Liaison Reports 2003
Organizational Liaison Reports 2003
Meeting Liaison Reports (Meetings by organizations for which no official ELD Liaison exists)
ACRL/SPARC Forum at ALA Midwinter Meeting
Philadelphia, January 25, 2003
Report by Kate Thomes, ELD SPARC Liaison
This year's program was titled "And Then There Was One: Industry Consolidation In Journal Publishing And What It Means For Libraries."
James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University introduced the speakers and moderated the discussion. The speakers were:
Mark J. McCabe, Assistant Professor, School of Economics, Georgia
Institute of Technology
Theodore T. Bergstrom, Aaron and Cherie Raznick Chair of Economics,
Economics Department, University of California Santa Barbara
Mary M. Case, Director, Office of Scholarly Communication,
Association of Research Libraries
PowerPoint presentations by McCabe and Case can be found at: href="http://www.arl.org/sparc/core/index.asp?page=h25
At the end of the program Sarah Thomas, University Librarian, Cornell University, spoke briefly to update the audience on the launch of Project Euclid, the partnership of independent publishers of mathematics and statistics journals. Free trial access is being offered through February to libraries interested in subscribing. For more information please see http://projecteuclid.org
Executive (Busy Librarians) Summary/Short
Commercial publisher mergers establish an environment that promotes price increases on individual titles.
Commercial publishers create new journal titles at a much greater rate than do not-for-profit publishers. These new titles are automatically added to the subscription bundles made available via site licenses. The number of titles in a bundle grows and the price/title continues to increase.
Site licenses are designed to maximize profits for commercial publishers. The library is used as a fiscal agent or gatekeeper to manage access for the publishers rather than for the scholars.
Copyright transfer agreements that scholars sign as part of the "publication process" remove control of content from authors and academe and give it to commercial entities. These commercial entities then have the right to set access fees and terms in ways that maximize their own profits, and drain rather than benefit academe.
Libraries are increasingly frustrated by ever increasing site license costs and are beginning to seriously consider options for collective action to change course.
Brief Summary of Each Speaker's Comments/Long Version:
Mark McCabe, "Journal Pricing and Mergers: Print vs. Digital"
The business models used for print and digital publishing are different, and each is appropriate to its own milieu. In the print environment libraries and individuals subscribe to individual journal titles. In the digital environment the norm is to subscribe to a "portfolio" of ejournal titles in a package referred to as a "bundle."
Publishers promote the quality of the portfolio as a whole, de-emphasizing titles of lower quality or lower interest that are included in the bundle. As the size of a publisher's portfolio grows so does the publisher's market power, or their ability to set, control, and increase prices and terms. McCabe gave the following simile:
When Coke and Pepsi are in competition with each other a price increase by one may result in some consumers switching brands and buying the other product. Coke's and Pepsi's marketing strategies need to assess the overall cost/benefit of raising prices since it may reduce their consumer base. However, if Coke and Pepsi merge, the same parent company makes profit on both products. If one raises its price, that just establishes a new base price that the other brand can aspire to. The price increase of one brand is incentive, in effect, for the other brand to raise its price.
McCabe says the same dynamic is present in the electronic journal publishing environment. Publisher mergers create the environment that encourages price increases on individual titles, resulting in overall price increases that could not be achieved if the titles competed with each other.
McCabe also says that commercial publishers continue to create new journal titles at a much greater rate than not-for-profit publisher. The result is more titles in a bundle (the subscription package), titles that are not explicitly selected by libraries or individuals, and incentive within the portfolio to continue to raise the price of access.
The strategic behavior of businesses varies: a few large businesses act very differently from many small businesses. When publishers merge, creating few very large corporations, they can control the market to a great extent. Most, not all, ARL libraries subscribe to big, bundled packages of journals from the largest publishers. They also subscribe to smaller electronic packages, or individual titles, from small publishers, usually not-for-profit publishers. In the coming years it is predictable that smaller publishers will be squeezed out as the mega-publishers consume an increasingly higher percent of library budgets.
Ted Bergstrom, "Do Electronic Site Licenses For Journals Benefit The Academic Community?"
Bergstrom began his talk presenting data indicating that in the field of economics the best print journals are the cheapest and come from nonprofit publishers. His data indicate that 62% of the citations come from journals that consume 9% of library budgets while only 38% of the citations come from journals that consume 91% of library budgets. He said this dynamic is born out in several other disciplines as well.
What can we expect from electronic journals in the digital environment? So far Bergstrom says that the price differentiation between nonprofit and commercial publishers seems to continue:
Non-profits increased prices ~ $.02/page
as they transitioned to electronic journals
Commercials increased prices ~ $.10/page in their transition to online
In the print environment the rationale for library subscriptions is that users need a physical location for journals. This rationale does not translate effectively into the digital environment since individuals can access a publisher's site in cyberspace as effectively as can a library. The library is not necessary as a location, and has in effect, by virtue of site licenses, become a gatekeeper, or fiscal agent, for electronic publishers.
Site licenses have benefits and drawbacks for the academic community. On the plus side, the library accomplishes its mission by providing access to large bundles of electronic journals, meeting the needs of a large portion of students and faculty. Faculty can cancel personal subscriptions because they can access what they want via the library from their homes and offices, which is much more convenient for them than a trip to the library. Publishers maximize profits since the price structure of license agreements to bundles of journals is much more profitable than individual subscriptions.
On the surface, with site licenses, everybody wins. But the impact overtime according to Bergstrom is monopolistic, with fewer publishers controlling more titles, and a greater percent of library budgets.
The details of his price analysis for site licenses are as follows. Researchers are willing to pay different amounts of money to get access to specific titles depending on the centrality of a journal to their research. As a simplified analysis of the economics of site licenses we can find 3 types of consumers for journals and their price acceptance.
Type A is willing to pay $300
Type B is willing to pay $200
Type C is willing to pay $100
When setting the price to an individual for a journal, publishers analyze the potential market. If they charge $300, types B and C will not buy it. If they charge $200, the B's buy it and so will the A's who feel they are getting a good deal, but the C's are shut out. If they charge $100, everyone gets access but the publisher is not realizing as much profit as would be possible given the A's willingness to pay much more.
Site licenses provide access, at a fixed rate, for all researchers regardless of their individual willingness to pay. Libraries have always paid a higher subscription rate than individuals and are willing to assess all potential use for a title. We know the title is central to X number of researchers, valuable to Y number, and of moderate interest to Z number of researchers and are willing to pay something to get access for each group. Publishers work with this predisposition of libraries and set prices that provides the broadest access to the academic community while at the same time maximizing their profit (in effect charging A + B + C = 600) - far beyond what they could get from subscriptions to individuals.
When the impact of publisher mergers, site license pricing strategies, and the creation of new journal titles are all added up the bottom line is higher costs to higher education and bigger profits to commercial conglomerates.
Mary Case, "Why Should Libraries Care About Publisher Consolidation?"
In addition to the concerns raised by McCabe and Bergstrom, Case pointed out that with publisher mergers more and more content/scholarship is in fewer and fewer hands, and less of it is retained in the academic community. As copyright for scholarship is transferred to commercial publishers they gain the right to control its distribution, to set price and access terms. Case also noted that the largest commercial publishers are some of the most aggressive proponents of new legislation that seeks to place legal restrictions on digital content sharing.
Case says that the issues for libraries are to:
Following Mary Case was the Question & Answer portion of the program.
Question: Would collective action by libraries in relation to big site licenses (refusing to sign/or requiring standards) be viewed by legal authorities as restraint of trade?
Perhaps not - There is a process (a business review) through which libraries could apply to the Department of Justice to see if collective action in negotiating with publishers would be allowed. Libraries would need to
The economics, stakes, and outcomes of the current situation need to be clearly articulated to faculty, administrations, and librarians:
There was a sense in the group present at this forum (many top level university librarians and assistant university librarians) that frustration with big site licenses, the Big Deal as it is sometimes known, is growing. Alternative scholarly communication systems are emerging. The traditional role of publishers is no longer operative in the digital environment. There was the sense that the academic community would be much better off if it did not continue to funnel large amounts of money out of higher education and into the coffers of monopolistic publishing conglomerates.
IFLA 2003 Update - Plans for the 2003
Report by Julia Gelfand, ELD IFLA Liaison
IFLA 2003, to be known as the World Library and Information Congress will take place in Berlin, Germany, August 1-9, 2003. The theme of this year's conference is "Access Point Library: Media - Information - Culture." The Science & Technology Section will co-host an open session with the Health & Biosciences Section on "Bioinformatics: An Evolution of Two Decades." Three scientists and librarians from German universities and industry will address how the last twenty years have seen the metamorphosis of a new discipline. Bioinformatics, while initially defined as the simple process of data collection, analysis and dissemination, has emerged into an independent discipline. Today the field includes a wide range of applications linking molecular biology with computer science, forming a new corporate technology and infrastructure to support this intersection. The recent convergence with biotechnology, information technology and nanotechnology has emphasized applied and life sciences that cross computational biology with the bio-information infrastructure including genetic algorithms, such as the Human Genome Map. This program will feature three speakers who will explain different research paths of bioinformatics and demonstrate the directions on the global horizon which have implications and challenges for libraries and institutions.
In addition there will be an off-site workshop in Potsdam at the Geo Forschungs Zentrum (GFZ), Potsdam. Considered one of the leading centers in the world for research in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the Geosciences, there will be presentations about the center and its partners that work in five general and highly collaborative areas: Geodesy and Remote Sensing; Physics of the Earth; Structure & Evolution of the Lithosphere; Chemistry of the Earth; and Geoengineering as noted at http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/welcome_en.html.
The afternoon will be spent with an English-speaking guide to explore historic Potsdam. Stops to see the Castle of Cecilienhof with the room and the table where Truman, Stalin and Churchill divided the world in 1945; and a short walking tour around the park of the Castle of Sanscouci will follow before returning to Berlin.
For additional information about IFLA 2003, please see http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla69/index.htm
The Science & Technology section is also involved in a research project to gather information regarding studies and reports about the needs of scientific and technological libraries in less-developed and developing countries. If you have information to share about that, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Look forward to full a report to be issued in late 2003.
Chair, IFLA Science & Technology Section, 2001-2003
IFLA Science &
Technology Libraries Section
Report from the 2003 World Library and Information Congress
Report by Julia Gelfand, ELD IFLA Liaison
One of ELD's partners is the IFLA Science & Technology Libraries Section. The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) is exactly what its name suggests, a federation of library associations around the globe with a lot of committed individuals participating. The work is captured on the website (http://www.ifla.org) and there are eight divisions each containing several sections. Special Libraries is the umbrella for the Science and Technology Section (STS) and documentation about the Section's activities is noted at http://www.ifla.org/VII/s7/sstl.htm. The highlight of the year is the annual conference held each August and known as the World Library and Information Congress.
In 2003 the meeting was held in Berlin and more than 4500 participants from 133 countries attended the conference where the theme was "Access Point Library: Media, Information and Culture." The Science and Technology Libraries Section held a joint session with the Health & Biosciences Section on "Bioinformatics: An Evolution of Two Decades." Three speakers from Germany formed the program. They were Dr. Heiko Liesegang of the Goettingen Genomics Laboratory; Dr. Sebastian Goeser, a senior software engineer at IBM Germany Development Ltd., in Stuttgart; and Martin Boemeke of the German Natinal Library of Science and Technology/University of Hannover Library in Hannover. Boemeke is known to ELD members as he spoke at the 2003 Nashville conference and demonstrated the Engineering Subject Gateway (ViFaTec) which was the cornerstone of his IFLA presentation.
In addition to the Open Session, STS arranged a study tour of the German Research Center for Earth Sciences, the GeoForschungsZentrum or GFZ in Potsdam. There the librarian of the Library Wissenschaftsparks Albert Einstein, Roland Bertelmann served as our host for the day and showed us the grounds and property of the research park. Telegrafenberg, the location of the GFZ has been the home for research institutes for astronomy and earth sciences since the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The East German Academy of Sciences was based at Telegrafenberg during the period when Germany was divided and after reunification, many of the east German scientific institutes were no longer functioning, but those at Telegrafenberg survived and experienced some expansion.
The GFZ was founded in 1992 as the primary research center for Germany's earth sciences. Today, there are four research institutes at the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam, GFZ, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Alfred Wegener Institute Foundation for Polar and Marine Research, and the Astrophysical Institute. The Library collections include about 1000,000 books, 40,000 maps, 400 print journals, 900 eJournals and a number of electronic resources. The small staff of five is highly ambitious, engaged in a number of projects. Mr. Bertelmann arranged for several scientists to speak to us and we learned about the CHAMPS (Challenging Mini-Satellite Payload) program and about the International Scientific Drilling Program. Following the site visit to GFZ the group spent several hours exploring the historical sites of Potsdam including where President Truman, Prime Minister Atlee and Stalin met at The Potsdam Conference of 17 July 1945, which was to be the final meeting of the three wartime allies. The group also visited the Castle of Cecilienhof, had a tour around the Dutch Quarter and the Parc of Sanscouci.
Additional activities in which STS is engaged in includes the project, "Survey of Scientific and Technological Information Needs in Less-Developed and Developing Countries." Progress about this project is noted at http://www.ifla.org/VII/s7/projects/litmain.htm
The 2004 conference will be held in Buenos Aires , August 22-27. The STS Open Session will follow the conference theme, "Libraries: Tools for Education and Development," and have as its theme, "Professional Understandings and Professional Development for a Science Librarian," and three speakers will deliver addresses in Spanish. A site visit will be made to the University of Buenos Aires Science Library.
Planning out another year, the 2006 conference will be in Oslo, Norway.
Submitted by: Julia Gelfand (email@example.com), ELD Liaison to IFLA STS
SLA Engineering Division Report from the SLA Annual Meeting,
New York City, June 7-13, 2003
Report by Eileen Dorschner, ELD SLA Engineering Division Liaison
Division Web Site
The Special Libraries Association has about 13,000 members. The Engineering Division of the Special Libraries Association has just over 500 members. Included in this number are about 95 members of the Aerospace Section of the Engineering Division. Incoming Chair is Cheryl Hansen firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about other officers etc. is at http://www.sla.org/content/chdiv/divisions/division.cfm.
A. Programs offered by the Engineering Division at the 2003 Annual Meeting:
Guerilla Marketing : Strategy Sharing for Agile Action
Information in Space An astronaut speaker followed by a reception (sponsored by the Aerospace Section)
International Standards: Harmony, Dissonance or Something Else?
B. Board Meetings
There were meetings of the outgoing and incoming boards and a luncheon business meeting where two awards were given. The Aerospace Section also had a breakfast business meeting at which an award was given.
The Incoming Board announced preliminary plans for sessions at next yearís annual meeting on: historical standards, nanotechnology, ebooks, 24/7 reference in a small library, and an exploration of engineering database vendors and the small library. Not all of these may take place. The Aerospace Section hopes to bring in a female fighter pilot as a speaker.
I introduced myself as the liaison to ASEE at the meeting of the Incoming Board of the Engineering Division. I explained the program as a chance to explore possible joint programs or other ventures. The Board was very receptive to the idea in general although there were not a lot of suggestions at the meeting. Some suggestions on their part :
Link to the ELD web site from the Engineering Division web site (url is above). Their own
web site is very much under construction due to the resignation of the web master this year just as the
site was undergoing a major revision. The web site is a priority for this coming year with a new volunteer
web master. Perhaps ELD might want to eventually link to the Engineering Divisionís web site.
Use each other in an advisory role when seeking speakers for meetings.
Consider advertising a call for nomineeís for their awards (EI/SLA Engineering Librarian of the year and INSPEC Award for a library student, Aerospace Sectionís Mandel Award) in ELD Newsletter. Winner of the Engineering Librarian award needs to be a member of SLA/Engineering Division. The student winner must be a student member of SLA attending their first SLA conference. The Mandel award winner must be a member of the Aerospace Section.
SLA Physics Astronomy
Math Division Report from the SLA Annual Meeting,
New York City, June 7-13, 2003
Report by Karen Andrews, ELD SLA PAM Division Liaison
I won't have time before leaving for Nashville to do a complete report, but wanted to give you one important highlight from the SLA Physics Astronomy Math Division meeting that would be of interest for us.
The PAM Division has publisher liaisons, just like we do. [Editor's note: ELD currently only has organizational and meeting liaisons, not publisher liaisons. However, the ELD Executive Committee is considering the concept of starting a publisher liaison program in ELD.] I went to an informal meeting of this liaison group and suggested that our respective liaisons communicate with each other and share action items so that there might be two professional organizations asking for the same things from the same publishers.
The group discussed the need to send a formal letter about the liaison appointment from PAM to each publisher. Sometimes, publishers appoint a "Library Advisory Committee" and the PAM member may or may not be a participant in this group. When PAM liaisons contact publishers or try to keep in communication with them, they are sometimes seen only as being "the Physics Librarian from XYZ University" rather than as someone speaking on behalf of a much larger organizations of science librarians.
ACTION ITEM: Do we send a formal letter to each publisher announcing our ELD Liaisons? If not, do we want to send one?
COMMON AGENDA/WISH LIST
One way in which our societies could be more effective is by advocating a common set of "best practices" which we could communicate to publishers. Examples would be: cover-to-cover content digitization (not just major articles and letters), open URLs, model license terms, quality digitization of photos and high resolution images, specify the kinds of usage data desired, etc. PAM's Liaison group will work on developing such a list. Publishers are not always aware of what we think is a best practice.
ACTION ITEM: Do we want to develop a list of best practices for publishers, and work with PAM to come up with a joint list? This way, publishers would be hearing the same requests from two major professional organizations.
COMMUNICATE WITH PUBLISHER LIBRARY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
MEMBERS WHO ARE ALSO SLA PAM MEMBERS
In cases where publishers have an advisory committee of librarians, we could see if anyone is a PAM member. Sometimes this person could serve as the PAM rep to the publisher. If there is a separate PAM liaison, these two people could communicate on issues of mutual benefit. Publishers usually pay the expenses of advisory board members to come to meetings, but we can't expect them to pay for a liaison they didn't appoint. Informal communication could be a way to increase Pam's visibility and influence the discussions in the direction that members want.
PAM is looking for ways to make their Liaison effort more effective and to use their professional judgment to influence publisher decisions and directions. By combining efforts, perhaps ELD and PAM can have greater influence and a stronger voice.
-See you all soon!
SLA Science Technology Division Report from the SLA Annual
New York City, June 7-13, 2003
Report by Virginia Baldwin, ELD SLA SciTech Division Liaison
SLA Sci Tech Division Web Site
A. Business and Board Meeting Activities
Before the conference I contacted incoming Chair of the SLA SCI-Tech Division, James Manasco, about possibilities for coordination of SLA SCI-Tech, ASEE/ELD, and ALA/ACRL/STS (Science & Technology Section). Specifically, we discussed the possibility of an Internet survey partnership between the three SCI/Tech organizations. The survey would be on the topic of continuing education needs of SciTech librarians and would replicate the survey described in the article by Christina M. Desai "Continuing Education Needs of Science and Technology Librarians: Results of the 2001 STS Continuing Education Committee Survey" in the Spring 2002 issue of Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. The survey questions are in the article appendix.
The idea of a joint survey was raised with ELD board members last year, but more information was needed before the idea could be considered. At the outgoing SLA SCI-Tech board meeting during the SLA 2003 conference I raised the possibility of participation in a joint survey. In addition to being ELD's liaison to SLA's SCI-Tech Division, I am also SLA SCI-Tech liaison to ALA/ACRL/STS along with Leila Fernandez who shares that liaison role with me. Leila will follow through on this idea with STS Council at ALA in June. The survey could be coordinated with the Continuing Education Committee of ACRL/STS to produce a list and ranking of topics that are of interest for workshops, programs, etc., to conference attendees. Incoming SCI-Tech Chair, James Manasco, is very interested in coordination of a survey and suggested that each organization would designate one or two individuals to work out the details of the survey and its implementation. We may be able to use SLA's Survey Monkey to perform the survey online. Leila suggested the possibility of also coordinating the continuing education and workshop offerings of the three organizations. See also the Learn with SLA continuing education web site.
SCI-Tech Division board members discussed the considerations and problems with the use of online voting for officers. An updated e-mail list continues to be a problem. This year 700 ballots were sent out and 300 bounced back. Other issues are anonymity, identification/authentication, multiple votes, and filtering out corporate, associate level memberships and others who do not have voting privileges. Paper ballots were sent to those whose e-mail bounced back. Incoming chair Manasco will look into SLA's Survey Monkey to see if it resolves these problems.
Later in the conference, at the Incoming board meeting Eleanor MacLean, member from Canada, reported that New York State Laws preclude the use of electronic balloting. The return must be done by mail. Board members discussed the possible reasons for not voting and decided to survey the membership on why they did not vote.
The next annual SLA conference is in Nashville, June 5-10, 2004. The 2005 conference will be in Toronto, June 4-9, 2005. The Board is looking into the Wild Horse Saloon for a farewell party!
B. Programs and Events for SLA 2004 were discussed at the incoming board meeting. A slate of topics for sessions is in the planning stages, including:
SCI-tech sources for non-science librarians
Status of E Books
C. Programs and Events at the 2003 SLA annual conference that were sponsored or cosponsored by the SCI-Tech Division are the following:
Newcomers Brunch for first time attendees as well as
Science and Technology Division Annual Business Meeting - a breakfast meeting with awards
Computer Science Literature Roundtable
Academic Science Roundtable Breakfast
"Serials Pricing: What do we pay? What do we get?"
"Information in Space"
"Visualization of Data in Science and Social Science"
"Proteonomics, Genomics and Legal Licensing"
SCI Tech Contributed Papers Session: Needs Assessment: Exploring Techniques & Studies of Needs Assessment: (the first two papers are available on the SCI-Tech web site)
"Mapping Output of Topical Searches in the Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index, Arts and Humanities Citation Index"- Eugene Garfield, Chairman Emeritus, ISI, Philadelphia, PA.
"Information Audit as A Holistic Approach: A Case Study" Emily A. Langley, Information Services Manager, Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee Wisconsin.
"Information Use and Needs of Biology Faculty" Joe Kraus, University of Denver
Science -Technology Division Officers and Committee Chairs Contact Information. Incoming Chair, James Manasco, will be taking a new position in July 2003 at the University of Louisville, KY Kornhauser Health Services Library. His new contact information is:
IATUL Annual Meeting,
Ankara,TURKEY June 2-5, 2003
Report by Vladimir Borovansky, ELD Liaison to IATUL for 2003
The theme of the conference was "Libraries and Education in the Networked Information Environment". I moderated the second part of the keynote addresses by Norbert Lossau from Bielefeld U. (Germany) "Decreasing resources - new services for university libraries?" about e-learning and Maria Heijne from Delft TU "DARE to keep e-material ready for the future" (Digital Academic Repositories). The other keynote addresses were presented by Alan Bundy, U of South Australia "Changing the Paradigm: Libraries, Education and Networking (quite thought provoking - have a copy of it if anybody's interested. BTW, the conference proceedings comes out on CD-ROM) and by Hans Roess from Tilburg U., the Netherlands, E-learning and Libraries: Trends and Opportunities. Among the recommendations from those two keynote speakers: Librarians should team up with teachers and information literacy is more crucial than most people realize. One couldn't disagree with that, right? Otherwise, IATUL conferences are always interesting, meeting kindred colleagues from all over the world. Also during the conference we visited a small private university, Bilkent. The director and most of the department heads were women, so much for one Islamic country. And METU, trying to become the MIT of Turkey is quite impressive too. The campus is huge and modern, language of instruction is English. The next IATUL conference will be at Jagellon U., Cracow, Poland, May 30 - June 4, 2004.
After the conference I and my wife traveled around Turkey, I had the opportunity to see two other libraries, the Library of Celsus in Ephesus (still standing) and the remnants of the library at Pergamon, the second largest collection in the ancient world, over 200,000 scrolls that were transferred to Alexandriana as a gift from M. Anthony to Cleopatra, where it was later burned down.
Chemical Society 226th National Meeting
New York City, September 11, 2003
Report by Ibironke Lawal, ELD Liaison to the Chemical Information Division
I presented a report of ASEE/ELD activities to be placed on the ACS/CINF E-News website [Editor's note: that e-news is only available to members of the ACS Division of Chemical Information.]
Current initiative is to educate chemists on copyright,
trademark and intellectual property issues. (There is potential here for collaboration. I will keep
There was another session of the Workshop on Teaching Chemical Information: Tips and Techniques. This workshop is held twice a year, at the Fall Meeting and at a Regional Meeting. The next Regional Meeting is in the Midwest.
There was a Chemical Information Literacy symposium in New Orleans last spring. The report is not yet ready.
The issue of undergraduate schools and access to Chemical Abstracts is still a concern for the committee. As a result of the Division of Chemical Information (CINF) intervention, Chemical Abstracts Source (CAS) came up with some pricing options that could help small undergraduate schools, but this is still not good enough. Since this committee has exhausted all options with CAS, other avenues were suggested. One is to informally mobilize Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry and get them to write an open letter to CAS.
Another issue directly related is how to help small institutions with information since most of them cannot come to the meetings due to poor funding. It was suggested that there should be two interactive spots on our website, one for Academic members and one for Corporate members, to gather feedback on what we can do to help.
A new website is being constructed for this committee. Suggested items for the website will include:
List of Resources
Link to the Workshop and Resources
Interactive spots for feedback
Suggestion for a symposium or Poster
-Issues in Scholarly Communication - tied in well with the initiative mentioned above. This will involve educating chemists on the issues of copyright, intellectual property, initiatives such as SPARC, Open Access Initiative (OAI), MIT D-space, and PLoS. This could be cosponsored by National Chemical Information Symposium (NCIS), or by the mainstream Chemistry Committee. (This is where ASEE/ELD could be a cosponsor as well).
The session on using PDA's for Chemical Information was also interesting and will be of interest to members of ELD. PDA's are fast becoming very popular as information and teaching tools. I suggest that ELD do a session on PDA's as well, possibly at the 2005 conference. Science and Engineering PDA resources can be found at: http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Library/Training/pda.html
information on ACS/CINF activities see the division's website at:
Paul Duguid, co-author of The Social Life of Information, who "became interested in information when he worked at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Corporation with extraordinary scientists", engaged his audience with an opening keynote address that called for libraries to assume more of education's community building role - the coffeehouse of the future. He spoke of a` socializing of readers and texts that is hard but community bound. A library's purpose is access to a community of users - as either intermediary or as interface.
Featured presentations and conference highlights included:
John Gardner - The Reform Movement for
the First-Year Experience: What is your Role
Joan Frye Williams - They're from Mars; We're from Reference - Bridging the Culture Gap Between Library and Technical Personnel
John Shumaker - The Higher Education Environment and Role of the Academic Library. Shumaker identified five challenges that face educators today. Educators should:
Embrace students first
Become more accountable
Never lose sight of the overriding importance of public agenda
Conduct their business through institutional cooperation, and
Be increasingly entrepreneurial.
He spoke of the imperative of increased collaboration and the importance of digital library initiatives that "comprehensively embrace campus scholarly content." Shumaker urged all librarians to remember that the student centered digital library incorporates "easy to navigate content as well as services for that content". I found this point particularly critical at this time. Easy content navigation was the focus of a panel presentation of which I was a member, Beyond Usability: Not Just a Pretty Interface, and I was encouraged to see more ACRL libraries focusing on end-user usability testing of web sites and database interfaces. See John Shumaker's presentation at http://acrl.telusys.net/acrl/charlotte/program/shumakerpaper.pdf
George Kuh - The Role of the Academic Library in Promoting Student Engagement in Learning. Kuh discussed the results of the College Student Experiences Questionnaire (CSEQ) which 'examines the nature and value of undergraduate students' experiences with the academic library". Find his paper at http://acrl.telusys.net/acrl/charlotte/program/kuhpaper.pdf
One of the more provocative sessions I attended challenged our assumptions as to how academic libraries are organized and how we do our business. Alan Guskin, Antioch University President Emeritus and Codirector and Senior Scholar of the Project on the Future of Higher Education in Facing the Future: Enhancing Student Learning and the Vitality of Academic Professionals in a Climate of Budget Cuts, projected that the cost of higher education would go up four percent annually while tuition would increase by only two percent eroding the work-life of academic professionals and the quality of student learning. He emphasized that institutions of higher education must make the transition from "muddling through" to "transforming the institution". Part of this transformative action includes "new learning environments that directly involve librarians and student services professionals in educating students" and "integrating technology into the core of the instructional process." Librarians should see that they are not marginalized but push to be at the "table" as their institutions deal with the future and attempt to create a vital campus in a climate of restricted resources. After Guskin's presentation, Carla Stoffle, Dean of Libraries at the University of Arizona, invited the group to divide into groups to discuss Guskin's vision, to respond to the changes predicted, and to speculate on what that library of the future would look like. My group focused on the IT/Library divide at many of their campuses and the difficulty of achieving the goal of integrating information technology resources. Unfortunately, time would not allow us to report out or engage in extensive dialogue.
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