Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries

Posted in Digital Culture, Libraries on March 29th, 2010

The University of Washington Information School has released Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Nearly one-third of Americans age 14 or older—roughly 77 million people—used a public library computer or wireless network to access the Internet in the past year, according to a national report released today. In 2009, as the nation struggled through a recession, people relied on library technology to find work, apply for college, secure government benefits, learn about critical medical treatments, and connect with their communities.

The report, Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries, is based on the first, large-scale study of who uses public computers and Internet access in public libraries, the ways library patrons use this free technology service, why they use it, and how it affects their lives. It was conducted by the University of Washington Information School and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. . . .

The report's findings are based on nearly 50,000 surveys—including 3,176 from a national telephone survey and 44,881 web survey responses—from patrons of more than 400 public libraries across the country.

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    Digital Scholarship 2009 Published

    Posted in Bibliographies, Digital Scholarship Publications, Scholarly Communication on March 28th, 2010

    Digital Scholarship has published Digital Scholarship 2009. The book includes four bibliographies: the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography: 2009 Annual Edition, the Institutional Repository Bibliography, the Electronic Theses and Dissertations Bibliography, and the Google Book Search Bibliography. The 504-page, 6" by 9" paperback is available from CreateSpace for $18.95. The book will also be available from Amazon.com in approximately two weeks and from CreateSpace's Expanded Distribution Channel (includes library distribution via Ingram's Lightning Source) in about six weeks. A Kindle version will be released within the next two months.

    The longest bibliography in the book, the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography: 2009 Annual Edition, presents over 3,620 selected English-language articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet. Most sources have been published between 1990 and 2009; however, a limited number of key sources published prior to 1990 are also included.

    SEPB was chosen for inclusion in The Scout Report in 1996, 1998, and 2001 (the 2001 entry said: "Anyone involved in electronic publishing—research or practice—should bookmark this site if they haven't already").

    Péter Jacsó said in ONLINE (vol. 27, no. 3 2003, pp. 73-76):

    SEP [Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography] is compiled with utter professionalism. It reminds me of the work of the best artisans who know not only every item that leaves their workshops, but each component used to create them—providing the ideal quality control. . . . The selection of items is impeccable. I have yet to find journal articles irrelevant to the scope of the bibliography. SEP could be used as a benchmark in evaluating abstracting/indexing databases that proudly claim to have coverage of electronic publishing, but do not come close to SEP.

    Note on pricing: author royalties for the book in different CreateSpace sales channels under the Pro Plan are: Expanded Distribution Channel: $.69, Amazon.com: $4.48, and CreateSpace eStore: $8.27. Without the Pro Plan, author royalties would have been: Expanded Distribution Channel: not available, Amazon.com: -$0.35, and CreateSpace eStore: $3.58.

    Digital Scholarship 2009

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      Head of Library Technologies Librarian at Portland State University

      Posted in Digital Library Jobs, Library IT Jobs on March 28th, 2010

      The Portland State University Library is recruiting a Head of Library Technologies Librarian.

      Here's an excerpt from the ad:

      The Head of Library Technologies Librarian at the Portland State University Library provides a key role in the leadership of the Library's information technology infrastructure and services, including supervision of the Library Technologies team's activities and staff. This position oversees library technology projects and systems, and works with system vendors, programmers, librarians, staff, and public end-users to develop, evaluate, implement, and support a variety of systems. Services and systems currently include: the Library's integrated library system (Innovative Interfaces' Millennium system), the Library's multiple Web sites, servers, and interfaces; major applications for interlibrary loan and course reserves operations, the PSU digital repository, instructional technology, and provision of staff and public computing. This is a full-time, 12-month, unclassified, excluded, tenure-track position with the rank of Assistant Professor. This position reports to the Associate University Librarian, contributes to the profession through professional service and scholarly activities, and participates in faculty governance activities within the Library and University.

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        Research Libraries, Risk and Systemic Change

        Posted in Research Libraries on March 28th, 2010

        OCLC Research has released Research Libraries, Risk and Systemic Change.

        Here's an excerpt from the press release:

        This report provides an overview of the most significant risks facing research libraries and suggests strategies to mitigate them.

        OCLC Research engaged an organization experienced in conducting risk assessments for corporate, governmental and educational clients to identify the most significant risks facing research libraries in the United States. The data collected was assimilated, ranked and analyzed, which revealed a convergence of perceived risks and yielded a shared perspective on a landscape of challenges facing US research libraries.

        The descriptive categorization of these risks included in the report provide research libraries with a common vocabulary for identifying, evaluating and responding to shared challenges. They also help build the foundation to support movement toward cooperative mitigation of critical risks. Based on this foundation, OCLC Research intends to formulate a collaborative action agenda in partnership with the research library community.

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          Web Environment Manager at Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries

          Posted in Digital Library Jobs, Library IT Jobs on March 28th, 2010

          The Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries are recruiting a Web Environment Manager.

          Here's an excerpt from the ad:

          Reporting to the Head of Library Information Systems, the Web Environment Manager assumes leadership for a continually evolving Web presence and for integrating a suite of library technology applications. Lead a team of one faculty member and two technical analysts in the Web Environment Group responsible for managing major library applications, including the VCU Libraries public Website, DSpace, SFX, MetaLib, CONTENTdm, ILLiad, and the staff intranet. Work cooperatively with other areas of the library to create a vision for the VCU Libraries Web and to support day-to-day needs in a distributed publishing environment. Create unified, compelling, and scalable interfaces to the VCU Libraries public Website, staff intranet, library enterprise systems, and cloud presences. Develop partnerships with other technology units at VCU. Contribute to Web policy, standards, and documentation. Anticipate the need for design and programming enhancements to fulfill the information and research needs of the University community. The Web Environment Manager is expected to be active professionally and to contribute to developments in the field. Faculty with the VCU Libraries are evaluated, and promoted, on the basis of job performance, scholarship, and professional development and service.

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            Overview of Open Access Models for eBooks in the Humanities and Social Sciences

            Posted in Digital Humanities, E-Books, Open Access, Scholarly Books on March 28th, 2010

            Open Access Publishing in European Networks has released Overview of Open Access Models for eBooks in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

            Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

            A new survey of Open Access book publishing confirms a wide variety of approaches, as well as a continuing search for the optimal publishing and business models. While Open Access is still in an experimental phase of trying out new models, and tracking the readers’ online and offline preferences to gauge the best way forward, some trends and patterns have started to emerge.

            This recently conducted survey of a wide international range of publishing initiatives compares the publishing- and business models they employ, while examining their reasons for engaging in Open Access. The report cites findings from case studies including major academic presses (such as Yale University Press, the MIT Press, the University of California Press), commercial publishers (Bloomsbury Academic), library-press partnerships (the University of Michigan Press), academic led-presses (Open Humanities Press), commercial-academic press ventures, as well as other partnerships, which all offer Open Access to anything from a single title to the entire retro-digitized backlist.

            While it is too early to confirm with any certainty which models are the most viable in the long term, it is clear that sustainable long-term business models require a measure of external funding, while cutting costs and creating efficiencies through the use of shared resources, digitized production process and a new range of revenue sources.

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              Last Week’s DigitalKoans Tweets 2010-03-28

              Posted in Last Week's DigitalKoan's Tweets on March 28th, 2010
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                University of North Texas Preparing Open Access Policy for Consideration

                Posted in Open Access, Texas Academic Libraries on March 25th, 2010

                The University of North Texas is preparing an open access policy for consideration by faculty. To facilitate this initiative, UNT "will become the first public university in the state to begin a focused discussion on an open access policy" when it hosts an Open Access Symposium in May. The Symposium "is intended to move UNT and other academic institutions in Texas forward in consideration of institutional open access policies."

                Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                Sponsored by UNT's Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the College of Information and UNT Libraries, the symposium may be the catalyst to position UNT as a state leader in open access, said Dr. Martin Halbert, dean of the UNT Libraries.

                Before becoming the dean last fall, Halbert was director of digital innovations for the libraries at Emory University in Atlanta, where the Faculty Council approved a motion last year to allow the Library Policy Committee and Center for Faculty Development and Excellence to embark on a series of open access conversations with faculty groups before developing an open access/rights retention policy for the university. . . .

                Organizers of the Open Access Symposium said they hope that the draft of an open access policy for UNT, which will be written by a committee created by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, will be ready for campuswide discussions soon. The policy will draw from policies already adopted by other universities, including Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Kansas.

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                  Web Coordinator & Information Service Librarian at Boston University Medical Library

                  Posted in Library IT Jobs on March 25th, 2010

                  The Boston University Alumni Medical Library is recruiting a Web Coordinator & Information Service Librarian.

                  Here's an excerpt from the ad (tracking code: 5197):

                  The position has primary responsibility for development, design, updating, maintenance, evaluation, and overall coordination of the Library's My SQL/Cold Fusion database-driven website. This position provides information skills education and participates in the development of the BUSM curriculum database and other curriculum-support in-class resources, online tutorials, online assessment and evaluation tools, and recommends and uses new software and technologies for the Library's website and web-based education support. This position will also be responsible for staffing the Reference desk and providing general reference services, and assisting patrons conducting literature searches.

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                    ACRL, ALA, ARL, and Others Send U.S. Trade Representative Letter about ACTA

                    Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on March 25th, 2010

                    ACRL, ALA, ARL, and other organizations have sent a letter about the secret ACTA negotiations to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk.

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    This recent leak of a full [ACTA] text heightens our concern that this negotiation is not primarily about counterfeiting or piracy; nor is at all about trade law. The public rationale that the treaty would not impinge on domestic law has been placed in doubt—particularly when one considers whose domestic law would be endangered. As Google executives have recently experienced, it is not only U.S. domestic law that has consequences for U.S. technologists and service providers. Similarly, domestic interests in other participating countries should consider themselves at risk from provisions that are novel or antithetical to their national law.

                    The leaked text reveals detailed substantive attention to core principles of any nation’s intellectual property law:

                    • Whether copyright plaintiffs may or shall have the option of receiving pre-established damage awards that have little or no relation to any harm that has been suffered.
                    • The extent to which principles of inducement, newly introduced by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Grokster case, are to be accepted as supporting a separate basis for copyright liability or are a gloss on existing principles of contributory and vicarious infringement. This is not yet clear even in the United States.
                    • The export of secondary liability principles to ACTA countries without simultaneously including the limitations and exceptions contained both in U.S. statutory law (e.g., fair use) and in the significant court decisions limiting secondary liability (e.g., Sony).
                    • How technological measure anti-circumvention provisions are to be interpreted and applied, whether they will apply to access to works, whether they are to be limited to circumventions for infringing purposes, and whether account will be taken of the variations in national law, practice, and context, such as U.S. adherence to fair use and the imposition of levies under other national law.
                    • The extent to which a "three strikes" approach and express or implied "filtering" mandates are to be imposed on ISPs.

                    U.S. negotiators have assured the Congress and the public that they cannot and will not agree to any provision that is contrary to domestic law. Other national negotiators have likely given similar assurances at home, publicly or privately. Hence the annotated documents appear rife with linguistic tugs and footnotes. To the extent compromise is achieved through ambiguity, no national of any participant nation will have assurance that domestic law will not be affected.

                    The time for public discussion as to exactly what this document will and won’t do is now.

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                      Web Services Coordinator, Teaching & Learning Resources at DePaul University

                      Posted in Library IT Jobs on March 25th, 2010

                      DePaul University is recruiting a Web Services Coordinator, Teaching & Learning Resources.

                      Here's an excerpt from the ad (requisition #16182):

                      The Web Services Coordinator for Teaching & Learning Resources (TLR) will jointly report to the Director of Library Information & Discovery Systems and the Director of Instructional Design and Development. This position will lead the collaborative design and development of web-based services across all library, instructional design, and museum platforms and interfaces. S/he will collaborate with TLR colleagues as well as University Information Services (IS) technologists, among other stake holders, to coordinate technical implementations, integrate applications according to guidelines and standards for web content management, and conceptualize new user-centered designs, including the effective incorporation of Web 2.0 technologies that extend and enhance the University's diverse teaching and learning resources. Other responsibilities include support for faculty development in the use of technology in teaching and learning and active participation in local, state, regional, national, or international organizations related to interface design and academic computing.

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                        ACRL, ALA, ARL, and Others Respond to U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator's Request

                        Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars on March 25th, 2010

                        ACRL, ALA, ARL, and other organizations have responded to the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator's "Coordination and Strategic Planning of the Federal Effort against Intellectual Property Infringement: Request of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for Public Comments Regarding the Joint Strategic Plan."

                        Here's an excerpt from the ALA, ACRL, and ARL letter:

                        ARL, ALA, and ACRL believe it is very important that the IPEC has asked that assertions about the costs of intellectual property infringement clearly identify the methodology used and any critical assumptions relied upon to calculate those costs, as well as a copy or citation to the source of any data. As the comments of CCIA and the NetCoalition make clear, industry-commissioned studies rarely, if ever, rise to a level of rigor that justifies emergency intervention along the lines that content industries routinely demand. Rather, they are shot through with fallacies and sleights of hand that have done more to confuse and confound this discussion than to contribute to it. We refer you to the comments of CCIA and the NetCoalition for a detailed discussion of the problems with these studies and the arguments that are made in connection with them.

                        The fundamental flaw of these studies is that they beg the question of whether a particular private business interest is entitled to government protection for perpetual, stable profits regardless of changing business conditions. The mere fact of declining profits in one business model does not constitute a cognizable harm that government must step in to remedy. Government intervention in any area has costs for taxpayers, and in this area there are added costs to the public when IP policy becomes further slanted in favor of rightsholders and against public access and use.

                        Here's an excerpt from the American Association of Law Libraries, EFF, Medical Library Association, Public Knowledge, Special Libraries Association, and U.S. PRIG letter:

                        Thus, when determining enforcement priorities, the government should be guided by three principles. First, it should only seek to prevent private economic harms when the costs of enforcement do not exceed the harm caused. Second, it should pursue harms that meet the standards for criminal conduct. When society marks certain conduct as criminal, it authorizes public enforcement, recognizes that deterrent (as opposed to merely remedial) actions are more appropriate, and allows that in an individual case the cost of punishing the violation may outweigh the economic harm of the violation itself because of the moral wrong committed. Third, publicly funded enforcement resources should be reserved for clear violations of the law, rather than in "gray areas" characterized by uncertain and evolving legal or marketplace norms. The government should spend public funds on enforcement only when all three of these principles are met.

                        Read more about it at "ALA Calls for Openness in Copyright Negotiations and Enforcement Efforts," "Groups Ask Targeted Enforcement for Intellectual Property," and "Public Interest Groups Call on IP Czar to Get the Priorities Straight."

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