Friday, 28 November 2008

Google Books Settlement and Libraries

From the Google Books Library Project page:

"Our ultimate goal is to work with publishers and libraries to create a comprehensive, searchable, virtual card catalog of all books in all languages [My italics] that helps users discover new books and publishers discover new readers".

So nothing too ambitious then...

Recently Google and the US publishers that sued them for their digitisation efforts agreed on a settlement.

There is a useful resource from the ALA and ARL called "A guide for the perplexed: Libraries and the Google Library project Settlement" available here. It isn't clear whether this agreement will apply outside the US, but the most relevant piece of information for me was this:

" Google will make available institutional subscriptions that will allow users
within an institution to view the full text of all the books within the Institutional
Subscription Database (ISD). This database will include the books in the in copyright,
not commercially available category. This access will continue only
for the duration of the subscription; access will not be perpetual, in contrast to
when a user purchases access to an individual book, as described above."

So, Google will be offering subscription access to the digitised version of some very significant Academic Library's collections, this could be big news for all academic libraries, allowing us to potentially expand our eBook collections to millions of volumes of scholarly material.

There is a lot more information in the ALA / ARL report linked to above, recommended reading.

Interesting times.

My favourite Library from the US

We visited many Libraries during our trip, public and academic, affluent and poorly funded. The New York Public Library was amazing for its scale and spirit, the large Academic Libraries like the University of Chicago and Vanderbilt were inspiring but this beautiful room is the Franke Reading Room, part of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago and it was my favourite.

The room is decorated with works of art from the collection of the Art Institute, which is Chicago's main gallery and has a great collection.
It isn't on the scale of the reading rooms of the New York Public Library or The State Library of Victoria, it felt much less grandiose and intimidating, and the rules were quite arcane (pencils only please!), but it was such a beautiful, intimate space I wished I had more time to sit down and study there.
More information here

Monday, 24 November 2008

Collaborative searching

Search together is a new product from Microsoft that is in the testing phase. People can collaborate on searching, storing results in a repository to be accessed by group members at a later time.
You need to have a Microsoft Live ID and it runs in Internet Explorer 7 so at the moment it mightn't be practical for us but I thought the possibilities for both us as a librarian team and our Schools are quite exciting.

Found via ResourceShelf

Friday, 21 November 2008

Information Literacy Assessment

ePrints contains the articles and presentations on the Science Information Literacy Project that I mentioned yesterday.

This project was led by academic staff from the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET).

Our questions were:
How effective is our embedded teaching of information literacy?
Do students show enhanced learning outcomes as they move through the Zoology undergraduate curriculum?

We compared years and undertook a longitudinal study of a single cohort across the three years of their course.

The results were positive for both questions.

Mapping Generic Attributes

This project was initiated by keen academic staff in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET). The main aims were to motivate and to assist schools in integrating generic attributes (GAs) into their curriculum. "Champions" from each of the SET schools were identified and recruited to simplify our communication and broaden our impact. We hosted several workshops with the champions, achieving another of our aims, to promote a cross-disciplinary community. The key outcome of relevance to Liaison Librarians was the design of a set of tools to a) map aspirations for developing specific attributes within each unit b) map the current practice of addressing/teaching these skills and c) map current practice for all units across an entire course - gap analysis. I'm hopeful that this set of resources, which I have on CD, may be applied to our Information Skills agenda.

Assoc. Prof. Sue Jones, Zoology Head of School, presented a paper on the project at UniServe in 2007.

Please contact me if you're interested in more details.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Lorcan Dempsey (OCLC) post on info lit

Lorcan Dempsey's blog this morning has a post quoting Paul Courant on info lit and scholarly literacy. There's a link to Paul's article/chapter in which he's arguing that "our most important audience is already information literate and then some. [3] Our interest should be in ensuring the production of something that we might call "scholarly literacy", by which I mean the understanding of sources, methods, and their use that is at the heart of knowing what one knows and does not know."

Jazzing up information/scholarly literacy

Thought you might be interested...