Facet Publishing have announced the release of the second edition of The Special Collections Handbook
This new edition from Alison Cullingford, Special Collections Librarian at the University of Bradford, is a practical day-to-day companion covering all aspects of special collections work.
Working with special collections can vary dramatically from preserving a single rare book to managing and digitizing vast mixed-media archives, yet the role of the information professional is always critical in tapping into the potential of these collections, protecting their legacy and bringing them to the attention of the wider public. This book offers up-to-date guidance which pulls together insights from best practice across the heritage sector to build innovative, co-operative and questioning mind-sets that will help them to cope in turbulent times.
Alison said “despite the challenges, the five years since the first edition have seen new reports, new collaborations , new publications and new standards; great progress has been made on digital curation, on tackling hidden collections, on doing what we do – better.”
Highlights of the new edition include coverage of new standards and concepts including unique and distinctive collections (UDCs); discussion of the major changes to laws affecting special collections; exploration of new trends in research including the rise of digital humanities, open access, the impact agenda and the REF; and consideration of impact and indicators, digitization and new skills frameworks from CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Group and ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section.
Alison Cullingford is Special Collections Librarian at the University of Bradford, where she is responsible for over 100 collections of modern archives and rare books. The
service was the first English university to achieve Archive Accreditation. She also managed the Unique and Distinctive Collections project for Research Libraries UK. An active member of the CILIP Rare Books and Special Collections Group and many other sector groups, Alison also regularly presents at conferences, blogs and tweets on the importance of the special collections librarian.
More information: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/title.php?id=301263
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Facet Publishing have announced the release of Developing Digital Scholarship: Emerging practices in academic libraries
This new book, edited by Alison Mackenzie and Lindsey Martin, provides strategic insights drawn from librarians who are meeting the challenge of digital scholarship, utilizing the latest technologies and creating new knowledge in partnership with researchers, scholars, colleagues and students.
The impact of digital on libraries has extended far beyond its transformation of content, to the development of services, the extension and enhancement of access to research and to teaching and learning systems. As a result, the fluidity of the digital environment can often be at odds with the more systematic approaches to development traditionally taken by academic libraries, which has also led to a new generation of roles and shifting responsibilities with staff training and development often playing ‘catch-up’. One of the key challenges to emerge is how best to demonstrate expertise in digital scholarship which draws on the specialist technical knowledge of the profession and maintains and grows its relevance for staff, students and researchers.
Developing Digital Scholarship spans a wide range of contrasting perspectives, contexts, insights and case studies, which explore the relationships between digital scholarship, contemporary academic libraries and professional practice.
The editors said,” Our book demonstrates that there are opportunities to be bold, remodel, trial new approaches and reposition the library as a key partner in the process of digital scholarship.”
Alison Mackenzie is the Dean of Learning Services at Edge Hill University. Alison has been an active contributor in the development of the profession having held roles on the SCONUL Board, and as Chair of the performance Measurement and Quality Strategy group. She is currently a member of the Northern Collaboration steering group and is co-editor of this book.
Lindsey Martin is the Assistant Head of learning Services and is responsible for the learning technologies managed and supported by Learning Services. She has responsibility for the virtual learning environment and its associated systems, media production, classroom AV, and development of staff digital capability. Lindsey has worked in academic libraries for the past 20+ years in a variety of roles. She has been active on the Heads of eLearning Forum Steering group (HeLF) for a number of years and is currently its Chair. She is co-editor of this book.
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Facet Publishing have announced the publication of Library Improvement through Data Analytics by Lesley S. J. Farmer and Alan M. Safer.
This book shows how to make sense of data in libraries and use it to inform decision making at every level.
Sound data analytics is the foundation for making an evidence-based case for libraries, in addition to guiding myriad organizational decisions, from optimizing operations for efficiency to responding to community needs. Designed to be useful for beginners as well as those with a background in data, this book introduces the basics of a six point framework that can be applied to a variety of library settings for effective system based, data-driven management.
The guide covers such key topics as:
- the basics of statistical concepts
- recommended data sources for various library functions and processes, and guidance for using census, university, or chamber of comm
erce data in analysis
- techniques for cleaning data
- matching data to appropriate data analysis methods
- how to make descriptive statistics more powerful by spotlighting relationships
- 14 case studies which address such areas as digitization, e-book collection development and reference
- staffing, facilities, and instruction.
This book’s clear, concise coverage will enable readers of every experience level to gain a better understanding of statistics in order to facilitate library improvement. It will be essential reading for library managers and key decision makers.
More information: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/title.php?id=301614
This presentation takes you chapter-by-chapter through the new edited collection from Facet, Annual Review of Cultural Heritage Informatics.
Picture a scene: in a county record office somewhere in England, a young archivist is looking through the morning post. Among the usual enquiry letters and payments for copies of documents is a mysterious padded envelope. Opening it reveals five floppy disks of various sizes, accompanied by a brief covering letter from the office manager of a long-established local business, explaining that the contents had been discovered during a recent office refurbishment; since the record office has previously acquired the historic paper records of the company, perhaps these would also be of interest? The disks themselves bear only terse labels, such as ‘Minutes, 1988-90’ or ‘customers.dbf’. Some, the archivist recognizes as being 3.5” disks, while the larger ones seem vaguely familiar from a digital preservation seminar she attended during her training. On one point she is certain: the office PCs are not capable of reading any of them. How can she discover what is actually on the disks, and whether they contain important business records or junk? And even if they do prove of archival interest, what should the record office actually do with them?
Meanwhile, a university librarian in the mid-west USA attends a faculty meeting to discuss the burgeoning institutional repository. Introduced a few years ago to store PDF copies of academic preprints and postprints, there is increasing demand from staff to store other kinds of content in a much wider range of formats, from original research data, to student dissertations and theses, teaching materials and course notes, and to make that content available for reuse by others in novel ways. How, the librarian ponders, does the repository need to be adapted to meet these new requirements, and what must the library do to ensure the long-term preservation of such a diverse digital collection?
Finally, in East Africa, a national archivist has just finished reading a report from a consultant commissioned to advise on requirements for preserving electronic records. The latest in a series of projects to develop records management within government, he knows that this work is crucial to promoting transparency, empowering citizens by providing them with access to reliable information, reducing corruption and improving governance through the use of new technologies. The national archives has achieved much in recent years, putting in place strong records management processes and guidance. But how to develop the digital preservation systems necessary to achieve the report’s ambitious recommendations, with limited budgets and staff skills, and an unreliable IT infrastructure?
Practical Digital Preservation is intended to help these people, and the countless other information managers and curators around the world who are wrestling with the challenges of preserving digital data, to answer these questions. If the book had been written only a few years ago, it would first have to explain the need for digital preservation at length, illustrated no doubt with celebrated examples of data loss such as the BBC Domesday disks, or NASA’s Viking probe.
Today, most information management professionals are all too aware of the fact that, without active intervention, digital information is subject to rapid and catastrophic loss – the warnings of an impending ‘Digital Dark Ages’ have served their purpose. Hopefully, they are equally alive to the enormous benefits of digital preservation, in unlocking the current and long-term value of that information. Instead, their principal concern now is how to respond in a practical way to these challenges. There is a sense that awareness of the solutions has not kept pace with appreciation of the potential and the problems.
Such solutions as are widely known are generally seen as being the preserve of major institutions – the national libraries and archives – with multi-million pound budgets and large numbers of staff at their disposal. Even if reality often doesn’t match this perception – many national memory institutions are tackling digital preservation on a comparative shoestring – there is no doubt that such organizations have been at the vanguard of developments in the field.
The challenges can sometimes appear overpowering. The extraordinary growth in the creation of digital information is often described using rather frightening or negative analogies, such as the ‘digital deluge’ or ‘data tsunami’. These certainly reflect the common anxieties that information curators and consumers have about their abilities to manage these gargantuan volumes of data, and to find and understand the information they need within. These concerns are compounded by a similarly overwhelming wave of information generated by the digital preservation community: no one with any exposure to the field can have escaped a certain sense of despair at ever keeping up to date with the constant stream of reports, conferences, blogs, wikis, projects and tweets.
Practical Digital Preservation demonstrates that, in reality, it is not only possible but eminently realistic for organizations of all sizes to put digital preservation into practice, even with very limited resources and existing knowledge. The book demonstrates this through a combination of practical guidance, and case studies which reinforce that guidance, illustrating how it has already been successfully applied in the real world.