Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Uncontrolled Vocabulary #16 - The real thing you're going after

Uncontrolled Vocabulary #16 is now available for download. Here's a direct link to the mp3.

You can subscribe to the show via the podcast feed (now available at the iTunes Music Store):

On the call:

Greg Schwartz, Louisville Free Public Library
Mary Carmen Chimato, North Carolina State University
Ryan Deschamps, Halifax Public Library
Joshua M. Neff, Johnson County Public Library

Links to the show topics:

1. St. Louis Library Accuses Patron of Creating Controversial Display (School Library Journal)
Community Library Watch

2. St. Johns Man Arrested On Sex Charges (
Man violates 14 y/o in library bathroom (LISNews)

3. Librarians under new management (AP)
Privatizing libraries (Three Wise Men)
The Case for Privatizing Public Libraries (Locusts & Honey)

4. Something else to check out at library: Starbucks (USA Today)

5. Sex @ Your Library (Annoyed Librarian)

6. RIAA Wins in First-Ever Jury Trial; Verdict of $222,000 for 24 Song Files Worth $23.76
Media 3.0 with Shelly Palmer - Episode 43 (Shelly Palmer Media)
RIAA Misinformation Campaign Apparently Works (TorrentFreak)

Suggested reading for next week:
Library and information science as a research domain: problems and prospects (informationresearch)

Other submitted stories:
Boy in court on terror charges (BBC News)
Alleged Terrorist Says FBI Violated Library Privacy Policy (AL Online)
WorldCat Turns You Into A Library Power User (Consumerist)
Brave and Bold Library Product Promotion (checking out and checking in)


Anonymous said...

I think this should be discussed.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sandia National Laboratories Technical Library Closing the Books

By John Fleck
Copyright © 2007 Albuquerque Journal; Journal Staff Writer
What is a library without books? That's the brave new world Sandia National Laboratories is trying to enter— much to the chagrin of some scientists and engineers who work there.
"BOOK COLLECTION CLOSED!!!" said the signs hastily added to the stacks at Sandia's Technical Library on Friday. "NO CHECKING OUT!!!"
In an effort to save money and "re-engineer" library services for the electronic age, Sandia is cutting off access to what a memo sent out last Monday called "hard-copy content"— books, maps and printed journals.
In their place, Sandia scientists will eventually have access to a fully electronic library. In the meantime, some Sandia researchers have become vocal about their need for, and attachment to, "hard-copy content."
The reaction did not surprise the Sandia managers who planned the move. "As the saying goes, such a new omelet cannot be made without breaking a few eggs," the memo explained.
By Friday, the broken eggs had left a bit of a mess.
"Poor decision to close the Tech Library," said one post on an internal Sandia message board. "Textbooks are necessary for research," said another. "Erosion of Scholarship, Innovation and Contribution," said a third.
"One of the reasons I came to Sandia was because of their high-class library," said Sandia engineer Roy Jorgenson. He studies electromagnetics, a field in which the old classic books are still relevant.
Jorgenson regularly comes to the library to get them, browsing entries around them at the same time.
"That's what you don't get electronically," Jorgenson said Friday morning during a visit to the library.
He was trying to figure out where the books he needs were going to end up. For now, no one knows. The fate of the books is yet to be determined.
Located behind security fences in the heart of Sandia's main research complex, the library holds 60,000 volumes. For comparison, the University of New Mexico's Centennial Science and Engineering Library has about 400,000 books.
The Sandia library serves a population of researchers that includes 1,686 people with Ph.D.s. According to librarian Donald Guy, the researchers check out books 45,000 times per year.
As soon as the change was announced, Sandia managers began hearing from researchers who say they cannot do their work without access to the books, said Wendy Cieslak, a senior manager who is representing the lab's research community in discussions about the library's future.
How will Sandia meet the needs of those researchers? "I don't yet know the best answer," said W. David Williams, director of Sandia's Information Solutions and Services department and the point man on the library changes.
"There's quite a bit of concern," said Anna Nusbaum, manager of the Technical Library and one of the front line staff fielding questions from users about the library's future.
The changes were made as a result of a consultant's study of the way Sandia researchers use library services, said Art Hale, Sandia's chief information officer.
Increasingly, Sandia researchers use the computer on their desk to get the information they need, rather than a physical library, Hale said.
Current scientific journals are nearly all available online, as are other resources used by researchers. "People aren't coming in here and looking at the hard copy," Guy said. "It's more efficient to do it at their desk."
"To maintain a collection, even an out-of-date collection, is very, very costly," Williams said. Sandia's approach, he said, is to improve Sandias' access to research material on their desktop computer.
Closing down the stacks will save Sandia $1.1 million per year while allowing it to improve electronic information services, Hale said.
Williams bristles at those who say the library is being "closed."
"I hate that term," he said. "We're transforming the library."
For Guy, who has spent 20 years as a librarian, it's a difficult time. "I'm conflicted," Guy said as he took a pair of visitors around the library Friday. "It's very hard, but I can see that we need to move into the future."

Anonymous said...

This too, editorial from Albuquerque Journal

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hey Library Consultant, Look Up Common Sense

It's a textbook example of why not to listen to a consultant.
Some such bean-counting genius presumably determined Sandia National Laboratories could save $1.1 million a year by dumping its traditional Technical Library and converting to a completely online system.
We would recommend looking up "pennywise and pound foolish" in a dictionary of idioms, but Sandia won't let you check out books anymore.
The consultant's proposal probably looked good on paper— the same stuff the proposal wants to get rid of. But in reality, items in Sandia's library— 60,000 volumes behind security fences in the heart of the lab's main research complex— are checked out 45,000 times a year. By researchers including 1,686 Ph.Ds. Who work on things like electromagnetics.
And bean counters should respect those numbers even if they don't understand the physics of how an electric current produces a magnetic field as it moves through a wire.
Yes, this is the Internet age. And yes, it's logical for the lab to work toward a fully electronic library. The consultant found many Sandia researchers are using the computers on their desks to get the info they need. But plenty are also incensed about the "BOOK COLLECTION CLOSED!!!" and "NO CHECKING OUT!!!" signs.
Like the Internet, printed matter like books and maps and journals has a place at one of the country's premier research laboratories. So does common sense. Sandia officials shouldn't allow a consultant's report to eliminate either.