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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: New Library World, Volume 113, Issue 11/12
A new app has been released by Surrey Libraries in the UK to give their users more ways to browse, reserve and renew items. The app lets users with Apple or Android devices log into their library account from wherever they are. The libraries are undergoing a digital revolution and also offer free Wi-Fi to give users internet access on their own devices. In his paper, McMenemy discusses the emergence of digital services in the public library domain via a study of the websites of all Scottish public library services. This study found a good standard of innovation in digital services around LMS functions, offering users the ability to keep in control of their borrowing and reserving. It also found high-quality information offered both within the library and for users to access from their home or workplace, although guidance on usage of these resources could be improved.
On World Book Night, thousands of free books were handed out. The event is designed to encourage more people to read and, in the UK, 480,000 books were handed out on the night by 20,000 volunteers who were chosen to share their favourite books. Hard-to-reach readers will be targeted, and millions of free books will be given away in total through the project, which took place in the UK, Ireland, Germany and the USA. A different night-time activity is presented in the paper from Lawrence and Weber. They report on a study that reviewed student use of an academic library during late-night hours to determine the effectiveness of this service. They found that, while electronic access was popular, it did not replace the need for a space dedicated to study. Most late-night users in their study took their studies seriously, found the library conducive to study, and placed high value on late-night access.
A number of libraries from across Australia are taking part in a pilot of OCLC’s new cloud-based library services management tools. OCLC’s Worldshare Management Services has been designed to promote opportunities for collaboration, improve workflows and reduce costs by offering libraries a streamlined approach to cataloguing, acquisitions, license management and circulation, and to give users better discovery tools. In their paper, Alemu, Stevens, Ross and Chandler provide recommendations for making a conceptual shift from current document-centric to data-centric metadata. They discuss Linked Data, the overall purpose of which is to facilitate the re-usability, cross-linking, integration and sharing of data. They comment that “Linked Data is considered to be the solution to enable a data-centric and machine process-able metadata”, but that “the adoption of Linked Data in the actual creation and utilisation of library metadata is yet in its infancy”.
At CILIP’s New Professionals Day 2012, a presentation from Phil Bradley focused on the vital role that librarians and information professionals need to play regarding social media. He pointed out that the nature of information is changing and the places from where to obtain information are changing from search engines to social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Consequently the profession needs to have access to social media sites at work. The article from Machin-Mastromatteo focuses on the integration of social media into learning environments in higher education and discusses literacies, affinity spaces and learning. He reports on a project in which learning, literacies and social media are considered as elements which mutually shape one another, and which aims to determine significant issues, challenges and opportunities that emerge when social media are integrated into learning environments.
The new Clapham Library in the London Borough of Lambeth was built with no cost to the local authority as a deal was struck with developers to include a housing element. The new building, on a prime location on Clapham High Street, replaces a run-down office block and includes a 12-storey block containing 136 new flats. This mixed-use building also contains a café, community rooms and a medical centre. The library, open seven days a week, has a stock of 20,000 books and free Wi-Fi, and its prominent position in the community means that it should be well used. The public library is the topic of the paper from Jochumsen, Rasmussen and Skot-Hansen. They discuss a new “four space model”, in which these spaces are possibilities that will support each other and interact if incorporated into the library’s architecture, design, services, programs and choices of partnerships. They illustrate how this model has been used in different ways in the Nordic countries since it was first presented in a 2010 report.
San Jose State University of Library and Information Science (SJSUSLIS) has launched a new virtual research centre, the Centre for Information Research and Innovation (Ciri). This has been created as a base for research in the library and information science fields and its CiriOpen Lab is an online crowdsourcing portal that provides the opportunity for new ideas and research topics to be aired. Research areas will include digital records and curation, information access and use, new literacies and learning, social dynamics of information and technological innovation and change. Harris-Pierce and Yan Quan Liu discuss data curation in their article. They point out that fast changing technology puts digital information at risk of being lost if not properly curated and preserved, and they report on a study designed to determine if the number of data curation courses offered by Library and Information Science (LIS) schools in North America is adequate to address the needs of the “data-deluge”. Their study also found that none of the data curation courses identified was alike and commented on the importance for LIS schools to continue to work together to identify “optimal course objectives and learning outcomes”.