Friday, November 7, 2008

The Role of the Library in a Fully Googlized World

The question to three eminent members of the university library community was (essentially): It's the year 2020. Google has digitized everything, and content is easily searchable and affordable. What does the library do now?

Joyce Ogburn - University of Utah

The balance tips toward creation rather than consumption of scholarly resources. OCLC becomes a wiki. The Independent Peer Review Board is founded, and the PR logo is invented to identify peer reviewed content. A new law is added to the Ranganathan Five: Information that is used will be preserved. ALA morphs into the Knowledge and Information Arts and Sciences Association. Openness becomes the predominant strategy for scholars. (NextGen becomes the professoriate; sharing and teamwork become the norm.) Traditional entertainment outlets decline because they've been under rigidly controlled access restrictions. The librarian's domain becomes digital scholarship; it supplements and surpasses formal textual publications.

Richard Luce - Emory University

Collaborative work spaces will replace the stacks. Libraries will assume specialties. Each ARL library will be known for its particular strength. Special collections invent a new renaissance; pilgrimages are made to individual collections. Libraries become middleware, and they are busier than ever.

Nancy Eaton - Penn State University

Ms. Eaton referenced this article in Library Trends. Retrieving is no longer enough. Scholarship is no longer read linearly. Instead, text, charts, data, etc., are mined for meaning. Scholarship happens at the network level (i.e., not via OPACs). Search and discovery happen through Google search. EScience can only exist at the network level. We develop shared digital repositories (e.g., Hathi Trust!) and epreservation. At the local level, the library as place is still important. WorldCat Local replaces OPACs. Google search links to local content. Google Books is important but doesn't really affect science. Science still relies on the journal and faster communication.

We Want More E-Books! Lessons Learned from Seven Years of Embedding E-Books into a UK University Collection

Katie Price, University of Surrey. Surrey is a science and technology focused research university in south-east England. Starting in 2002, the library has licensed e-books from a variety of providers and in a variety of formats. They now have about 50K e-book titles.

Challenges: developing a business model for funding e-book purchases (different from one-time print purchasing). Cataloging, as not all packages come with MARC records. Coping with updates. Troubleshooting (handled by their e-journal management people). Staff time.

Survey results: 71% of students use e-books. 56% of students were dependent on library-provided e-books. 24% used e-books via Blackboard. 80% visited the library online daily or weekly. 59% read from the screen. 7% print. 33% do a little of each, reading online and printing.

Only 3% had read an entire e-book. 59% used only individual sections or chapters. 35% had trouble reading or printing e-books.

DRM is a huge impediment to use. Students don't understand 10 pp. printing limits; they don't want to read online for hours; they just want to print the parts that they need. They definitely don't like the various platforms, but they use them anyway and only want more e-books.