Google Effect on Academic Libraries

Image representing Google Book Search as depic...

Image via CrunchBase

Like most people in the library field I have taken interest in the journey of Google and their effects not only on the Internet but the world as a whole. A company born of the modern world their reach is extensively global and generation encompassing. And in 2004 Google set its eyes on the intellectual world with the announcement of its new Google Book Search. Within months those in the library world noted its stake in the success of this project. The announcement was met with fear and announcement. Google publicized that their goal was to ultimate create a universal digital library. Critics were quick to note that a company bent on making money could never compete with libraries already established for hundreds of years. However people started declaring the end of the library, touting Google as the founder of a new information society. “Though a lot has been written in both the popular and technical press, especially related to the settlement with authors and publishers, there is still in my mind a lack of clarity regarding how this project may impact libraries in the long term. If it is true that the successful completion of the project will “create the world’s largest library online,” does this necessarily also entail that libraries as we know and love them are dying?”(Dougherty, 2010)

In this paper I discussed the literature surrounding the future of books, the Google Book Search Project, and how these two things are affecting the future of academic libraries. I believed like many others, there is a distinct connection between these topics and that while Google’s idea of a universal digital library is a good idea I don’t think its time to say goodbye forever to traditional libraries. “And in the case of academic libraries, they are not the research and teaching embraced by the academy, but without their bibliographic traditions, scholarly discovery, learning, and teaching would be isolated, episodic, and limited to the harsh economy of the subject or topic attracting the greatest money or the best students.”(Shuler, 2007)

Google Effects on Academic Libraries by JPW

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One Month and Counting

As of today there is but one month left before I can switch the words MLIS candidate to just plain MLIS (I’ll have to wait about a month before I can hold the actual degree in my hand). I’m a mix between being excited, nervous, and a little sadden at the same time. Another chapter in my life is quickly coming to an end. Two years honestly flew by in a flash.

To catch you all up since I didn’t post much last month besides the Practicum update here and there I’m steadily applying for employment. Granted I could be applying more but I’m just a bit tired to be honest. For instance today with a long list of things to do I got up early, but ended up taking a 2 hour nap before doing anything. There’s so much more I feel like I could and should be doing but at the same I’ve been non-stop since 2009. I’m running on empty here. But if I can make it to the finish line and accept that job offer than I can think about resting then.

Classes are going good, the final papers will be due soon and I’ve started rewriting my Professional Value Statement. It’s interesting to see how much I’ve not changed what I value professionally, but my understanding as to why I value these things has changed. I should have it all completed by next week. Technically I’ve completed the minimum hours needed for my practicum and could use the hours to do other things,  but I’m continuing to go because I’m just learning and experiencing  so much. Which you’ll learn more from the many posts I’ve been sharing…(insert some sarcasm there.) The only class giving me some pause is my Academic Library class. The final paper is due at the end of the month and I’m suffering from information overload. I’m glad I’m not stuck with a topic that lacks information but now I can’t stop finding relevant articles and books. I need to narrow my topic and just start writing. I’ll talk more about the paper at another time.

I guess it’s fine to speak about this since she’s officially made the announcement but my BFF is having her first child in August. I’ve been named the Godmother and I’m beyond excited.

I think that’s really all for now. Time to bunker in for the long haul.

Ethics and Wikis

Citizens protesting/invading the Stasi buildin...

Image via Wikipedia

I would like to say I’ve managed to conquer that back log of stuff-to-do-asap but atlas no such things can be said. I finally buckled down and made my end-of-the-semester big to do list. I try to make it one month before the end of all my class obligations. This semester it’s December 10, when I’ll hand in my final project for Digital Libraries. Don’t even get me started on the fact that there’s one month left in the semester, ohmgee where does the time go?

This weekend I did manage to make a dent in the back log, I turned in three papers and completed a quiz. I even managed to squeeze in some time to do some more shopping for professional wear. I stocked up on some awesome cardigans, I love cardigans.

Back to the topic of this post, in Archives we talked about Ethics this week. Our paper was on Ethics. We had different articles assigned to us and we had to react to them. Mines was on the Stasi files from the fall of the German Communist Government. It was interesting to think that they decided it was in the best interest of the country to open the archives to the point where people could find out who had reported them. One of my main issues was that the article kind of glossed over the real effects this had on the country. It mentions there were some divorces and some suicides but you know that’s nothing. It might not have been mass chaos and mayhem but I’m sure it wasn’t all peachy keen.

In class we were grouped together and shared our articles to the class. One group had an article about negatives of the Dead Sea Scrolls that were found in a California Library. It was originally supposed to be stored there by a woman who convinced the Israeli government to trust her to keep a back-up copy safe. Because the Israeli government was keeping the Dead Sea Scrolls under lock and key and limiting the access when they were found by a new director of the library he decided to share them and put them up for open access. A lot of people in the class thought it was wrong of the Israeli government to even think of limiting the access, however I thought it was wrong of the director to open them up like that. It wasn’t his place to decide what to do with them like that, in any event if the lady or descendent of the lady wasn’t around they should have contacted someone over in Israel to decided what to do with them. The original purpose was to be stored not to be open for access. Information Freedom or Right to Information is a very new thought (dare I say even a very Western thought), it’s not shared every where.

What right do we have to any information? I mean yeah I think Israel was being rather stingy keeping the information to themselves, but I’m not about to start shouting I have the right to see them, because I don’t. I didn’t find them, I don’t know who wrote them, my life ultimately will go on without seeing them. Yeah I really want to see them. But it’s really more of a courtesy then a right. I’m grateful that I live in a country where I can claim Intellectual Freedom and the Rights to Information. But I’m not naive to think it translates to other cultures and countries. As I joked with my friend try going to China and shouting about Intellectual Freedom and let me know how that works for you.

And just so this isn’t a long block of text here is a screencap of my wiki I turned in this weekend.

The Semester is in Full Force

This past week I submitted the first two papers of the semester to their respective professors.

The first being for my Archival Management course, it was paper comparing and contrasting two articles we had to read. T.R. Schellenberg, “The Appraisal of Modern Public Records,” in MAR, 57-­‐70 vs. Hilary Jenkinson, “Reflections of an Archivist,” MAR,15-­‐21. At first I’ll be honest I was not sure how we were suppose to be comparing these articles, the firs time I read through them I thought were comparing what came down to apples and oranges. But I read through again and it started to sink in what they were saying. Just had to cut through the noise sort of speak.

Schellenberg versus Jenkinson

The second one was turned to my Digital Library wiki. We had to evaluate a Digital Library in use now. I chose Perseus digital library operated out of Tufts University. Overall it’s a great project and thy started in a field I love, Classical Studies. But I think they are all over the place. I had to do a lot of sleuthing to find the information I needed to do a decent evaluation.

Perseus Digital Library Evaluation

Keeper of History

Last night as I sat in bed willing myself to go to sleep my mind had other plans. I had recently finished working on my last paper for Management and it caused me to think not only about my future but also my leadership philosophy. I found that I had the same problem that I had last semester when it came to putting words to my professional values. It seems to me that values and personal philosophies are abstract things and putting words to them are sometimes impossible, that doesn’t mean you don’t have values or a philosophy that guides your life but that you haven’t found the words to express it to others.

That aside this grand epiphany wasn’t what kept me up, no what kept me up is that I felt as if I had pigeon holed my future in the paper. The last part of the paper was to give a 15 year plan and I said my ultimate goal in my career is to be the Director of a museum library or even a Head Archivist at an academic library. But I don’t just want to be an archivist, I think that label isn’t the right label for me.

My passion for history is deep felt, I believe that history is not 2D, it’s not just a story of the past. It’s 3D, it’s the story of the past, the present and the future. It’s the ultimate mystery story, where no matter how many clues you put together you will never figure out the end. History is never the same always changing, a new artifact is found, a new fact is stated, a new story is begun.

Last semester, in foundations, was the first time I heard librarians connected to the term Information Gateways, and after this semester, really after this paper my understanding of this connection has deepened. As a student of history, and perhaps an archivist I want to be that gateway to history.

I have many interests; history, computers, art, etc and in my life I always want to be learning, discovering, and more importantly experiencing.

Bibliography Assignment Postponed

Today I was suppose to turn in my bibliography term paper for Reference. However with the additions to my workload, such as the grant proposals, poster proposals, and working part time I just ran out of time. I had to ask my professor for an extention and he was nice to give me a full week. I hope I won’t need the whole week. But I want it to be the best that it can be.

I knew the undertaking of collecting sources on Fairies would be a time consuming task but I just didn’t really foresee so much coming due at the same time. I’ve discovered sources from the 1700’s, not just books but actual articles and dictations of interviews with people claiming to have encountered fairies. The history geek in me squeals with joy every time I uncover something new. The problem is the history geek in me squeals with joy every time I uncover something new and then I want to include it. At this point my source list is 8 pages long and i haven’t even started annotating them.

Tomorrow I’ve got my internship and a grant proposal meeting and then I’ll be getting to work on this to finish it up.

Library Administrator and Organization Ideal Vision

Yesterday assignment 2 for my LIS 650 class was due. In it we had to create an ideal organization for us to be the director of. My Ideal Vision was based heavily on my interview and the readings. Specifically Raving Fans and Creating a Customer Driven Library. Here’s the conclusion:

I’ve gained a lot of insight from the readings on management skills and what makes an excellent manager. I’ve learned even more about what it means to be a library manager. A library is like any other company and how you deal with its internal and external customers are no different than from a fortune 500 company. While I’m still not sure if I could handle some of the more toxic managers and coworkers, I am more confident I know more about what makes them so toxic to the bottom line of a company. I now know how important it is to do strategic planning and needs assessment, that the customer isn’t always right and it’s okay to, if done politely, to encourage them to go somewhere else if their expectations are to grand. The readings where all influential in their own ways, but Raving Fans and A Customer Driven Library both spoke to me on a different level the rest. I feel like it’s a personal mission of a librarian to create raving fans of libraries and that the future of the libraries are going towards user or service centered organizations and perhaps there’s more to the bookstore model than we give it credit.

Library Administrator Interview

My Library Administration and Management class had our first assignment due this past Sunday.

We had to interview a library administrator and write a paper based on the interview. I decided to do mines on the director of the library that I’m interning in. It was a chance to talk to her and get to know her a bit more.

I’ll post the final paper later.

Professional Values?

Okay, this past Monday I had my last paper for LIS 600 due. But I had to ask for a extension because I was so behind on the action research project, we ended up finishing it this past Sunday. I had no chance to really think about the last paper. Well Thursday came and I worked and worked and got no where. I’m still working on this paper, right now.

Here’s the problem I am having…the paper is suppose to be about my values. But it’s somewhat abstract, at least to me it is. Because I’m not quite sure what it’s suppose to be on. After one semester of course I’m not sure I can claim any professional values that will see me through my career. I think if I had to write this paper at the end of next semester, after I’ve taken the last of my core classes. I think I might have a better grip of what I value as a professional.

I’m going to continue hacking at it tonight and I hope I get some where.