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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: New Library World, Volume 111, Issue 1/2
I am delighted to introduce Bruce Massis as the new columnist for What’s new in libraries. Bruce E. Massis is presently the Director of the Educational Resources Center at Columbus State Community College (Columbus, Ohio.) Bruce has served the library profession as a respected library administrator for more than three decades. He has served in an official capacity within the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) and has been active in the American Library Association (ALA), the New York Library Association (NYLA), the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA), the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), the Florida Library Association (FLA), the Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) and EDUCAUSE. He has also written numerous articles, reviews and commentary appearing in journals and other publications and has presented papers and lectures on professional library issues at conferences and universities around the world. He also serves as an Associate Faculty facilitator for the University of Phoenix1.
The opening keynote speech at Internet Librarian Internal 2009 came from Cory Doctorow. The speech “Copyright, copyleft, privacy, librarians and freedom” focused on the realisation of universal access to all human knowledge versus a situation where patrons’ privacy and intellectual freedom are at risk from governments, marketers and others. Zimerman’s article provides a viewpoint about how technology in libraries in the USA erodes privacy on a number of levels. He provides various examples and points out that libraries and librarians need to be ever vigilant in the protection of patron information as there is a delicate balance between the need of a library to capture patron information and the needs of commercial vendors.
The Institute of Information Scientists (IIS) merged with the Library Association to form CILIP (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) in 2002. Since then virtually all traces of the IIS have gone – the archives destroyed and the website deleted. All that remains are the Institute’s publications. Correct citations are vital for access to this resource. The importance of reference list accuracy is the topic of the article from Gatten. Using a case study, this article extends research and found a high rate of irretrievability of URL citations. Whilst authors need to be aware of the importance of citing sources accurately, especially for content found on the web, providers of scholarly content via the internet need to ensure persistent means of future access to their resources.
Funding for a major new pan-European science data project will dramatically increase the European Bioinformatics Institute’s data-storage and data handling capacity. In time it will become the central hub of the £200m Elixir project (European Life Science Infrastructure for Biological Information). Elixir has 32 partners from 13 countries. The focus of the article from Vrana is the promotion of science in Croatian public libraries. He presents research results, which demonstrate that there is co-operation with the scientific community which could be expanded in relation to increase in holdings and online services.
The Reading Agency has moved to a new centre for literacy, literature and free expression. The Free Word Centre is the base for the charity Free Word, whose mission is “innovation and collaboration … to promote, protect and democratise the power of the written and spoken word for creative and free expression”. In their article, Nijboer and Hammelberg emphasise the importance for libraries to address the issue of media literacy in the internet age, which is attracting increasing attention. They suggest that creating a media community centre in the middle of a library encourages intercultural media behaviour and media empowerment, and so strengthens the education and information function of the library.
At the Library and Information Show, British Library Chief Executive, Lynne Bridley highlighted digital paradoxes in her keynote address. These digital paradoxes included:
we love digital but we are still attached, at least emotionally, to traditional content.
Google Generation students are technologically savvy but not digitally literate.
Ollé and Borrego present, in their article, the results of a study into the use of electronic resources in Catalan academic libraries. The results of the study included that librarians were well aware of the importance of internet search engines as the first information source for academics. In relation to the apparent ease of using Google, librarians considered that they had failed to provide users with a single, easy, intuitive interface that allows access to all the library information products.
It will be easier for people to access good quality information about health problems following new initiatives from the Department of Health working with librarians. The support available in public libraries will be formalised and promoted. A new scheme, the Information Standard (www.dh.gov.uk/theinformationstandard), will help identify reliable sources by offering a certification mark to organisation, which provide good healthcare information. The provision of access to specific authoritative information is vital for all subject areas. Ostrander and Kleppe’s article focuses on the Transportation Information Research Services database as a critical resource to meet research needs of the US transportation community. They discuss a pilot study, the results of which found that keyword searching was favoured at the near total exclusion of the sophisticated information retrieval features that librarians maintain.
Bruce Massis’s books include Interlibrary Loan of Alternative Format Materials (The Haworth Press), Serving Print Disabled Library Patrons (McFarland & Co. Publishers), Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped: An International Approach (K.G. Saur), The Practical Library Manager (The Haworth Press), Models of Cooperation in US, Latin American and Caribbean Libraries (K.G. Saur) and, The Practical Library Trainer (The Haworth Press.) His latest book is entitled, The Challenges to Library Learning (Routledge).