Articles

The Welch Medical Library of 2012 — Wherever You Are

By Blair Anton, Nancy Roderer, Stella Seal, Claire Twose, and Sue Woodson, Welch Medical Library | Dec 28, 2011

Mobile devices at the ready, (L-R) Sue Woodson, Blair Anton, Claire Twose, Stella Seal and Nancy Roderer.

In his 1945 essay in The Atlantic, Vannevar Bush imagines an office information machine that would instantly produce files and materials on any needed subject while the researcher sat at his own desk. His Memex system was never built, but the idea of it has inspired decades of research and development toward an effective one-stop-shopping information system. When the Welch Medical Library sat down with its users in 2001 to imagine its future, the vision it created was of a single source for all needed biomedical scholarly material, available wherever the user was.

Austrian university libraries on their way toward e-only for scholarly journals

By Bruno Bauer, Medical University of Vienna | Dec 28, 2011

In 2005, the Cooperation E-Media Austria was founded by an initiative of 21 libraries of federal state universities. The cooperation was set up as a buying syndicate for electronic resources. Consortia licenses for e-journals were at that time based on print subscriptions held at the participating libraries. Subsequently, most institutions paid for print and online subscriptions.

Leaving the collections behind — Are we ready?

By James Mouw, University of Chicago | Dec 28, 2011

In pondering the future of academic libraries and, in particular, their traditional collections, I found it doubly ironic that I was asked to write this article. The first irony is that my institution is building a major library building on campus, one that will hold several million volume equivalents, providing for 20 years’ growth of our print collections. This flies in the face of common wisdom that physical libraries and collections are a thing of the past.

Let It Snow

Matthew Borg, Sheffield Hallam University | Dec 28, 2011

When the UK was hit with its worst snowfall since 1970 in November 2010, Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) library staff viewed it as an opportunity to further plunder new methods of online and mobile communication. We used Twitter, blogs and RSS feeds to get the word out to just over 30,000 students and around 6,000 staff spread over two campuses.

Macquarie University’s goal is to join the ranks of the world’s top 200 research universities, and its new library plays a major role in that undertaking. “Our university's strategic plan has reaffirmed the library as the intellectual heart of the campus,” says Maxine Brodie, University Librarian. “We’re unique among large universities in Australia in only ever having had a single campus library because of our focus on the interdisciplinary nature of research and learning.”

What trends will flourish this year as the number of handheld devices continues to grow? What guidelines will librarians follow in determining how to design and develop apps for users? How will new devices, apps and technologies influence eBook publishing?

Translating Knowledge Into Practice

Maria Musoke, Makerere University | Dec 28, 2011

At Makerere University in Uganda, finding ways to share knowledge and information throughout a country with limited Internet access is nothing less than an institutional priority. Maria Musoke is the University Librarian at Makerere and Albert Cook Medical Library, Uganda’s major Health Sciences library. She travels regularly with a team of doctors, nurses and midwives to train rural health workers, inform community members, and influence health outcomes.

Interested in learning more about embedded library and information services? Check out David Shumaker’s blog:

The Embedded Librarian

Shumaker is a faculty member at the School of Library and Information Science at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and formerly worked in Information Services at the MITRE Corporation. Recent topics have included “What’s the ROI of embedded librarianship?” and “Can introverts succeed as embedded librarians?”

The changing face of academic libraries: Why less space does not have to mean less impact

Dr. Robert Schwarzwalder, Stanford University | Dec 28, 2011

Dr. Robert Schwarzwalder

After decades of expanding library facilities on American university campuses, the last few years have brought news of library closures and consolidations. While the economic turbulence of the last few years has accelerated this trend, I see it as the natural evolution of our profession. Whether we, and our profession, prosper or decline in the coming years will depend upon our ability to adapt to the changing nature of information access.

 

A staff member in my library recently received an enormous compliment from a graduate student in environmental engineering. Paraphrased, it read something like, “I can’t imagine how a preeminent research university could possibly exist without a reference desk.”

To me, this meant one thing: This student clearly understood the value of the library in his research and learning. But why? What had we done for him that he valued us so? And how can we communicate this value to others?