New models have been developing in scholarly publishing that may represent a robust alternative to interlibrary loan in coming years. Cambridge Journals recently released a 24-hour pay-per-view model similar to developing trends in video rental. At $5.99 per article, it significantly undercuts many interlibrary loan fees. Like recent offerings from the Copyright Clearance Center, it represents a strategy of monetizing for publishers services which historically relied on exchange between libraries. Hopefully the pressure of libraries flocking to ILL alternatives will inspire OCLC to develop better, cheaper, and faster methods of interlibrary exchange.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have recently awarded grants to 12 libraries and museums as part of an initiative to introduce teens to technology.
The grant focuses on the creation of learning labs to help teach 21st century skills like creative experimentation with new technologies, tactile interaction with information, and self-directed learning. The recipient institutions will create physical and online spaces to facilitate teen tech learning outside of school and encourage interests. One of the local winners, The New York Hall of Science, plans to create a Maker Faire-inspired teen innovation lab.
A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education warns of the coming bookless campus. The argument is for digital immersion learning. By banning books on campus, students will be forced to interact with technology as immersion language students do with their supplemental tongue. The author brings up the possibility of pushback, especially in the humanities, from faculty attached to particular books. He’s right that most contemporary books are published in digital format, but as physical books have become remarkably simple to obtain, digital publishing has become hopelessly fragmented.
The idea of a book-free campus has recently graduated in to the sphere of possibility, but we’re still far from being able to offer the best resources to our students in strictly digital form.
*openmargin is an e-publisher devoted to creating mini-social networks around marginalia in its books. Much like vialogues is to video, *openmargin is to the e-book. It’s a similar concept to former EdLab review features like Bookhunch and NowComment in its devotion to community around content, but its style and niche offerings set it apart in the genre.
One of the coolest features in *openmargin is the cool (again, Vialogues-esque) comment timeline which allows one to mouse over profile pictures of users and see the points at which they comment in the book. A click will show you their comments. On the front page, a similar thing happens with book covers. Mousing over will show a random selection of participating users and a click will show the book on their profile page. It’s overall a very slick website with adorable Dutch touches (Dutches).
Kate reported on a similar trend back in September, but I’ve recently been reading more about this and thinking about its implications in other comment-based language learning programs like our own Vialogues Language Acquisition project. The central theme of these programs seems to be that short but effective communications in a foreign language can build empowerment and interest and facilitate cultural exchange over shared interests.
A recent article in HASTAC describes how Twitter is used to this end in a beginning Portuguese classroom. Students become quickly adroit in a cultural conversation with content that’s far trendier than anything found in a textbook. Students also work collaboratively to create course content using vocabulary and structure found in their Twitter feeds. The ability to create connection between native speakers and language learners using social technology may be a great revolution for acquisition, but it’s kind of sad that the plugged-in language learner of today won’t experience the social facilitation of hilariously outdated textbook slang.
There’s been a lot of buzz lately from the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control and their recent official anti-MARC stance, but this article delves further to explore a bibliographic control-less future.
The article first describes the difficult and recent birth of cost/benefit analysis in technical services librarianship. Though time and cost have played a role in cataloging decisions since the Library of Congress began offering pre-made cards at the turn of the century, until the 2000’s there was not a concentrated effort in the community to evaluate our metadata practices towards evolving material types. The article describes the testing procedures for RDA by the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control in crafting their recommendations for the bibliographic future.
Julia broke this story, but it's so relevant you'll have to read it twice. The SPARC study began in 2010 in three university libraries with a stake in this new library role: Purdue University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Utah. The survey portion of the study found that 55% of institutions offered or will offer publishing of some kind and three quarters of these programs included components of traditional publishing like journals and monographs. They also found, as Julia mentioned, that many of these programs were scrappy; few had long-term sustainability plans and fewer still the staff and funding required to re-create commercial publishing structures.
This flexibility could be a strength. The second part of the study explains the focuses and strategies of the three investigating institutions, which like TC's innovative publishing program, seem primed to expand the range of academic voices.
Switchcam is a crowdchiving site for fan-snagged concert footage. Users can switch between synced phone-camera footage to get a global perspective.
The idea is pretty awesome and builds on a concert merch market sorely lacking in business model innovation. I could see the fansourcing element of Switchcam blowing up, it’s a perfect participatory +1 even if you have to spend the entire show with a phone in front of your face. (Not a change for many the modern concert goer) The sync is surprisingly good. I can’t figure out how it does this, but the multiple camera angles seem to resolve themselves into sync as I watch. It’s like magic!
Hyperink is demand driven publishing. This publishing startup analyzes search trends on Google and produces short (30-50 page) e-books written by experts in these mini-fields.
It’s fast. Hyperink books generally take no more than a month to produce. They’re nimble enough to report on trending topics that may not have enduring book value (eg. Rebecca Black) and are gunning for the niche crowd. The topics are extremely diverse and some are very targeted.
The site is a little busy for my tastes, but it is called Hyperink. The pickings are pretty scanty right now, but there are enough to get a sense of the types of books Hyperink wants to publish. Some of them, like strategies for getting specific jobs or internships, seem very revolutionary in publishing. They’re also a bit expensive for a >50 page e-book, most are $25. That’s more than I would be willing to pay, except in the case of a book that specifically addressed a subject I needed. That’s what Hyperink is banking on.
You may have seen today’s article about the awesome power of patron driven acquisitions in Inside Higher Ed. No sweat folks, we’re all over that! Our demand driven acquisitions program quietly went live at the beginning of the week. Peruse our wide e-aisles of bountiful e-book full text links! Purchasing is automatically triggered when you spend more than 10 minutes reading a book or do any printing from the text. We hope this will be an extension of our current policies and a more automated way to deliver electronic titles to our patrons.