Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In September 2006, the Libraries embarked upon a series of studies of University of Minnesota scientists and graduate students in the sciences in order to understand and incorporate their unique information needs into projects underway in the Libraries and to develop new services and tools where needed. Through focus groups and interviews with over 70 deans, faculty members, and graduate students representing departments on the Twin Cities' campuses, from the Institute of Technology (a college that includes physical science departments and engineering), the College of Biological Sciences, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the Academic Health Center (which includes six health sciences schools and colleges and the University of Minnesota Duleth department of Pharmacy), the study concluded in May 2007.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

David W. Lewis

Dean of the IUPUI University Library

The wide application of digital technologies to scholarly communications has disrupted the model of academic library service that has been in place for the past century. Given the new Internet tools and the explosive growth of digital content available on the Web, it is now not entirely clear what an academic library should be. This article is an attempt to provide a strategy for academic libraries in what is left of the first quarter of the 21st century. There are five components of the model: 1.) Complete the migration from print to electronic collections; 2.) Retire legacy print collections; 3.) Redevelop library space; 4.) Reposition library and information tools, resources, and expertise; and 5.) Migrate the focus of collections from purchasing materials to curating content.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

By Anna Gold

E-Science, cyberinfrastructure – these ideas are at the heart of the great ambitions and promise of science in the new century. The last several decades of network- and computer-enabled work in science have produced untold amounts of data, leading to the challenge of developing practices to manage and provide access to this data. Along with oceans of data and technology, changes in the conduct and nature of science – notably new collaborative and computational science practices – present both novel requirements and exciting opportunities to succeed in meeting this challenge. A global effort is emerging to take collective responsibility for a growing yet still vulnerable investment in scientific data as a permanent part of scientific research communications and practices.

Today, everyone with a role in the traditional infrastructure of scientific research and communication is jockeying for a role in the emerging landscape of scientific data: national libraries; research funding agencies; universities and research libraries; and giants of the software and publishing industries. As roles and responsibilities get sorted out, librarians are testing the...

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

by Stephen Nichols

THE POINT, OF course, is that there is no "fuss" about digital scholarship—or none to speak of. And that is precisely the problem. Since the late Middle Ages, the book has been the standard vehicle for expressing ideas, for announcing innovations, and for debating change. Although books continue to have that role, print can no longer claim proprietary rights to disseminating and storing information. Indeed, it has been more than a generation since many scholars wrote anything in a non-digital format. Like every other segment of society, academics have adapted their modes of scholarly research to the incredible advances in information made possible by the Internet and digital technology.

Still, while many scholars today use digital technologies and content in their research and writing, and will readily admit their advantages for their own work, most have been slower to admit—or have refused to admit—that such technology and resources are capable of totally transforming the nature and scope of scholarship. Many scholars find themselves using digital resources simply to do "analog scholarship," that is, research that uses new technology in old...

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

To complement the traditional IATUL annual conferences and to overcome the unavoidable time limitation of a yearly meeting, special interest groups are meant to provide a continuous opportunity to create new approaches to challenges in librarianship by joint international efforts.

Each task force will focus on a particular subject area and defines its own terms of reference, together with long and short term goals. Task forces are chaired by senior librarians who will be appointed by the IATUL Board.

Special interest groups will be encouraged to present the results of their work to the annual conference. The standard means of communication for Special Interest Groups will be e-mail and telephone conferencing.

As an initial task force the IATUL Special Interest Group on Library Organisation and Quality Management (IATUL SIG-LOQUM) is to be established.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Ellyssa Kroski

The world of the Web has changed as a new breed of software applications makes it easy to accomplish incredibly sophisticated tasks with little technical know-how. The Internet has seen an explosion of social tools that are empowering ordinary people to connect and participate in a global conversation. People who had previously accessed the Web solely for shopping or research purposes now sign on for the experience of creating and sharing information in the public sphere. They are crafting both content and connections with other users in a new Web that links people to people, as well as to information.

Web 2.0 is loosely defined as the evolution to a social and interactive Web that gives everyone a chance to participate—not just those with programming skills. By producing new applications that are simple to use, Web 2.0 breaks down the technological barriers to entry and, in essence, democratizes the Internet.

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Source: Choice, v.44, no. 12, August 2007.