Traditionally, extramural funding for a public research library has been applied toward “purchases of opportunity” (purchasing materials that will enhance special collecting areas), new collection endowments or enhanced user services. While specialty materials make the difference between an excellent library collection and an extraordinary collection, collection endowments fund certain areas of interest in perpetuity, and enhanced delivery of services helps provide greater access to materials.

Thirty years ago, a library consortium for which I worked was in dire financial straits. As I recall, we had a six million dollar budget and a three million dollar deficit. These numbers are so staggering that they seem unbelievable. But I remember clearly the words of the president of our organization as he addressed staff in this hour of crisis: “You will never manage as well as when you are operating under constrained resources.” This observation has echoed in my ears many times during my career.

"It does not matter at all how wonderful you are, how much service you provide, or what a great manager you are, if you do not have the budget under control. That really is the story. That really is, in the final analysis, how you will be evaluated.”
– A long-tenured ARL library director to a new library director

Return on investment (ROI) is one approach to demonstrating the value of the academic library to university administration and faculty. In this way, ROI helps in choosing the most effective ways forward for the library in tight economic times.

Together with measuring the implied value of library products and services (through patron usage) and assessing the explicit value of the library to stakeholders through testimonials gathered in interviews and focus groups, ROI can be a part of the ongoing assessment and measurement tactics that modern academic libraries must undertake.

Library Connect interviews Conrad Wolfram, Director of Strategic & International Development, Wolfram Research, Oxford, UK. The Wolfram Demonstrations Project is an instructional applet website with more than 5,000 knowledge spaces.

Reimagining the Journal Article

IJsbrand Jan Aalbersberg, Elsevier | Dec 28, 2011

How many times have you read through a lengthy article to find the kernel of information you needed? And then gone back to that article sometime in the future and had to repeat the process? Multiply your lost time by the 1.4 million articles (scientific journals alone) published per year and the millions of readers out there, and you have an excellent case for reimagining the journal article.

First strides forward

Tackling HIV/AIDS

Dec 28, 2011

Appolinaire Djikeng and Odile Ouwe Missi Oukem

Library Connect interviewed Odile Ouwe Missi Oukem, PhD, and Appolinaire Djikeng, PhD, about their project to develop a health information library network in Cameroon. Odile is located at the project’s hub, the Chantal Biya International Reference Centre for Research on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Management (CIRCB) in Yaoundé-Messa, Cameroon. Appolinaire is located at the BecA-ILRI Hub in Nairobi, Kenya.

Over the last 6 years, Monash University has revitalized its research strategy to position the university to contribute to Australia and the international community through focusing on solutions for issues of local and global consequence. During that time, the university’s research funding has increased by approximately 80% and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students by more than 30%.

Talking with David Shumaker About Mentoring Librarians

Dana Weber, Elsevier | Dec 28, 2011

David Shumaker, a clinical associate professor and the director of the Information Commons at the School of Library and Information Science at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, won SLA’s 2009 Vormelker Award for mentoring library and information science students. As this issue’s theme is “Supporting Early Career Researchers,” we’ve asked David to share some comments about his work and any wisdom he may have for information professionals in the early stages of their careers.

Users spend a lot of time following article links to download PDFs and then saving and renaming them individually. With the Document Download Manager, available on Elsevier's ScienceDirect platform, you can download and rename PDFs in seconds.
In 2008, when the Document Download Manager launched, it was compatible with only a few browsers. But the list of compatible browsers has expanded, so that the service is today available for researchers using any of a good number of browsers.