browse by year or decade, a feature to browse items by subject, and an app library that provides access to applications and tools created by external developers using DPLA’s open data. Noteworthy contributors include the Library of Congress, HathiTrust, and the Internet Archive. The project wasofficially launched in April 2013.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Library 2.013 Conference

Here is the official call for presentation proposals for the Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual ConferenceOctober 18 - 19, 2013 (in some time zones the conference will conclude on the 20th):

This fully online, participatory conference presents a unique opportunity to showcase the excellent research and work that done every day, with a focus on peer-to-peer presentations. How does your library manage digital collections? Is your library mobile friendly? Do you have a story to tell about maker spaces? Your participation as a presenter can help to steer the global conversation about the future of libraries.

Everyone is welcome to submit a presentation proposal and participate in this free event. There are no registration fees and no travel requirements. The entire conference will be held online via web conferencing, with presentations held in multiple languages and scheduled around the clock over the course of the two days.

The Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference presentations will cover eight subject strands, addressing a wide variety of timely topics, such as MOOCs, e-books, maker spaces, mobile services, embedded librarians, green libraries, and more! Doctoral students will also have their own strand for presenting their research. Plus, there will be a new strand dedicated to virtual library tours.

The Library 2.013 Conference Strands:
  • Digital Services, Preservation, and Access
  • Emerging Technologies and Trends
  • Learning Commons (for school libraries and/or academic libraries)
  • Management of Libraries and Information Centers in the 21st Century
  • User Centered Services and Models
  • Library and Information Professionals – Evolving Roles and Opportunities
  • Doctoral Student Research
  • Library and Information Center “Tours”

To view examples of presentation topics for each subject strand, click here. Your presentation does not have to fit into the conference strands to be considered – the strands exist for the convenience of those interested in finding particular themes.

Proposal acceptances will be communicated on a first-come, first-served basis starting June 15. If your proposal is accepted, you will be provided with the ability to schedule a presentation time that is convenient to your time zone and work schedule. Early proposal submission and acceptance will give you the most flexibility for scheduling your presentation. The deadline to submit presentation proposals is September 30.

The Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference is our third installment of the Library 2.0 conference series, sponsored again by founding partner San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science. Last year’s Library 2.012 conference featured 150 fully online presentations given by scholars and information professionals worldwide. If you missed any of the presentations, you can still accessrecordings of the presentations. A wealth of information was also shared during the inaugural Library 2.011 conference, and a list of those recordings can be found here.

For more information about the conference and how you can get involved as a partner, sponsor, volunteer, and advisory board member, please visit:

Please do share this call for proposals with your colleagues and friends. We look forward to receiving your presentation proposals!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Original Blog post can be found at: StateTech Magazine

Here are six library related blogs that you should subscribe to if you wish to keep up to date with new technologies in libraries.

TechSoup for Libraries

This blog is part of a larger network of IT resources and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This particular blog focuses keenly on the most current technology issues facing libraries. For example, recent posts covered responsive web design, how technology can empower people with disabilities and tips for improving digital literacy.
Visit the blog:

Denver Public Library Technology Blog

Denver’s public library is more than 120 years old, but it’s still on the cutting edge of information technology. It offers technology classes to Denver residents, and a staff member recently blogged about improvements to the library’s Wi-Fi. This blog is great for librarians who are looking for fresh ideas and technologists who want to find out what industry leaders are up to.
Read the blog:

Disruptive Library Technology Jester

Run by Peter E. Murray, a technologist and a librarian trained in systems analysis, the Disruptive Library Technology Jester blog has a tagline that sums up the site perfectly: “We're disrupted, we're librarians, and we're not going to take it anymore.” This blog is an enormously valuable resource for the 21st-century librarian.
Read the blog:

ALA TechSource Blog

The American Library Association is probably the single best resource for librarians in the country, and their technology-specific blog measures up. Five authors contribute on a regular basis, creating a diverse and well-rounded source of modern solutions for today’s problems.
Read the blog:

American Libraries Magazine

This blog is published by the American Library Association and is a fabulous resource for experienced librarians and casual enthusiasts alike. The site isn’t updated daily, but it does highlight some of the most interesting and important news in the library community.
Read the blog:

Free Range Librarian

Blogger and librarian K.G. Schneider spent time writing for ALA TechSource and served as the Internet Librarian columnist for American Libraries. She writes with energy, and, although not every post is focused on library technology, her musings are worth your time if you are at all interested in the future of libraries. Read the blog:

Other Blogs:

Friday, March 15, 2013

The DIY Movement - Makerspaces in Libraries

Makerspaces, sometimes referred to as maker culture, creation labs, hackerspaces and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where patrons can gather to create, invent, and learn. These spaces have changed the view of libraries from spaces for consumption to spaces for creation. Libraries now provide resources such as 3D printers,  Espresso machines, software, electronics, handicraft and hardware supplies and tools to Makers in Residence to assist them in developing their innovations.

The benefits of implementing  such a service include the following:
  • Maker spaces promote learning through play
  • Facilitate informal learning opportunities
  • Nurture peer-to-peer training
  • Have the potential to demystify science, math, technology, and engineering; and encourage women and under­represented minorities to seek careers in those fields.
  • They also tie in to the growing trend of indie/ independent artists in every medium—including books—who are bypassing traditional gatekeepers, taking advantage of new tools to produce professionally polished products, and going direct to the web to seek an audience.
  • Working and connecting  with community members as true partners, not as users or patrons 
  • Develop a culture of creating as opposed to consuming.  
  • Maker space—or, more specifically, the act of making—encourages and gives people permission to tinker, hack, remake, and perhaps even change society 
  iLibrarian Elyssa  Kroski does yeoman service by offering resources for librarians wishing to create makerspaces at their libraries under the headings Articles & Blog Posts, Events and Makerspace Directories.

Articles & Blog Posts
1.    Libraries, Hackspaces and E-waste: how libraries can be the hub of a young maker revolution
“…there’s another gang of information-literate people out there, a gang who are a natural ally of libraries and librarians: the maker movement. Clustered in co-operative workshops called “makerspaces” or “hack(er)spaces,” makers build physical stuff. They make robots, flying drones, 3D printers (and 3D printed stuff), jewelry, tools, printing presses, clothes, medieval armor… Whatever takes their fancy. Making in the 21st century has moved out of the individual workshop and gone networked. Today’s tinkerer work in vast, distributed communities where information sharing is the norm, where the ethics and practices of the free/open source software movement has gone physical. Such hackspaces play a prominent role in my own fiction (thanks, no doubt, to the neighborly presence to the London Hackspace, which is directly over my own office in Hackney). In my new novel,”
2.    What is a Makerspace? Creativity in the Library
“I first heard of makerspaces when, as I sat in my office, a colleague called me over to see if I wanted to join a webinar on makerspaces. Listening over her shoulder, I heard phrases like DIY, and tools kept popping up. Not the usual web-based tools talked about in webinars, physical tools… y’know, wrenches and pliers? Real tools. I’ve always seen libraries as community centers for people to gather and work together, but this? It stretched my imagination.”
3.    From Stacks to Hacks: Makerspaces and LibraryBox
The makerspace movement is gaining momentum in the library world. In his recent report on “Libraries and the informational future: some notes,” Lorcan Dempsey of OCLC noted how “space is being reconfigured around broader education and research needs, and less around the management of print collection. In effect, space is shifting from infrastructure to engagement…” Nothing represents this emerging trend more than the recent growth of makerspaces within libraries.
4.    Makerspaces, Participatory Learning, and Libraries
“The concept of libraries as makerspaces first hit my radar last November when I read about the Fayetteville Free Library’s FabLab. As I began hearing more buzz about libraries and makerspaces the first few months of this year, I decided that learning more about this concept and exploring how I might apply the elements of makerspaces to my library program would be a personal learning project for the summer.”
5.    The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 1: Space for Creation, Not Just Consumption
“Maker spaces in libraries are the latest step in the evolving debate over what public libraries’ core mission is or should be. From collecting in an era of scarce resources to curation in an era of overabundant ones, some libraries are moving to incorporate cocreation: providing the tools to help patrons produce their own works of art or information and sometimes also collecting the results to share with other members of the ­community.”
6.    Library as Makerspace: Creating and Nurturing Communities of Teen Writers
“As part of our makerspace initiative this year (please see this blog post and this slidedeck here) and inspired by the work of the Sacramento Public Library, one of my focal points is thinking about ways the library can support creating communities of readers and writers who are crafting and composing texts (and I use the term text rather liberally). The Sacramento Public Library Winter 2012 “Write at iStreet Press” writing and publishing catalog offers a model of what the library as a makerspace for constructing texts looks like in a community through the public library. “
7.    A Makerspace Takes Over A Local Library
“Makerspaces just might take over libraries. School of Information Studies professor Dave Lankes seems to think so. In his presentation to New York State librarians earlier this month, he asked the roomful of librarians to imagine libraries as places for people to learn and create, not consume and check out. In another talk he gave in October, he declared, “What will kill our profession is not ebooks, Amazon, or Google, but a lack of imagination.”
8.    Making Things in Academic Libraries
“The past few months have seen lots of discussion about makerspaces in libraries. What’s a makerspace? Buffy Hamilton’s great post over at the Unquiet Librarian has a couple of good definitions, but essentially it’s a place for folks to make things, perhaps writing and illustrating a zine, using the open source Arduino computing platform to program a robot, screenprinting, or creating model houses with a 3D printer. Makerspaces often include tools and equipment that are too expensive or specialized for most people to have in their homes, as well as provide a gathering place for like-minded hobbyists to create and collaborate.”
9.    Makerspaces Move into Academic Libraries
“During the past year, makerspaces have been gaining traction in libraries. A makerspace is a place where people come together to design and build projects. Makerspaces typically provide access to materials, tools, and technologies to allow for hands-on exploration and participatory learning. They are occasionally referred to as fablabs, hackerspaces or tech shops.”
10. Manufacturing Makerspaces
“Kids gather to make Lego robots; teens create digital music, movies, and games with computers and mixers; and students engineer new projects while adults create prototypes for small business products with laser cutters and 3D printers. Many libraries across the US have developed makerspaces—places to create, build, and craft—and they are experiencing increased visits and demand as a result. For public libraries, they are places to promote community engagement. For academic libraries, they are places where students and faculty feel welcome to do classwork and research.”
11. The Library as a Makerspace
“Libraries are no longer simply a holding area for books, they are community hubs. People gather at the library to share ideas and enrich their lives. Computers and internet are now standard in libraries and are often in demand. Unemployed individuals can come to the library and apply for jobs. Kids can do their homework (or play games) at the library. But did you know that libraries are now becoming much more than books, computers and internet? Libraries are becoming creation spaces, often called maker spaces (or makerspaces).”
12. Fab Labs at the Library
There’s something unusual sitting in the parking lot of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind. Pay a visit to the 50-foot trailer and you might be surprised with what you find. Inside are various tools for cutting and shaping wooden objects, an electronics work bench, an injection molding machine and one of the most advanced gadgets for inventors, a 3-D printer.

13. Maker Faire Events
The Maker Faire is a festival of invention and celebration of the Maker movement. “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.”

14. The Maker Map
An online and mobile map of makerspaces in museums, retail outlets, etc. Why aren’t Libraries a category in this application? Perhaps not enough of them are listed as having makerspaces! Libraries offering this type of DIY space will want to list themselves here.
15. Hackerspaces
This is a directory of events and listing of all active hackerspaces throughout the world as well as a source of information and resources.
16. Makerspace
This is a directory of makerspaces as well as a community and source of information and teacher resources.