2 Mar 2012

The libfocus mixtape - #1

| noun \ˈlib-ˌfō-kəs ˈmiks-ˌtāp\ : a round-up of recent journals, blogs, websites, books and news worth reading


1. Reskilling for research. An investigation into the role and skills of subject and liaison librarians required to effectively support the evolving information needs of researchers
At 115 pages it is one for sending to the ereader rather than the printer. If that still sounds too much, there is always the executive summary. Still too long? Try this: “the support and services research libraries are charged with providing will have to be clearly articulated and their benefits expressed in terms of researchers' needs and how these will be met actively, they will have to be delivered within a timeframe that corresponds to researchers' patterns of work, and they will have to be vigorously and assertively promoted.”

A detailed dissection of the blogger @FakeElsevier’s take on the recent boycott. I do like the analogy of scholarly publishers as midwives.

I think ereaders offer great potential for selling shorter pieces individually, particularly for non-fiction. Printing and distribution costs obviously make this idea unworkable in print. However, I was hoping to see new content rather than previously published Economist articles.

The new ‘Current Reports’ journals will focus on dermatology, geriatrics/gerontology, nutrition, obesity, obstetrics/gynecology and respiratory care.

Abstract: Every major health profession now provides competency statements for preparing new members for their respective professions. These competency statements normally include expectations for training health professions students in library/informatics skills. For purposes of this article, searches were conducted using various sources to produce a comprehensive 32-page Compendium <https://repository.unm.edu/handle/1928/15363> that inventories library/informatics-related competency statements. This compendium should aid readers in integrating their library/informatics skills training into various health professions education curricula.

6. The librarian in the cloud: or beware of unintended consequences. J Med Libr Assoc. 2011 October; 99(4): 267–269. 
A worrying proposition by Dr Susan Starr: “As my own former campus has found, while users value embedded librarians, they are loath to pay for them. Unlike the physical library of old, which served as a visible representation of the quality of the university, these targeted programs are easily viewed as nonessential by those who control our funding.”

A forthcoming book published by Chandos presents the idea that information literacy, reconceived as ‘research processes’ “becomes the domain of teaching faculty, with the assistance of librarians. The goal is to transform education from a primarily one-way knowledge communication practice to an interactive practice involving the core research tasks of the subject disciplines.”
A concise and cogent take on what librarians are ‘really’ teaching in terms of information literacy. Barbara Fister argues that increasingly we are seeing a reductivist approach where we instruct students “to do what comes easily” (scholarly journals > newspaper & magazines, rather than evaluating each individual article on its own merits) . Fister believes “We assume information is sought and that judgments can be made based on visible signals embedded in a source. As the information landscape changes, as definitions of authority and reputation change, as we move into a world where publishing will be fundamentally different, we need to rethink what we talk about when we talk about information literacy.”


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