Trends in the Finances of UK Higher Education Libraries: 1999-2009

The Research Information Network has released Trends in the Finances of UK Higher Education Libraries: 1999-2009.

Here's an excerpt:

The last decade has been a period of unprecedented change for university libraries. The rapid growth in numbers of students and staff across the higher education sector has been accompanied by the move to a substantially-digital environment, with some fundamental changes in how libraries and their users operate. Further change is on the way, with unpredictable implications for students, academic staff, and for libraries. As they have responded to new developments over the past decade, and changed their operations, most university libraries have seen continued growth in their budgets in real terms. The next few years are going to be much more difficult in financial terms. Libraries therefore face a period in which they will have to cope with continued rapid, perhaps transformational, change, accompanied by reductions in their budgets.

In that context, this briefing paper looks at how the financial position of libraries in the higher education sector has changed over the period between 1999 and 2009 (the latest year for which statistics are available). It is based on an analysis of data collected by SCONUL, and also draws some comparisons with the US. For some twenty years SCONUL has collected annual figures for a wide range of activities and costs amongst its members in UK higher education. SCONUL data are available in annual volumes from academic year 1993-94 onwards.

Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report

The Association of College and Research Libraries has released the Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Developed for ACRL by Megan Oakleaf of the iSchool at Syracuse University, this valuable resource reviews the quantitative and qualitative literature, methodologies and best practices currently in place for demonstrating the value of academic libraries. The full report, along with supplemental materials, is available online at http://www.acrl.ala.org/value/. . . .

The primary objective of this comprehensive review is to provide academic librarians and institutional leaders with a clearer understanding of what research about the performance of academic libraries already exists and where gaps in this research occur. The report additionally identifies the most promising best practices and measures correlated to performance and represents a starting point to assist college, university and community college librarians in gathering evidence to tell the story of their libraries and promote dialogue on the value of the academic library in higher education. . . .

The full report is now available on the ACRL website, along with a separate executive summary for distribution to campus decision makers, a bibliography of sources consulted in the development of the report, a podcast interview with Hinchliffe and Oakleaf and links to additional resources.

The Rise of Apps Culture

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has released The Rise of Apps Culture.

Here's an excerpt:

The most recent Pew Internet Project survey asked a national sample of 1,917 cell phone-using adults if they use apps and how they use them. Broadly, the results indicate that while apps are popular among a segment of the adult cell phone using population, a notable number of cell owners are not yet part of the emerging apps culture.. . .

Of the 82% of adults today who are cell phone users, 43% have software applications or "apps" on their phones. When taken as a portion of the entire U.S. adult population, that equates to 35% who have cell phones with apps. . . .

Yet having apps and using apps are not synonymous. Of those who have apps on their phones, only about two-thirds of this group (68%) actually use that software. Overall, that means that 24% of U.S. adults are active apps users. Older adult cell phone users in particular do not use the apps that are on their phones, and one in ten adults with a cell phone (11%) are not even sure if their phone is equipped with apps.

Summary Findings of NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants (2007–2010)

The Office of Digital Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities has released Summary Findings of NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants (2007–2010) .

Here's an excerpt:

The bulk of this summary report reflects work done by the NEH's Kathy Toavs who got in touch with 51 of the project directors from the first two years of the program (2007 and 2008). We chose just the first two years because we wanted to talk to project directors who had concluded their work to find out more about outcomes. Kathy provides an overview of her research including a thorough discussion of the many publications, conferences, Web sites, and software tools that emerged from the first two years of the SUG program [Start-Up Grant program]. She also asked the project directors for their feedback on the program and Kathy provides an excellent summary of their thoughts.

FCC: Internet Access Services: Status as of June 2009

The Federal Communications Commission has released Internet Access Services: Status as of June 2009.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Report highlights include the following, as of June 2009:

  • Out of a total of 71 million fixed – as opposed to mobile – connections to households, only 44% met or exceeded the speed tier that most closely approximates the universal availability target set in the National Broadband Plan of 4 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream
  • The number of mobile wireless service subscribers with data plans for full Internet access increased by 40% over the first six months of 2009, to 35 million
  • Cable modem connections increased by 3% to 41 million and aDSL by 1% to 31 million in the first six months of 2009
  • A 23% increase in fiber connections, to 4 million, was the largest rate of increase among fixed-location technologies
  • Satellite Internet connections increased by 6% to 1 million

Handheld E-Book Readers and Scholarship: Report and Reader Survey

The American Council of Learned Societies has released Handheld E-Book Readers and Scholarship: Report and Reader Survey.

Here's an excerpt:

This report describes a conversion experiment and subsequent reader survey conducted by ACLS Humanities E-Book (HEB) in late 2009 and early 2010 to assess the viability of using scholarly monographs with handheld e-readers. Scholarly content generally involves extensive networking and cross-referencing between individual works through various channels, including bibliographical citation and subsequent analysis and discussion. Through past experience with its online collection, HEB had already determined that a web-based platform lends itself well to presenting this type of material, but was interested in exploring which key elements would need to be replicated in the handheld edition in order to maintain the same level of functionality, as well as what specific factors from either print or digital publishing would have to be taken into account. As sample content, HEB selected six titles from its own online collection, three in a page-image format with existing OCR-derived text and three encoded as XML files, and had these converted by an outside vendor with minimal editorial intervention into both MOBI (prc) and ePub files.

Mobile Strategy Report, Mobile Device User Research

The California Digital Library has released Mobile Strategy Report, Mobile Device User Research.

Here's an excerpt:

This report is a collection of findings and recommendations from a mobile device user research project conducted in the summer of 2010. The California Digital Library undertook this project for three reasons:

  1. CDL wanted to understand how the proliferation of mobile devices with internet access in the general public and the explosion of mobile tools and products in higher education and libraries affect CDL constituents and services.
  2. UC campus libraries expressed a need for guidance regarding mobile access.
  3. CDL programs were trying to understand if they needed to support users in a mobile capacity and if there were opportunities for new ways to meet user needs.

In order to answer these questions, we performed an extensive literature review and conducted user research. The literature review helped us to clarify what is happening in the mobile world in terms of technology changes, device ownership, internet access, and mobile projects, especially within the higher education and library spheres.

We wanted to learn additional details about the role mobile devices play in the lives of CDL constituents. Very little literature focuses on academic populations in regard to mobile devices, and even then it usually focuses on undergraduate students. We wanted to expand this study to faculty, graduate students, and academic librarians. We sought information about the kinds of devices users owned, how they used mobile devices with internet, and what kinds of preferences and frustrations they encounter while using mobile devices as part of their academic lives.

Based on these findings, we developed both specific and general strategic recommendations in order to guide CDL in supporting and developing mobile access to its services.

Read more about it at "All Things Mobile."

IFLA World Report 2010

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions has released the IFLA World Report 2010.

Here's an excerpt from the "Analysis and Conclusions" section of the report:

Open Access to information resources can contribute to reduce the impact of the digital divide. The fact that respondents that provided data for the specific questions indicated that nearly 90% of library associations are in favour of Open Access and that there are Open Access initiatives in about 76% of countries, is a very positive development. According to respondents copyright laws exist in 110 countries and in 72 countries the copyright laws include limitations or exceptions for libraries; 85 respondents reported that their countries have legislation that guarantees freedom of access to information and freedom of expression. These are all very positive aspects. Library associations and library communities across the world should endeavour to increase these numbers and to ensure that the principles underlying the questions are implemented and safeguarded in their countries.

Violations of freedom of expression and freedom of access to information are still very prevalent in many countries in all regions of the world. Interestingly enough very few respondents have reported on such incidents in their countries and most of the information comes from third-party sources—only 21 respondents have highlighted any issues, whereas the consulted third-party sources have listed issues in at least 109 countries (compared to 19 and 82 respectively in 2007). The fact that only a few respondents have reported incidents is worrisome, regardless of the reason for this. On the other hand, the fact that there are so many countries in which such incidents take place, should be a matter of grave concern to IFLA and the library community in general.

Access to Knowledge: A Guide for Everyone

Consumers International has released Access to Knowledge: A Guide for Everyone.

Here's an excerpt:

Access to knowledge (A2K) is the umbrella term for a movement that aims to create more equitable public access to the products of human culture and learning.

Fields of advocacy that it subsumes include most centrally copyright and patent law reform, open access, open data and open standards, but also access to public information, broader communications rights such as freedom of expression, and issues around ownership of and participation in public media.

The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age

The Council on Library and Information Resources and the Library of Congress have released The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age.

Here's an excerpt:

The publication of The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States is a landmark achievement in the history of the archival preservation of audiovisual materials. The authors, Rob Bamberger and Sam Brylawski, have produced a study outlining the web of interlocking issues that now threaten the long-term survival of our sound recording history. This study tells us that major areas of America’s recorded sound heritage have already been destroyed or remain inaccessible to the public. It suggests that the lack of conformity between federal and state laws may adversely affect the long-term survival of pre-1972-era sound recordings in particular. And, it warns that the continued lack of national coordination among interested parties in the public and private sectors, in addressing the challenges in preservation, professional education and public access, may not yet be arresting permanent loss of irreplaceable sound recordings in all genres.

Opening the Door: How Faculty Authors Can Implement an Open Access Policy at Their Institutions

Science Commons has released Opening the Door: How Faculty Authors Can Implement an Open Access Policy at Their Institutions.

Here's an excerpt:

This White Paper is intended as a companion to the "Open Doors and Open Minds" SPARC/Science Commons White Paper of April 2008. The purpose of this companion paper is to provide the legal and statutory bases for implementation of an open access policy, as well as to explain best practices for implementation of that policy. It is intended to be used by faculty and administrators interested in implementing an open access policy at their own educational institutions.

See also: Open Doors and Open Minds: What Faculty Authors Can Do to Ensure Open Access to Their Work through Their Institution.

Long-Term Preservation Services: A Description of LTP Services in a Digital Library Environment

The British Library, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, and Nasjonalbiblioteket have released Long-Term Preservation Services: A Description of LTP Services in a Digital Library Environment.

Here's an excerpt:

The main focus of this document is long-term preservation, but considered as an integral part of the overall digital library capability within a library and the corresponding workflows. We therefore seek information about long-term preservation within this broader context. Principles and implementation may vary greatly, and we are open to alternative approaches.

The document starts with an overview of all the types of services involved in LTP, and shows how different institutions might draw the boundaries between the LTP and a wider digital library capability. We then take the three core functions of an LTP system (to ingest, retain, and provide access to digital content) and show how the services work together to fulfill each function. Finally, we give a detailed description of each type of service.

Older Adults and Social Media: Social Networking Use among Those Ages 50 and Older Nearly Doubled over the Past Year

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has released Older Adults and Social Media: Social Networking Use among Those Ages 50 and Older Nearly Doubled over the Past Year.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

While social media use has grown dramatically across all age groups, older users have been especially enthusiastic over the past year about embracing new networking tools. Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010.

  • Between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%—from 25% to 47%.
  • During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%—from 13% to 26%.
  • By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13%—from 76% to 86%.

University Investment in the Library, Phase II: An International Study of the Library’s Value to the Grants Process

Elsevier has released University Investment in the Library, Phase II: An International Study of the Library's Value to the Grants Process by Carol Tenopir (with other contributors).

Here's an excerpt:

The results demonstrate the value of the library to the institution in improving grant proposal and report writing and in helping to attract grant income. Library e-collections especially play a vital role in all aspects of grants, from proposal writing to final reports. The study across countries also shows how some specific factors within an institution (such as subject focus) or factors within a country (such as sources for grants funding) can influence the ROI for grants income. This report continues the ongoing discussion of ROI and academic libraries.

Preserving Digital Public Television: Final Report

The NDIIPP-funded Preserving Digital Public Television project has released Preserving Digital Public Television: Final Report.

Here's an excerpt:

The goals of the PDPTV project were to:

  • Design and build a prototype preservation repository for born-digital public television content;
  • Develop a set of standards for metadata, file and encoding formats, and production workflow practices;
  • Recommend selection criteria for long-term retention;
  • Examine issues of long-term content accessibility and methods for sustaining digital preservation of public television materials, including IP concerns.
  • Introduce the importance of digital preservation to the public broadcasting community.

Digital Preservation: PARSE.Insight Presentations and Report

PARSE.Insight (Permanent Access to the Records of Science in Europe) has released several presentations and reports.

Mobile Access 2010

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has released Mobile Access 2010

Here's an excerpt:

Six in ten American adults are now wireless internet users, and mobile data applications have grown more popular over the last year.

As of May 2010, 59% of all adult Americans go online wirelessly. Our definition of a wireless internet user includes the following activities:

  • Going online with a laptop using a wi-fi connection or mobile broadband card. Roughly half of all adults (47%) go online in this way, up from the 39% who did so at a similar point in 2009.
  • Use the internet, email or instant messaging on a cell phone. Two in five adults (40%) do at least one of these using a mobile device, an increase from the 32% of adults who did so in 2009.

Taken together, 59% of American adults now go online wirelessly using either a laptop or cell phone, an increase over the 51% of Americans who did so at a similar point in 2009.

Millennials Will Make Online Sharing in Networks a Lifelong Habit

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has released Millennials Will Make Online Sharing in Networks a Lifelong Habit.

Here's an excerpt:

In a survey about the future impact of the internet, a solid majority of technology experts and stakeholders said the Millennial generation will lead society into a new world of personal disclosure and information-sharing using new media. These experts said the communications patterns "digital natives" have already embraced through their use of social networking technology and other social technology tools will carry forward even as Millennials age, form families, and move up the economic ladder.

Assessment of the Orphan Works Issue and Costs for Rights Clearance

The European Commission has released Assessment of the Orphan Works Issue and Costs for Rights Clearance.

Here's an excerpt:

Orphan works form a significant part of any digitisation project and the survey shows high percentages of orphan works for almost all categories of works, especially among photographs, and audiovisual materials.

  • A conservative estimate of the number of orphan books as a percentage of in copyright books across Europe puts the number at 3 million orphan books (13 % of the total number of in-copyright books). The older the books the higher the percentage of orphan works.
  • When handling requests for using older film material, film archives from across Europe categorized after a search for right holders 129,000 film works as orphan which could therefore not be used. Works that can be presumed to be orphan without actually searching for the right holders augments the figure to approximately 225 000 film works.
  • A digitisation project in the UK found that 95 % of newspapers from before 1912 are orphan. Also, a survey amongst museums in the UK found that the rights holders of 17 million photographs (that is 90% of the total collections of photographs of the museums) could not be traced.

State Funding for Higher Education in FY 2009 and FY 2010

The National Conference of State Legislatures has released State Funding for Higher Education in FY 2009 and FY 2010.

Here's an excerpt:

The following information summarizes the findings for FY 2010, including the impact of ARRA [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] funds:

  • Thirty-nine of the 46 reporting states used fiscal stabilization funds to support higher education, resulting in a 2.3 percent increase in year-over-year higher education funding. Without ARRA, funding would have decreased 2.5 percent.
  • Ten states reported increases of more than 5 percent in FY 2010 higher education appropriations.
  • Even with the ARRA money, 23 states reported funding decreases from FY 2009 levels, with eight states reporting drops of more than 5 percent. Hawaii and Idaho reported declines of more than 10 percent.

If You Build It, Will They Come? How Researchers Perceive and Use Web 2.0

The Research Information Network has released If You Build It, Will They Come? How Researchers Perceive and Use Web 2.0.

Here's an excerpt:

Over the past 15 years, the web has transformed the way we seek and use information. In the last 5 years in particular a set of innovative techniques—collectively termed 'web 2.0'—have enabled people to become producers as well as consumers of information.

It has been suggested that these relatively easy-to-use tools, and the behaviours which underpin their use, have enormous potential for scholarly researchers, enabling them to communicate their research and its findings more rapidly, broadly and effectively than ever before.

This report is based on a study commissioned by the Research Information Network to investigate whether such aspirations are being realised. It seeks to improve our currently limited understanding of whether, and if so how, researchers are making use of various web 2.0 tools in the course of their work, the factors that encourage or inhibit adoption, and researchers’ attitudes towards web 2.0 and other forms of communication.

Report on Open Repository Development in Developing and Transition Countries

The eIFL-OA Program has released Report on Open Repository Development in Developing and Transition Countries.

Here's an excerpt:

This study was conducted with the cooperation of eIFL.net, the University of Kansas Libraries, the DRIVER project and Key Perspectives Ltd. The aim was to create an inventory of current digital repository activities in developing and transition countries at both the infrastructure and services level. This is the first attempt to collect such data about digital repository activity in developing and transition countries and we hope this will serve as a useful resource for promoting open access and repository development in these regions.

Institutional Repository Deposit: SWORD v2.0: Deposit Lifecycle

JISC has released SWORD v2.0: Deposit Lifecycle.

Here's an excerpt:

SWORD is a hugely successful JISC project which has kindled repository interoperability and built a community around the software and the problem space. It explicitly deals only with creating new repository resources by package deposit a simple case which is at the root of its success but also its key limitation. This next version of SWORD will push the standard towards supporting full repository deposit lifecycles by using update, retrieve and delete extensions to the specification. This will enable the repository to be integrated into a broader range of systems in the scholarly environment, by supporting an increased range of behaviours and use cases.

User Behaviour Observational Study: Scholarly Digital Use and Information-Seeking Behaviour in Business and Economics

JISC has released User Behaviour Observational Study: Scholarly Digital Use and Information-Seeking Behaviour in Business and Economics.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The report covers the digital usage and information seeking behaviour of tens of thousands of business/economics/management students, researchers and academic staff. The intention was to inform and provide a context for the small-scale but detailed observational and interview studies undertaken by Middlesex University researchers for a JISC funded User Behaviour Observational Study (Business and Economics). Much of the data were mined from CIBER’s Virtual Scholar research programme and has not been previously published in this form. New data was also obtained from the studies CIBER are currently conducting, especially from the JISC national E-book Observatory project and the RIN funded E-journals study. Log data, the main source of information on usage and information seeking, covers a period of more than five years and the questionnaire data represents more than 5000 people so this probably represents the biggest and most comprehensive usage data set ever assembled on the subject. E-books and e-journals are covered and usage at the three JISC User Behaviour Observational Study case study institutions—LSE, Middlesex and Cranfield, are highlighted A whole variety of analyses are featured including: volume and, patterns of use (in terms of visits and page views), dwell time (session and page times), type of content viewed (PDF, abstracts etc), number of pages viewed in a session, methods of navigating towards content, age of material viewed, and number of searches conducted, names of titles used, user’s organization, age and gender, hardcopy v digital preferences, viewing/reading behaviour.

Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025

The Association of College and Research Libraries has released Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025.

Here's an excerpt:

This document presents 26 possible scenarios based on an implications assessment of current trends, which may have an impact on all types of academic and research libraries over the next 15 years. The scenarios represent themes relating to academic culture, demographics, distance education, funding, globalization, infrastructure/facilities, libraries, political climate, publishing industry, societal values, students/learning, and technology. They are organized in a “scenario space” visualization tool, reflecting the expert judgment of ACRL members as to their expectations and perceptions about the probability, impact, speed of change, and threat/opportunity potential of each scenario. Finally, the study draws out implications for academic libraries.