February 13, 2016

LYRASIS, DuraSpace Boards Approve Intent to Merge

Following a months-long analysis by an exploratory committee, the boards of not-for-profit, open-source digitization and repository software and service providers LYRASIS and DuraSpace on January 27 unanimously approved an “Intent to Merge” agreement. The two organizations have begun seeking input from their respective members as well as the wider research, library, archives, and museum communities, as part of a due diligence process that will “determine the feasibility of a combined organization…. [and] include a deeper assessment of the individual organizations and how they might partner effectively.

Knight News Challenge Winners to Develop Open Data Training Program

Anne Neville knows the value of open data. Neville, director of the California Research Bureau at the California State Library, has spent the last six years directing the State Broadband Initiative at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in Washington, DC. She’s passionate about digital equity, and supporting the critical work public libraries do to […]

Booktalks and Book Reports in a Digital Age | Tech Tidbits

Teacher librarian Phil Goerner explains how librarians can help students implement digital tools to create 21st-century booktalks and book reports.

Small-Scale Usability Studies | Field Reports

We knew there were problems with our library website at Fitchburg State University (FSU). Users either couldn’t find what they wanted or were unaware of the site’s existence. This was particularly a problem owing to the limited number of librarians available to assist. While there was some consensus among librarians regarding these design problems, there was little agreement as to how these problems could be ­addressed. We decided that usability testing was needed before making changes, but we didn’t have the budget to develop an expensive usability lab with one-way mirrors, sophisticated eye-movement testing devices and the like. Despite this, with a little creativity, we were able to design a solid and reliable usability study with limited resources.

NYPL, Benetech Partner to Offer 370,000 Accessible Ebooks to Print Disabled

The New York Public Library in December announced a new partnership with nonprofit Benetech, and the organization’s Bookshare solution, to provide print disabled patrons with access to more than 370,000 accessible ebooks through NYPL and the Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. Although Bookshare provides free access to its collection for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities through an award by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, access to the collection for qualifying adults, seniors, and other non-students generally requires payment of a $25 setup fee and a $50 annual subscription fee. The partnership to provide free access to library patrons through NYPL is Bookshare’s first such partnership with a U.S. library, and Benetech officials have stated that the organization is hoping to establish similar agreements with public libraries throughout the U.S.

NYPL, Benetech Partner to Offer 370,000 Accessible Ebooks to Print Disabled

The New York Public Library in December announced a new partnership with nonprofit Benetech, and the organization’s Bookshare solution, to provide print disabled patrons with access to more than 370,000 accessible ebooks through NYPL and the Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. Although Bookshare provides free access to its collection for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities through an award by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, access to the collection for qualifying adults, seniors, and other non-students generally requires payment of a $25 setup fee and a $50 annual subscription fee. The partnership to provide free access to library patrons through NYPL is Bookshare’s first such partnership with a U.S. library, and Benetech officials have stated that the organization is hoping to establish similar agreements with public libraries throughout the U.S.

Bots, Block Chain, and Beacons Hot Topics at LITA Tech Trends Panel | ALA Midwinter 2016

Moderator Lisa Bunker, Social Media Librarian for Pima County Public Library (AZ) ; Jason Griffey, founder and principal of consulting and creation firm Evenly Distributed; Jim Hahn, orientation services and environments librarian and associate professor at the University of Illinois Undergraduate Library; Jamie Hollier, co-owner and co-CEO of technology consultancy Anneal; Alex Lent, director of the Millis Public Library (MA); Thomas Padilla, digital scholarship librarian at Michigan State University Libraries; and Ken Varnum, senior program manager for discovery, delivery, and learning analytics at the University of Michigan Library, during the Library Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Tech Trends panel at the American Library Association’s 2016 Midwinter conference in Boston.

Drexel Librarian, Students Help Design 10th Annual Knovel Academic Challenge

The Knovel Academic Challenge enables thousands of engineering students at universities around the world to hone their research skills while competing for prizes and recognition. This year, a group of four students from Drexel University, assisted by Jay Bhatt, the university’s liaison librarian for engineering, took their participation to another level, designing the engineering problem sets that were used in this fall’s 10th annual challenge.

Linux Privacy Essentials | Field Reports

Providing Internet access to the public has come to be an important service, but it can be quite a challenge to do so in a secure, cost-effective way. Maintaining patron privacy on a shared, public computer is one of the problems that librarians face every day. My solution was to switch to an open source (OS) platform for our patron computing.

JSTOR, DataLab Launch Sustainability Site, Collaborate on Tools for Interdisciplinary Researchers

JSTOR Labs, in partnership with Eigenfactor project co-founder Dr. Jevin West and the University of Washington’s DataLab, have launched JSTOR Sustainability, a new website powered by Eigenfactor Article Influence scores and a 1,500 term semantic index created by JSTOR. Currently in beta, the new website is the product of JSTOR and DataLab’s collaborative effort to help scholars in interdisciplinary fields understand and navigate literature outside of their core areas of expertise.