ALA Report: The Condition of U.S. Libraries: Trends, 1999-2009

Posted in Libraries on January 13th, 2010

ALA has released The Condition of U.S. Libraries: Trends, 1999-2009.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

At every turn, news reports and research indicate fairly dramatic changes in U.S. library funding, services and staffing – most occurring in the last 18 months. According to a new report prepared by the American Library Association (ALA), libraries of all types are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn while managing sky-high use.

Compiled from a broad range of available sources, The Condition of Libraries: 1999-2009 presents U.S. economic trends (2009), and summarizes trends in public, school and academic libraries across several library measures, including expenditures, staffing and services. The report also highlights trends in services provided to libraries by library cooperatives and consortia.

“This report was prepared to inform and assist library leaders as they plan in these very difficult times,” said ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels. “It succinctly brings together diverse strands of data from the past decade to provide a useful benchmark for the library community and its advocates.”

As communities and academic campuses develop future fiscal plans, it is clear that all types of libraries are visibly hard hit. In a fall 2009 report prepared by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 34 states had reported cuts to higher education, which impacts academic libraries; and 25 states had cut funding to K-12, which impacts school libraries. Total state budget shortfalls for fiscal year 2010 are $178 billion, and FY2011 are estimated to be roughly the same.

Public libraries also have been affected. While the full impact of the economic downturn remains fluid and the data challenging to assemble, what is known is that flat funding has been an obstacle—perhaps even a chronic problem—for many libraries this entire decade. Confirming evidence from a 2006 ALA study of public library funding, a 2009 survey conducted as part of the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study revealed a worsening of funding – about 20 percent reported flat funding continuing in FY2010 and a majority reported budget reductions. Of those with budget cuts, about 20 percent reported 5-to-10 percent reductions in FY2010 from FY2009.

Library trends include. . .

College and University Libraries

  • While student enrollment at colleges and universities has declined since 2004, library use continues to increase. During a typical week in 2008, academic libraries reported more than 20.3 million visits, up from 18.7 million in 2006. They also provided more than 498,000 informational services to groups attended by more than 8.9 million students and faculty, up from 471,000 sessions attended by 8.3 million in 2006;
  • In fall 2008, 72 percent of academic libraries reported providing library reference service by e-mail or the Web, about the same as in 2006; and
  • Operating expenditures rose modestly during the period 2002 to 2008.
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    Systems Librarian/Library Technology Manager at Illinois Institute of Technology

    Posted in Library IT Jobs on January 13th, 2010

    The Paul V. Galvin Library at the Illinois Institute of Technology is recruiting a Systems Librarian/Library Technology Manager.

    Here's an excerpt from ad:

    Design, implement, and manage a broad range of information technology-based systems and services for the Galvin Library, three branch libraries, and IIT Archives. Collaborate with library staff on the development of technology-supported services in support of teaching, learning, and research.

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      Lawrence Lessig on "Open Content and the Ethics of Science"

      Posted in Scholarly Communication on January 13th, 2010

      A presentation by Lawrence Lessig, Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, on "Open Content and the Ethics of Science" at the University of Amsterdam Symposium on Open Content is now available on

      1. Video of Lessig speaking
      2. Slides synchronized to speech audio
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        Director, Integrated Library Systems at University of Southern California

        Posted in Library IT Jobs on January 13th, 2010

        The University of Southern California Libraries are recruiting a Director, Integrated Library Systems.

        Here's an excerpt from the ad:

        The Director, Integrated Library Systems (ILS) provides leadership in the planning, implementation, and management of the USC Libraries’ core library information systems and software such as the ILS and related systems such as open URL resolvers and electronic resources management systems, ensuring that these services support the USC Libraries Strategic Plan. The Director, ILS supervises the ILS unit and works collaboratively with library personnel and campus users to identify, recommend, implement, test and maintain software and provide user and operational support for library systems. The Director is also responsible for identifying gaps in service and recommending enhancements and improvements to address these areas. . . .

        Reporting to the Associate Dean with responsibility for technology, the Director, ILS manages the ILS unit and has responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the ILS (SirsiDynix Unicorn/Symphony) and will assume a leadership role in envisioning and defining services and/or improvements that could be provided by the ILS. The Director, ILS works closely with the Director of Technical Services and Director of the Digital Library and consults with Library administrators and colleagues to establish priorities within the department for maintenance, software upgrades and other enhancements; administers, directs, and reviews ILS systems; assesses internal and external user needs, participates in the strategic planning process and identifies new services and/or improvements for ILS users in consultation with Public Services and Technical Services personnel; supervises technical staff responsible for the functions of library systems; serves as the technical liaison to the ILS managers in USC’s Law Library and Health Sciences Libraries; tracks projects and ensures that new services, upgrades and enhancements approved by the Dean’s Cabinet are implemented in a timely fashion and tested prior to release; defines and refines processes and procedures related to the ILS unit and its interaction with users of the ILS system both internal and external to the USC Libraries; develops and manages the budget for the ILS unit and ensures that services offered by the ILS unit meet users expectations for cost and timeliness.

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          "Google Book Search and the Future of Books in Cyberspace"

          Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, E-Books, Google and Other Search Engines, Mass Digitizaton, Publishing on January 13th, 2010

          Pamela Samuelson has self-archived "Google Book Search and the Future of Books in Cyberspace" in SSRN.

          Here's an excerpt:

          The Google Book Search (GBS) initiative once promised to test the bounds of fair use, as the company started scanning millions of in-copyright books from the collections of major research libraries. The initial goal of this scanning was to make indexes of the books’ contents and to provide short snippets of book contents in response to pertinent search queries. The Authors Guild and five trade publishers sued Google in the fall of 2005 charging that this scanning activity was copyright infringement. Google defended by claiming fair use. Rather than litigating this important issue, however, the parties devised a radical plan to restructure the market for digital books, which was announced on October 28, 2008, by means of a class action settlement of the lawsuits. Approval of this settlement would give Google—and Google alone—a license to commercialize all out-of-print books and to make up to 20 per cent of their contents available in response to search queries (unless rights holders expressly forbade this).

          This article discusses the glowingly optimistic predictions about the future of books in cyberspace promulgated by proponents of the GBS settlement and contrasts them with six categories of serious reservations that have emerged about the settlement. These more pessimistic views of GBS are reflected in the hundreds objections and numerous amicus curiae briefs filed with the court responsible for determining whether to approve the settlement. GBS poses risks for publishers, academic authors and libraries, professional writers, and readers as well as for competition and innovation in several markets and for the cultural ecology of knowledge. Serious concerns have also been expressed about the GBS settlement as an abuse of the class action process because it usurps legislative prerogatives. The article considers what might happen to the future of books in cyberspace if the GBS deal is not approved and recommends that regardless of whether the GBS settlement is approved, a consortium of research libraries ought to develop a digital database of books from their collections that would enhance access to books without posing the many risks to the public interest that the GBS deal has created

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            University of Tennessee, Knoxville Gets IMLS Grant to Study Value of Academic Libraries

            Posted in ARL Libraries, Grants, Research Libraries on January 12th, 2010

            The University of Tennessee, Knoxville School of Information Sciences has been awarded an IMLS grant to study the value of academic libraries. It will collaborate with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Libraries and the Association of Research Libraries.

            Here's an excerpt from the press release :

            Carol Tenopir, a professor in the School of Information Sciences, is the lead investigator on the project; Paula Kaufman, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a co-principal investigator; and Martha Kyrillidou, Senior Director for Statistics and Service Quality Programs, is leading the project from ARL.

            The three-year grant, entitled "Value, Outcomes, and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries (Lib-Value)," will work to enrich, expand, test, and implement methodologies measuring the return on investment (ROI) in academic libraries.

            "There is an increasing need for academic librarians to demonstrate the return on investment and value of the library to the various stakeholders of the institution and to guide library management in the redirection of library funds to important products and services for the future," Tenopir said. Academic libraries actively participate in the many changes in scholarship, such as the move to e-science, collaborative and participatory scholarship, and focus on new materials such as data, multimedia, and born-digital assets. To remain relevant and central to the academic mission in the future, academic librarians need to be able to demonstrate the value that the academic library provides to the campus community using proven methods of measurement that will allow librarians to determine where their efforts should be concentrated and how funding should be allocated.

            The results of the study will provide evidence and a set of tested methodologies and tools to help academic librarians demonstrate how the library provides value to its constituents and ROI to its funders, and to measure which products and services are of most value to enhancing the university’s mission. This project will greatly expand upon earlier studies to consider multiple measures of value that the academic library brings to teaching/learning, research, and social/professional/public engagement functions of the academic institution.

            To ensure that the process will be rigorous, realistic, and highly visible in the academic library and university community, an experienced team of academic librarians and outstanding researchers bring their leadership, built on many years of experience, to the project. Two well-known researchers in the library field will serve as consultants: Bruce Kingma, an economist at Syracuse University, and Donald W. King, a statistician at the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill. Additional project participants include: Gayle Baker, Ken Wise, Rachel Fleming-May, Regina Mays, Crystal Sherline, and Andrea Baer at the University of Tennessee; Tina Chrzastowski at the University of Illinois; and Henry Gross, Gary Roebuck, and David Green at ARL.

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              Digital Programs Archivist at University of North Carolina at Charlotte

              Posted in Digital Library Jobs on January 12th, 2010

              The J. Murrey Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte is recruiting a Digital Programs Archivist.

              Here's an excerpt from the ad:


              • Collaborate in planning, creating, and managing digital collections
                • Implement quality control procedures
                • Prioritize and coordinate digital production
                • Investigate, plan, and manage format conversions and migration
                • Investigate and provide leadership in the implementation of appropriate metadata standards
              • Maintain and expand web applications on the Special Collections Website using standards-compliant markup, emerging web technologies, and best practices.
              • Collaborate in the planning, development, and implementation of electronic records preservation and access, particularly for University Archives related collections and manuscript collections
              • Provide leadership in defining preservation and access protocols for born-digital materials
              • Identify and collaborate with technical partners in Library Systems, UNC Charlotte ITS, and the College of Computing and Informatics to design and implement creative applications for access and preservation
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                A Landscape Study of Shared Infrastructure Services in the Australian Academic Sector

                Posted in Social Media/Web 2.0 on January 12th, 2010

                JISC has released A Landscape Study of Shared Infrastructure Services in the Australian Academic Sector.

                Here's an excerpt:

                In parallel with these investments, it has become evident that users in the higher education and academic sectors in Australia are choosing to use main stream Web 2.0 technologies in their daily work activities. However there is limited knowledge about who is using which Web 2.0 technologies and for what purposes. Moreover there is little information about why specific tools and services are chosen when institutional or nationally-funded services are available. JISC recently funded a study in the UK to investigate the adoption of Web 2.0 services by the higher education and academic sectors. The aim of this report is to survey the situation in Australia and hence enable comparisons with the UK. This survey therefore focuses on the current and active users of Web 2.0 tools and services in Australian Higher Education institutions and aims to identify what they are using and why.

                Although the UK leads Australia in the development of collaborative eResearch services, the results of the survey indicate that the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies in the higher education sector in Australia is not significantly dissimilar to the situation in the UK. Users prefer to use Web-based services that are already adopted by the wider community and that are free, robust, simple to sign on to, and easy to install and use. Examples include: FaceBook, YouTube, Skype and Twitter. Although the most active use of Web 2.0 has been by early adopters (people who are not afraid to try out new tools, experiment with them and promote them to colleagues and peers), this situation is changing as more Web 2.0 technologies are becoming broadly adopted by mainstream users. Because Australia has not had the same level of investment in cyberinfrastructure and lags behind the UK in the development of services, it has been able to take advantage of services developed in the UK and USA (e.g., RoMEO, Shibboleth) – as well as the recent explosion of free, open source Web 2.0 technologies. In some ways, this delayed investment has been an advantage because there is not an established pool of services that is being superseded by commercial and open source Web 2.0 technologies.

                See also the related report: Shared Infrastructure Services Landscape Study: A Survey of the Use of Web 2.0 Tools and Services in the UK HE Sector.

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                  Project Manager Library Digital Programs at Johns Hopkins University

                  Posted in Digital Library Jobs on January 12th, 2010

                  The Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University are recruiting a Project Manager Library Digital Programs (position duration is until July 31, 2014 with the possibility of extension).

                  Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                  The project manager is responsible for managing project communications, tasks, timelines, resources, fundraising, and grants for the Data Conservancy (DC), a $20 million project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Project Manager will reports directly to the Executive Director of the Data Conservancy and will be authorized to act on the Executive Director’s behalf when necessary.

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                    White House OSTP Asks for Additional Comments on Open Access until Jan. 21st

                    Posted in Open Access on January 12th, 2010

                    The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has requested additional comments about its public consultation on public access policy.

                    Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

                    Many of you expressed a desire for more time to engage in the Public Access Policy Forum post-holidays. We heard you! While Phase III ended on January 7th, we have launched a two-week bonus period for all of you who signed off for the holidays. Therefore, all three phases of the Forum will remain open through January 21st.

                    In hopes that you will continue to build and respond to the thoughtful comments of your peers, we ask you to visit the Public Access Policy Forum portion of our blog to see all relevant posts and submit your comments in the appropriate forum:

                    In addition, be sure to check out the many comments and proposals submitted to our inbox, to which you are also welcome to submit comments or documents. Some comments are just text; some have links to documents that have been submitted.

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                      Indiana University Gets $2.38 Million Grant from Mellon Foundation for Kuali OLE

                      Posted in Digital Libraries, ERM/Discovery Systems, Grants, ILS on January 11th, 2010

                      Indiana University has been awarded a $2.38 Million Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Kuali OLE (Open Library Environment) project.

                      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                      IU will lead the Kuali OLE (Open Library Environment) project, a partnership of research libraries dedicated to managing increasingly digital resources and collections. Together, these libraries will develop "community source" software that will be made available to libraries worldwide.

                      Kuali OLE (pronounced Oh-LAY) partners include Indiana University; Florida Consortium (University of Florida representing Florida International University, Florida State University, New College of Florida, Rollins College, University of Central Florida, University of Miami, University of South Florida and the Florida Center for Library Automation); Lehigh University; Triangle Research Libraries Network (represented by Duke University and North Carolina State University); University of Chicago; University of Maryland; University of Michigan; and the University of Pennsylvania.

                      Large academic research libraries such as these manage and provide access to millions of items, using software to track interrelated transactions that range from ordering and paying for items to loaning materials to library patrons.

                      As the nature of library collections expands to include more digital materials—including leased electronic journals and digitized photograph collections—libraries are increasingly interested in developing management software for these resources, said Interim Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries Carolyn Walters.

                      "Libraries now create, lease and share digital materials, but the systems in place for cataloging and tracking these items are based on print collections," said Walters. "With this project, we benefit from working together with a community of academic libraries that want to change the way that information is managed in the scholarly environment."

                      "Research libraries are in dire need of systems that can support the management of research collections for the next-generation scholar," said Robert H. McDonald, executive director for the project and IU's associate dean for library technologies. "This approach demonstrates the best of open-source software development, directed partnership resource needs, and a market of commercial support providers to truly align with the needs of research libraries within the higher education environment."

                      More than 200 libraries, educational institutions, professional organizations and businesses laid the groundwork for the Kuali OLE project by participating in the original OLE project, a design phase that was supported by an earlier grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and led by Duke University.

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                        Digital Library Software Engineer at Harvard

                        Posted in Digital Library Jobs on January 11th, 2010

                        The Office for Scholarly Communications at the Harvard University Library is recruiting a Digital Library Software Engineer.

                        Here's an excerpt from the ad:

                        The Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) oversees the mechanisms by which the fruits of scholarship are communicated within and without the University, with a special aim to increase the availability of the scholarly output of the University and maximize the efficiency with which scholarly materials are made available to members of the Harvard community and beyond. The OSC department of the Harvard University Library (HUL) seeks a programmer/analyst for development and support of the DASH open access digital scholarship repository. This is a unique opportunity to serve as the technical lead on a project to collect and share the University's research with the world. Please Note: This is a one year term appointment with possibility of renewal depending on funding and performance.

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                          Digital Scholarship

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