Archive for May, 2007

Academics must publish

.. and can at

As such, I’ve taken the leap to start my own journal- the Journal of Institutional Repository Research– at the site under the domain name Quite a bit of time and effort required to set in motion however.


Ain’t technology great

Tonight at work I am

–listening to a podcast at Instapundit (about boys and danger),

–putting together a yahoo groups message board for my new weekly lunch group (Grand Rapids Information Professionals),

–considering putting together my own academic journal at,

–and of course writing this blog!

Library work dull?!-never

Thoughts from the State Librarian

..about a new model for coops in the future can be found at

A growing site that may be of professional benefit (I belong):

From Wikipedia:

LinkedIn is a business oriented social networking site, mainly used for professional networking. As of May 2007, it had more than 10 million registered users, spanning 150 industries and more than 400 economic regions (as classified by the service).

…the site allows registered users to maintain a list of contact details of people they know and trust in business. Users can invite anyone (whether a LinkedIn user or not) to become a connection.

This list of connections can then be used in a number of ways:

A contact network is built up consisting of their direct connections, each of their connections’ connections (called 2nd degree connections) and also the connections of 2nd degree connections (called 3rd degree connections). This can be used, for example, to gain an introduction to some-one you wish to know through a mutual, trusted contact.

It can then be used to find jobs, people and business opportunities recommended by anyone in your contact network.

Employers can list jobs and search for potential candidates.

Job seekers can review the profile of hiring managers and discover which of their existing contacts can introduce them.

The “gated-access approach” (where contact with any professional requires either a pre-existing relationship, or the intervention of a contact of theirs) is intended to build trust among the service’s users. LinkedIn participates in the EU Safe Harbor Privacy Framework.

MALC Spring Conference News Recap

Opening remarks
Margaret Auer, MALC Executive Committee Chair, began the conference by noting that MALC is gradually becoming recognized as the voice for Michigan’s academic libraries. She reported that the MALC Academic Library Case Statement is being used by MLA as part of its overall library advocacy strategy. Likewise, MLC has invited the MALC Executive Committee to start a discussion with the academic library community. Members are using the MALC listserv to share information and the MALC website continues to grow.

To support this progress (and ongoing MALC organizational costs), all Michigan academic libraries will be receiving a MALC membership invoice (at least twenty of the larger academic libraries have already committed $200 per institution).

The MALC website (at continues to evolve as a one-stop information portal that can be used to educate the public about the contributions and accomplishments of academic libraries. Links to library associations have recently been added and the annual report section now includes friends groups and automation systems. The website features a library employee award information as well.

The website is hosted at UOD Mercy but remains the responsibility of ALL 87 MALC members (15 COLD, 43 DIAL-M, 29 MCCL). Members are urged to contribute content and update information! It is especially important that the membership section on the website is kept up-to-date.

Conference Review: Taskforce Report Summary

Task Force 1: Academic Library Case Statement / MeL Case Statement
(Linda Farynk)
Information from the case statements is being used for lobbying purposes and to tell the library story. MLA is looking at a long-term legislative strategy to market and build a new image of libraries with the media. MLA also published information from the MeL case statement in its recent newsletter. LOM will be focusing on marketing MeL in the next year.

Suggestions for improvement included highlighting the ACT college-entrance exam and using current info as marketing messages. Other suggestions included collecting narrative comments from library surveys (i.e. the LibQual survey), adding a section to the MALC website with a link to testimonials provided by MALC libraries, and connecting with MLA’s Public Policy Committee to develop a larger advocacy toolkit.

The case statement may also prove useful for MALC members when they meet with their chief academic officer (ie the value of MeL), discuss library funding at the state and institutional level, or attempt to write grant proposals

Task Force 2: Statewide Initiatives
(Tom Moore for Tim Richards)
The charge of the taskforce was to identify key issues/themes which could serve as the foundation for a multi-type library conference, particularly statewide issues, aka the 1999 Preferred Futures Conference. The taskforce currently seeks to relay broad issues for discussion rather than to develop actions and tangible outcomes.

Commentators noted that the state has significant social and economic issues that libraries could impact, that academic libraries have a shared understanding amongst ourselves but not across library types, and that
urgent issues affecting global change may greatly impact our libraries.
Other members warned against chasing abstractions, seeking instead to focus group energies on one or two strategic issues–perhaps being able to achieve a ‘common understanding’ with other type libraries. Collaboration may be at risk however because “many libraries are not participating because they are hanging on just to survive”.

When reviewing the 1999 (multitype library) conference, Randy Dykhuis noted the extensive effort required. However, the event became a well organized large scale planning session with 200 librarians in attendance for solid day. Concrete outcomes that resulted: Access Michigan/MeL, PLFIG, Michicard, statewide document delivery.

Task Force 3: Shared Storage Facility
(John Kondelik)
Off-site storage is an incredibley more complex involving ownership, content, sharing, location, and funding considerations. Task Force members shared a desire to work with a larger group from MALC on this issue, possibly starting small with gradual growth. In lieu of seeking funding for a consultant to do a needs analysis, it was suggested that a no-frills survey to the membership asking if off-site storage is a current/future need for their library should be undertaken.

Also, someone on the taskforce should study various offsite storage models (match requirements in the field with capabilities).

Be sure to understand Second Life

NMC Campus: Seriously Engaging

I’m betting Library Administrators will have to become familiar with Second Life in very short order. Here is a helpful introduction–with an academic campus and library featured.

Question: Why does a British accent have to sound so brainiac–I rather the voice of HAL from 2001 Space Odyssey.

Case Study: How to set up an Institutional Repository

In lieu of Friday’s ARLD’s seminar on Institutional Repositories, directors may want to listen to an excellent podcast entitled Content Recruitment and Development: A Proactive Approach to Building an Institutional Repository.
This podcast is found on the EducauseConnect website and describes what steps the Penn Library took to set up a repository for the University of Pennsylvania. Very interesting.

As an added benefit, I’ll throw in my article entitled Format Conversion technologies set to benefit institutional repositories.

–programming researchers seek to seamlessly convert proprietary file formats (think Microsoft Word) into Open Office (an open access format) in order to ensure research will be not be held hostage to proprietary code.

Open Office Logo at
John Potter
ITT Technical Institute/Grand Rapids