PUBLIC librarians have had some experience of economy in this last month at the considering of annual estimates. In many towns, unfortunately, an increase in the general rates is reported, and in all such times libraries are likely to suffer. The note we make below on Yarmouth does not show that one of the causes of the curious municipal hysteria it reveals was the burning desire to reduce the rates. That desire is in itself wholly laudable, and librarians can acquiesce in economies that do not discriminate against libraries. Our trouble is that libraries have nowhere yet been adequately financed, and reductions are more serious for them than for many departments which have never suffered from utter lack of means.
To keep librarians and colleagues informed about the issues and programs of the Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia on the Georgia…
To keep librarians and colleagues informed about the issues and programs of the Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) Conference held in Atlanta, Georgia on the Georgia Institute of Technology campus in February 2007.
Provides a review of the conference.
Acquisitions staff, catalogers, public service staff, administrators, IT personnel, information providers from the vendor side, content managers, and others all came together to assess what needs to be done to continue high servicing of both born digital and electronically available resources in a hybrid environment that continues to describe all library settings today. As the percentage of electronic resources quickly grows, there are new challenges in acquiring, caring for, servicing, preserving, using and citing them that keep librarians up at night to consider short‐and long‐term solutions in how they should be organized bibliometrically and how we can re‐engineer some of our procedures to best treat the wide range of e‐Resources now common in all libraries.
The program blended services with processing reinforcing the importance of electronic resources for the “total” library environment. It seemed like there was nothing left out.
HARROGATE will be notable as the venue of the Conference in one or two ways that distinctive. The Association Year is now to begin on January 1st and not in September as heretofore; and, in consequence, there will be no election of president or of new council until the end of the year. The Association's annual election is to take place in November, and the advantages of this arrangement must be apparent to everyone who considers the matter. Until now the nominations have been sent out at a time when members have been scattered to all parts of the country on holiday, and committees of the Council have been elected often without the full consideration that could be given in the more suitable winter time. In the circumstances, at Harrogate the Chair will still be occupied by Sir Henry Miers, who has won from all librarians and those interested in libraries a fuller measure of admiration, if that were possible, than he possessed before he undertook the presidency. There will be no presidential address in the ordinary sense, although Sir Henry Miers will make a speech in the nature of an address from the Chair at one of the meetings. What is usually understood by the presidential address will be an inaugural address which it is hoped will be given by Lord Irwin. The new arrangement must bring about a new state of affairs in regard to the inaugural addresses. We take it that in future there will be what will be called a presidential address at the Annual Meeting nine months after the President takes office. He will certainly then be in the position to review the facts of his year with some knowledge of events; he may chronicle as well as prophesy.
Since its origins during the Second World War, the computer industry has grown more rapidly than any other technology in history, and this growth has spawned a wealth of new terms and manners‐of‐speaking to describe computers and the uses to which they can be put. Such terms are often referred to collectively as computerese. The thesis of Barry's entertaining book is that the use of computerese is increasingly being extended to a wealth of other subjects that are often totally unrelated to computing. Barry refers to this use (or abuse) of language as technobabble: the subject matter and the pleasingly tongue‐in‐cheek style can be judged from the introduction, which starts as follows: ‘This paper‐based, productized bookware module is designed to support the robust implementation of a friendly, context‐driven interface between the developer and the end‐user. Did you understand this sentence? If so, you are fluent in technobabble’.
MR. DENIS HOWELL, M.P., Minister for Libraries, who was to have told Conference how public libraries had progressed since the Act, had to withdraw and so we did not find out how the responsible minister felt about us.
THE topics of the Library Association Conference and the election of the Council of the Association naturally absorb a great deal of attention this month. To deal with the second first: there were few novelties in the nominations, and most of the suggested new Councillors are good people; so that a fairly good Council should result. The unique thing, as we imagine, about the Library Association is the number of vice‐presidents, all of whom have Council privileges. These are not elected by the members but by the Council, and by the retiring Council; they occupy a position analagous to aldermen in town councils, and are not amenable to the choice or desires of the members at large. There are enough of them, too, if they care to be active, to dominate the Council. Fortunately, good men are usually elected, but recently there has been a tendency to elect comparatively young men to what are virtually perpetual seats on the Council, simply, if one may judge from the names, because these men occupy certain library positions. It, therefore; is all the more necessary that the electors see that men who really represent the profession get the seats that remain.
THOSE who were present at the induction of the President of the Library Association on January 26th must have left that pleasant, but very limited, assembly with two thoughts ; that the speeches were adequate and deserved a much wider audience than the relatively small Council Chamber at Chaucer House can accommodate, and that our affairs are in good hands for 1949. Mr. McColvin made the speech of thanks to Mr. Nowell, as a man straightforward, sane, loyal, simple, broadminded and fundamentally sound. We echo these and could add other praises but, fortunately, Mr. Nowell has many years of active service ahead, and we hope for many opportunities yet to acknowledge it. Sir Ronald Adams showed that modesty and charm which we were assured from his record he possesses. Our readers have found these speeches in the L.A. Record for February, and our only purpose in alluding to them is to say our own word of thanks for past service and our good wishes to both outgoing and incoming Presidents. And again to repeat our view that the Association loses a great ceremonial opportunity by holding the inauguration in a small room in London in the winter, rather than at the great annual assembly of the Conference as was at one time the practice. It was the central occasion of the year.
ONE of the most significant institutions of our day is the Central Library for Students. This truism—which we have frequently stressed—was emphasised by the Report of the Library which was presented at the Annual Meeting held at University College, London, on May 16th. The number of books issued, which was 52,711, does not seem large in comparison with the figures that an average‐sized municipal or county library can present; but the difference lies in the purposefulness which those figures represent. Nearly every book here recorded was one required for special work; few, if any, were for idle reading or for the occupation of undirected leisure. We note with pleasure that the outlier libraries lent 1,606 books out of 1,814 for which call was made. It seems a fair proportion. We were not clear if the balance unsupplied by them was supplied from the funds of the Central Library itself. We appreciate these outlier libraries, who are able to be such owing to grants from the Carnegie Trust, but we look more earnestly to a greater growth of the voluntary co‐operation which has found its adherents in the public libraries. There are now seven urban and two county libraries who place their stocks at the disposal of the Central Library for Students. Why not all of them? As we have said on an earlier occasion, if all adhered, the demands on any one would be small and the advantages without limit.