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Taiga Forum 2011 Provocative Statements

Posted by Editor on November 11, 2011

On 11/1/2010, Taiga Forum6 met in Palo Alto to begin developing a new set of provocative statements regarding some future challenges to academic libraries. Another group discussed the draft statements at ALA Midwinter in San Diego in January, 2011.
The Taiga Forum Steering Committee has taken that input and created this third round of Taiga Forum Provocative Statements. As before, the statements are intended to provoke conversation rather than attempt to predict the future. Taiga Forum participants write these statements in recognition of the value of considering potential medium-term futures in planning and decision making.
These statements are not intended to comprehensively cover all issues; they simply represent some of the topics that arose in our discussions. We welcome and encourage comments.
Within five years, the current university organizational structures will have been forced to dissolve, finally flattening the organization. Libraries will have less autonomy and librarian roles will have been subsumed into other parts of the university.
Within five years, campus administrators will expect research libraries to significantly reduce library budgets by engaging in radical cooperation among competing universities: jointly-owned collections, deep outsourcing, shared staffing, and shared services.

3. collaborative space partners

Within five years, academic libraries will either choose collaborative space partners or have them chosen for them. Librarians will not be able to play the “library as place” card without opening up their spaces to complementary programs. Read the rest of this entry »


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Broadcast Collaboration, from Brian Mathews, in AL’s Next Steps

Posted by Editor on October 25, 2011

Fri, 09/16/2011 – 13:55, by Brian Mathews

A look inside the NPR library

“Remind me how to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull?” “What music should I play for a piece about polar bears?” “David Hasselhoff—singing at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Can you find tape?”

Welcome to a typical day at the National Public Radio library in Washington, D.C., where over 10,000 such requests come in each year from staff, producers, and correspondents in the United States and around the globe. From fact-checking and pronunciation to background music, audio clips, and transcripts, the library helps deliver the news.

NPR’s collections are unique. While there are some print books, serials, and access to numerous commercial databases, the bulk of the collection consists of the audio archive of NPR news programs. Over 40 years of audio is stored on reel-to-reel tapes and CDs. Additionally, the library is digitizing thousands of tracks of musical recordings in preparation to move to the new NPR building in 2013. The archive also contains spoken-word materials: speeches, commercials, television show clips, and other historical and pop-culture references.

Laura Soto-Barra is the senior librarian, overseeing a staff of 17 plus interns. Embarking on this challenge six years ago, she helped to create a cohesive identity for the library by blending together the previously separate reference services and broadcast library, and by forming a team of researchers, digital and broadcast technologists, project managers, taxonomists, indexers, editors, trainers, and strategists. Read the rest of this entry »

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Plan to attend the SIRLS Homecoming Event November 3

Posted by Editor on October 17, 2011

The Dickinson Lectures
The Ares Auditorium (Room 164)
The James E Rogers College of Law
Thursday 3 November 4:00-5:30 PM (also via PodCast) with Reception to follow.

4:00-4:10  Introductions >  Mary Feeney, The Alumni/ae Association Board

4:10-4:40  Ruth Kneale:  Embed Yourself: The Librarian is IN!

Kneale is Systems Librarian for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope in Tucson, Arizona. Prior to that, she was the Librarian and Webmaster for the Gemini Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii, and the Gemini 8m Telescopes Project (what observatories are before they grow up) in Tucson. Basically, she’s a librarian in geek clothing, whose first program was created using BASIC on a TRS-80 with a tape drive. Ruth holds a master’s degree in Information Resources and Library Science from the Universityof Arizonaand a Bachelor of Science in astronomy and physics.  Ruth has written on computer topics for Information Outlook and Computers in Libraries, and has spoken about embedded librarianship at the Special Libraries Association annual conference. Her co-authored article on the topic appeared in the March 2011 issue of C&RL News. Read the rest of this entry »

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SIRLS Events at AZLA, Nov 29-30, 2011

Posted by Editor on October 17, 2011

SIRLS at AzLA [1]

Westin La Paloma, Tucson




Who [2]


Tues 29 Nov



Jim Martin &

Mary Feeney

Poster:  A 5-year Plan for Managing Physical Collections at the UA Libraries


Murphey I

Cecilia Tovar

The ESL Book Club:  Academic Fun at the Public Library


Murphey II, III

Elizabeth Soltero

Growing Families with Books:  Empowering Everyone through Family Literacy

Murphey I

Tom Wilding

Managing Your Career:  Who’s in Charge?


Jim Martin

On-Demand Information Delivery:  An Efficient Strategy to Satisfy Users Needs with Limited Resources


Murphey II, III

Cecilia Tovar

Books?  Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Books!


Jamie Lee

From Moments and Memories to Movements:  The Transformative Power of Oral History


Dana Braccia

Read Local: ArizonaAuthor Collection



Ruth Kneale

Especially Embedded:  Integrated Librarianship in Special Libraries (at SLD Business Meeting)

Read the rest of this entry »

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Be Your Library’s Greatest User – from DBL

Posted by Editor on October 11, 2011

Note: I wrote this a few days before the untimely and unfortunate passing of Steve Jobs. Jobs did so much to add to our understanding of what it means to deliver a great user experience – and a total, systemic experience. Although he is gone his presence will continue to have a lasting impact on the study of user experience and his accomplishments will no doubt continue to influence our thinking and writing on this subject.

There are many different ways a library staff can express its desire to become more focused on designing a better library. Some of them fall into the realm of improving the user experience. It might be something as basic as usability tests on the library website. It could be creating a staff position dedicated to user experience. It may even take the shape of a larger, staff-wide initiative to design an experience that emphasizes totality. Whatever initiative your library takes up to improve the user experience, it may be wise to step back and position yourself as a user of the library, and not the creator of its services.

Since Steve Jobs announced his retirement as Apple’s CEO numerous articles have both celebrated and critiqued his leadership of the world’s leading technology firm. More than a few could be said to go overboard in their praise of Jobs, and lead us to wonder if it isn’t all a lot of hype. After all, Jobs is but one more CEO of a technology company, albeit one whose vision and innovation has impacted many lives. One of the dozens of articles about Jobs that most captured my attention was featured in Fast Company. Titled “What Steve Jobs Can Still Teach Us” it too puts Jobs up on a pedestal despite a few obligatory remarks about his micromanaging and berating employees over minute product details. What it expresses well however was the way in which Jobs excelled at designing products for passionate users.

What Cliff Kuang eloquently points out is that in order for Jobs to do that he had to be Apple’s greatest user. He tells a story that shares, from Kuang’s view, the moment that more than any other shaped Apple’s future. When Jobs returned to Apple after a 12-year hiatus he found a company ill prepared to compete with Dell, IBM and others. Apple was only doing what all the others did but with higher priced, less competitive products. What happened? Jobs encountered an unknown Jonathan Ive (now Apple’s top designer) working on the iMac. That’s when their long-time relationship began, with an emphasis on great, user-centered design. Kuange writes…READ ALL HERE

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Information Literacy For The Mythical Digital Natives

Posted by Editor on October 5, 2011

October 5, 2011 – 7:27am — Blake In LIS News

I wish I could’ve used this as the title for this post: “Designing information literacy instruction without understanding that feral place where many library users reside is about as effective as taming a wolf. We can do it, but what good does that do for the wolf?”

GREAT post from Joe Grobelny: Feral “Information Literacy”

“Digital native is a fantasy invented by the fans of silicon valley to pigeonhole a generation for the sake of selling technology, but the truth is far less convenient. Not only the digital natives, but many people take on a feral state in their interactions with the internet, as it constantly shifts its boundaries, its cities and deserts. Likewise, the library is a place where we ought to allow for the feral. The ACRL information literacy standards are only useful to the domesticated to promote their efficient and purposeful use of the library. The truth is that most people do not experience the library as a city, but rather as a wilderness on the edge of civilization.

See Also: Matthew Battles, The Call of the Feral.

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ACRL in New Orleans

Posted by Editor on October 5, 2011

ACRL programs at the ALA Annual Conference

ALA’s 130th Annual Conference was held June 23–28, 2011, in New Orleans. Approximately 20,000 librarians, library support staff, exhibitors, writers, educators, publishers, and special guests attended the conference. Ed. note: Thanks to the ACRL members who summarized programs to make this report possible. From idea to innovation to implementation: How teams make it happen. Jason Young (president of LeadSmart and author of the book Culturetopia: The Ultimate High-Performance Workplace) was the featured speaker at Lisa Hinchliffe’s ACRL President’s Program. To a standing room only crowd, Young challenged attendees to come together and to “get in rhythm” in order to be creative, innovative, and make significant changes at our libraries. Young’s high energy program showcased how intentional teamwork can result in quality staff performance. During his program, he expressed that teams can be highly successful if there is trust among members, the expertise of staff is tapped into and used efficiently, alignment and commitment to the organization’s mission/vision is a priority for everyone at every level, and measurement and accountability is part of the culture. He used his branded TEAM framework to shape the program. Young additionally challenged the attendees to inspire those who they interact with. He often repeated that “leadership is not about title or position, instead it’s about influence.” He asked the crowd, “What influence do you produce every day?” It’s an interesting question for us all to reflect on in our interactions with colleagues, students…READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

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Remember to tell friends & colleagues about these scholarships!

Posted by Editor on October 3, 2011

MLGSCA Student Scholarship

Submission Information and Application

The Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona (MLGSCA) continually and vigorously supports the recruitment of outstanding candidates to the profession of health sciences librarianship. One mechanism employed by MLGSCA is through the provision of student scholarships. Three scholarships of $1000 are awarded annually to excellent library/information science students who have shown evidence of interest in pursuing the health sciences specialization in librarianship.

The scholarship is intended to provide support during a student’s course of study. The scholarship funds can be used as desired by the recipient.


  • Any individual who is enrolled in or entering an ALA-accredited masters program in library and information science and who shows evidence of interest (through their application) in health sciences librarianship.
  • The applicant must be a citizen of or have permanent residence in either the United States or Canada .
  • Past recipients of the MLGSCA Student Scholarship are not eligible to apply.
  • Priority will be given to applicants enrolled in a library school located in Southern California or Arizona .
  • Applicants need not be a member of MLGSCA or the Medical Library Association to be considered.

The following materials are required for application and must be received by December 15.

  • one copy of the completed application form
  • a minimum of two letters of reference and no more than three
  • a transcript (unofficial copy is satisfactory) from each college or university attended
  • a statement of career objectives

Scholarship payment will be made at the time of the award. The recipient will be notified in April. If there are no appropriate candidates, the association may elect not to award the scholarship in a given year.

Preferred: Please email as an attachment to: Laura dot stubblefield at sharp dot com


Print one copy of the completed application and related documents and mail to:

Laura Stubblefield, Chair MLGSCA Awards Committee
Sharp Memorial Hospital Medical Library
7901 Frost Street
San Diego, CA 92123

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Three Mindsets of Search: Answer Me Educate Me Inspire Me

Posted by Editor on October 3, 2011

From LIS News  and

Are these the same for in person reference questions in a library?

According to a survey by, people do it for one of three reasons. They want answers, they want to be educated or they want to be inspired.

Study revealed three distinct search types:

  1. Answer Me (46% of all searches) – People in a “answer me” search want exactly what they ask for, and no more, delivered in a way that allows them to get to it as directly as possible.
  2. Educate Me (26% of all searches) – People in an “educate me” search want 360 degrees of understanding, and multiple perspectives on critical topics. They will search until their goal is achieved – this may stretch over long periods of time and through related topics.
  3. Inspire Me (28% of all searches) – The fun “browsy” type of search, where people are looking for surprises, have open minds and want to be led.

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Reevaluating the Role of the Research Librarian

Posted by Editor on September 28, 2011

By Rya Ben-Shir and Alexander Feng, in Bio IT World

September 27, 2011 | If your image of a research librarian is the soft-spoken, bespectacled woman politely shushing you when you’re talking in the library, that outdated perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Research librarians are highly skilled data analysts and business experts playing key roles in driving company performance, particularly in life sciences organizations. They ensure the most talented project teams make the right choices, perform at their highest levels, and reach outcomes their companies are striving for.

And yet, many life science organizations—Pfizer and Genentech are just two recent examples—have cut back or eliminated their library research staff, believing the myth that everything is free on the Internet. Many more are experimenting with outsourcing research librarian services to India or China—producing unsatisfactory and low quality work.

Organizations that make these misguided “penny wise, pound foolish” decisions are failing to recognize the vital contributions that these important, skillful team members make in researching business intelligence, patent landscapes, safety signals, tracking competitors and much more.

One newly recruited scientist being introduced to his new employers’ research librarian stated: “When our research librarians were all eliminated, as many departments as could found a way to convert an open position to hang on to at least one of them for their own group. We became the haves and the have nots. A project creating and accessing the competitive landscape for a new compound we were considering in-licensing went from a couple of hours when done by a research librarian to weeks when I was left to do it… I would not work without a research library function again, if I could help it.”

Making the right decisions based on insightful analysis of the most relevant data can make a critical difference in companies whose futures rely on new product development. Adding an expert research librarian/information specialist to your “A-Team” dramatically increases your chance of success in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, where the project, product, and start-up failure rate is high. Read the rest of this entry »

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