Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Re: [ACAT] Tell all your associates, don't go to library school.

Posting to Autocat

On 26/06/2012 14:50, Mitchell, Michael wrote:
I'm pretty sure all most of our students WANT is snacks and a date but in the meantime, if they WANT to pass their course, they HAVE to get 3 scholarly references. As long as we can provide those three scholarly resources we'll be here I think. Without us, access to the scholarly databases is severely limited and, without us, nobody is around to explain to them what a scholarly resource actually is. The really successful academic libraries I've seen (limited I know) provide large "study" areas that serve double duty for snacks and dating. I'm not going to sweat it.
Even that assumes a lot. This assumes that the requirement to write the so-called "research paper" will continue, that open access publication will not become the norm and that publishers will maintain control over scholarly communication. Again, I am not talking about 5 years in the future, but 10 or 20--that is, for a young person considering getting an MLIS.

When I do searches in Google Scholar, already I am seeing a *lot* more available in some fields in that wonderful right column (where the open access materials are supposed to be, although there is some "publisher spam" there), but that of course, is only a single tool out of so many. So, when I search "metadata" there is a lot available for free, while if I search "cicero criticism" there is much less but I see some even there, which would have been almost nothing just a few years ago. Still, the same search in Scirus, limiting it to free materials, opens up an entire world. http://www.scirus.com/srsapp/search?q=cicero+criticism&t=all&drill=yes&sort=0&p=0&nds=nom

Much of the newer scholarship are online projects and cannot really be captured in physical form, although there may be articles about the projects. For instance, there are some magnificent 3-D visualization projects of ancient Rome.

The University of Virginia is much in the news lately in a scandalous way http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/teresa-sullivan-the-ousted-u-va-leader-who-may-regain-the-post/2012/06/25/gJQAcSVx2V_story.html, but Siva Vaidhyanathan, a major web advocate and faculty member at UVa wrote this in the Chronicle: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/the-right-way-to-lead-higher-education-through-the-digital-age/33031, defending her and detailing the projects they have undertaken there. UVa has always been a leader in this regard, and I find the entire discussion rather strange. But nevertheless, scholarly communication is set for some major changes, and librarians must be ready to respond.

I personally think that the trends in "social search" indicates that finding information that is both reliable and not biased will be even more difficult in the future than it is now or has been in the past. I also think people will come to appreciate these skills of ours, but we will need the right skills and some much better tools.

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