Saturday, October 17, 2015

Google book-scanning project legal ...

This is the latest news from Reuters, October 16, 2015, by Joseph Ax, Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum, eds.: “Google book-scanning project legal, says U.S. appeals court” <>. 

Let's hope that there will be more full-text content rather than "snippets" to view.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Librarian-Faculty Gap

Take the opportunity to read and look at the data in the article titled "Are You Being Served?" by Meredith Schwartz in the Library Journal, September 1, 2015. Schwartz points out that there are contrasting attitudes from faculty and librarians towards their academic library’s services. She also mentions that faculty and librarians agree upon the four core competencies of service: “instruction of students in information literacy,” “development of collections in direct support of course curricula,” “aiding students one-on-one in conducting research,” and “development of discipline wide collections.” This article  is available via the EBSCOhost Premiere Collection database.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Books on Demand

I attended the first day of the Arizona Festival of Books on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson.  One of the highlights for me was visiting the library and seeing a demonstration of the Books on Demand Espresso Book Machine.  The Espresso Book Machine will print and bind a quality paperback book between 40 and 800 pages in approximately five minutes.

The Espresso Book Machine will print your own original book files, submitted as a PDF.  It can also print anything available in its searchable database.   Titles are sourced from Google Books, Internet Archive and, via arrangements with Ingram and/or individual publishers, a selection of titles from McGraw Hill, Harper Collins and other major and minor houses.  

The cost of a book is affordable.  U of A markets both in and out of the university community to position itself as a content creator.  Instructors can print books through the service, and the University of Arizona Press uses the operation for its advance reader copies.  For the general public, the costs are quite reasonable.  There is a one time $5 fee to set up the book to print.  After that, covers cost $2.50 and individual pages are priced at four cents each; a 40 page book costs $4.10.   Additionally, U of A proactively purchased a set of ISBNs and are selling them at $35 apiece, allowing the people who publish through them.  If bought through Books on Demand, the ISBN cost rises to $200.

The hardware can be bought or leased, but is still pretty expensive.  The price for the Espresso is still in the tens of thousands.  Another issue is maintenance.  It is complicated machine, and Books on Demand doesn't at this time have the resources to offer service.  Having said that, they do offer maintenance training to copier services.  The University of Arizona has two Espressos, one in the library and one in the bookstore.  The library's copier contract is with Xerox, and Xerox sent its employees to training and they service the Espresso along with all the other copiers.  when something goes wrong with the machine, Xerox is out to fix within the day.  The bookstore does not have that arrangement, and when something goes wrong with their machine it has to be fixed in house, which can take weeks.

More about the  Espresso Book Machine and Books on Demand:


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WalMart = Library

Have you heard of the abandoned WalMart building in Texas that was converted into America's largest one story library?

From 1,950 square feet to 123,000! From 2 public meeting spaces to 16! It's quite a fun accomplishment for the library community and might put a smile on your face.

New McAllen Main Library and pictures/info on Weburbanist.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

LAC Reference: Using the Second Screen

Trouble-Shooting the second screen (on the swing arm) at LAC Reference.

If the screen is blank, it might just be a configuration issue.

Press Windows-P on the keyboard (the 'Windows' key is the one with the flag on it, between the Ctrl and Alt keys on the lower left). That will bring up the options for an Alternate Display. Select the 'Duplicate' option. (hat-tip to Vivian for this).


Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Today, for the second time in as many shifts as I've worked at the LAC reference desk, a student came in inquiring about the workshop posted on the schedule.  Both students were sent here by an instructor as a chance for them to earn extra credit, and both times the presenting librarian was absent from the building.  In the first instance, there were two librarians at the desk, so one of us was able to open up L103 and present a workshop.  Today I was the only librarian in the building and the best I was able to do was to suggest that the student come back in a couple of hours when we figure to at least have adequate staffing to present a workshop, or else the next day.  THIS JUST IN:  while I was typing this, more students came and asked about the same workshop.  I asked, and the instructor is Nellis.  She teaches English.

So, I guess there are a couple of issues.  We have an instructor who is sending students, however late in the game, to our scheduled workshops.  Historically, we have tended not to present them during finals week, but the published schedule says we are offering them.  The other issue is what is the point of the workshop.  The students are simply coming for extra credit at this point; finals week is too late for them to learn something that will help them this semester.  Still, this is on the schedule and we look bad, IMO, for not coming through on it.

Going forward, we should try not to prepopulate the schedule with sessions we aren't going to honor. If we aren't hosting the workshops, we shouldn't advertise them.  It's great that we have at least one instructor that is sending students to our workshops, but it appears to be a case of the left hand not knowing what the right is doing.   Maybe we could work with Ms. Nellis and the English department to coordinate a time for this assignment?  If she wants to offer extra credit, that's great, but the sessions should take place earlier in the semester, when the student can use the information and it would be less a case of going through the motions for both student and presenter.  Minimally, though, we really should not make commitments we aren't intending to follow through on.