This post was originally posted on the ALA Editions blog.
The first edition of Peggy Johnson’s text Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management was published in 2004. Needless to say a whole lot has changed in the last 14 years, and Johnson has kept updating and revising her book to keep current with the field. On the occasion of the publication of the new fourth edition, we spoke with her about her writing process, what’s important for today’s LIS graduates, and what lies ahead.
So, you’ve just published the fourth edition of your book! Congratulations! What were some of the differences working on the project this time around? And what have you learned over the years that you wish you’d known from the beginning?
The process of research and writing I follow is basically the same as when I worked on the first edition. However, locating resources continues to get easier with full text online indexes and Google Scholar available. I still spend a lot of time verifying details. I confess I continue to print articles and borrow print books through interlibrary loan. I’ve tried keeping only digital files, but it doesn’t work for me. I need tangible copies I can hold and organize. One thing I wish I’d known earlier is how willing librarians and others in the field are to help. With this edition, I reached out to nearly fifty people, all of whom graciously answered my questions and offered advice.
Describe your writing and revision process—is it all electronic, or do you print out some drafts and go to work with a red pencil?
I’ve always written on the computer, but I do print each chapter about halfway through the writing so I can spread it out on my desk and move parts around. As I write a chapter, I create an detailed outline aiming to have a logical progression. Many of the writing techniques I learned in elementary school remain useful, although I don’t take notes on 3X5 cards. Once a chapter is nearly complete, I do the polishing on the electronic file.
Let’s say an LIS student approaches you for career advice. After getting that degree, what are some important first steps to take?
I always tell students to get library experience either through in internship or a practicum while in school. Employers look for some familiarity with the real world even when hiring recent LIS graduates. Involvement with professional organizations is important both because of the learning opportunities and because of the contacts made. New librarians seldom realize what a small world the library field is—building a network of support and potential references is critical.
Are vendor relations such as purchasing and licensing materials getting easier or more difficult? Why?
I think vendor relations are more complex. I added a chapter in this edition on vendor relations, negotiation, and contracts in part because library school faculty members and collection development librarians requested it. Once you understand that vendors are trained in selling and promoting their products and especially in negotiating effectively, you realize that librarians need parallel skills. Being aware of all the variables (and there are many) that go into making the best selection choice for your library is more important than ever. Even librarians who don’t make the final choices need to understand the issues and why decisions are made.
What’s the most surprising trend in the field of collection development and management? How do you see this discipline evolving over the next 5-10 years?
I first became interested in 1980s in what we were then calling machine readable data files (MRDFs). It seemed obvious that they were going to have a significant and ever-increasing effect on library collections and services, so I can’t say I’ve been surprised by the role digital content plays in today’s libraries. Perhaps the wide-spread participation in consortial buying by all types of libraries might be considered surprising, but I’d say it’s a logical progression that began with consortial resource sharing. May be one development that is, indeed, surprising is the extent to which publishers are selling directly to libraries. Not too long ago, libraries relied on intermediaries (jobbers, vendors, and agents) because publishers didn’t want to deal with selling, invoicing, and shipping individual titles. Packages of titles (both e-journals and e-books) have changed the business model and made publishers major players. As far as that goes, I’m guessing that few librarians could foresee the extent to which libraries now purchase lrge packages of titles. I’m always leery of projecting the future—it is too easy to be wrong. That said, I think that the importance of managing legacy print collections will continue to grow and, I hope, we will see the development and implementation of national preservation and retention plans.
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Scholarly publications from leading researchers worldwide
For students, academics, early career and next generation researchers, we commission and publish scholarly research in monographs and edited collections from some of the leading scholars in the world. We aim to address the critical information issues of our time by commissioning current active research in established topics and adjacent fields, you can see some of our latest examples here.
All of our scholarly titles are peer reviewed by specifically selected scholars and we offer open/single blind/double-blind review depending on the wishes of our authors. For the iResearch series we have a bespoke editorial board. We also use our editorial advisory team, comprising thought leaders from around the world, in a variety of sectors as a sounding board for our list development ideas.
We know how important it is for our academics to upload their research to their institutional repository directly after publication in order to share their research/practice as widely as possible. In order to facilitate this, we have a green open access policy that supports an author’s right to voluntarily self-archive their work without embargo or payment. We are open and flexible with our authors and invite discussion of our policies.
We are committed to increasing the discoverability of our authors’ content. The full text of all our books is discoverable through Google scholar and library discovery services. We aid discovery by individually indexing our book chapters with DOIs, adding carefully selected keywords and expertly chosen book trade subject codes. Our books are available in print and digitally throughout the world.
We are expert, agile marketers and ensure our titles are offered for review in leading relevant journals around the world. In addition, we target scholarly communities through social media to ensure that scholars from Mumbai to Jakarta and from Syracuse to Durban are aware of new content relevant to them. We select the most appropriate conferences and seminars and ensure that our authors’ content is represented to its target readership.
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Today Marcia Lei Zeng and Jian Qin are presenting a paper at iConference 2017 in Wuhan, China. We have made a sample chapter from their co-authored book, Metadata, freely available to view and download from the Facet website.
The chapter provides a context for metadata uses in our life and work and a brief history of the metadata movement. It reviews fundamental concepts, including metadata types, categories of metadata standards, and metadata principles. Finally, it presents additional examples of metadata descriptions.
The second edition of Zeng & Qin’s Metadata provides a solid grounding in the variety and interrelationships among different metadata types, offers a comprehensive look at the metadata schemas that exist in the world of library and information science and beyond, as well as the contexts in which they operate.
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Tomorrow sees the start of the iConference 2017 in Wuhan, China. To mark this, we are making some selected chapters from our information science textbooks freely available to view and download from the Facet Publishing website. The first is taken from David Bawden and Lyn Robinson’s seminal Introduction to Information Science.
The chapter, What is information science? Disciplines and professions, covers:
- The nature of information science
- What kind of discipline is information science?
- Constituents and core
- Other information disciplines
- The uniqueness of information science
- History of information science.
Introduction to Information Science has been described as “the best introduction to information science available at present” (Birger Hjorland, Royal School of Library and Information Science) and “one of the very best places for people to start to make a difference.” (Jonathan Furner, UCLA).
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Facet Publishing have announced the publication of Managing Digital Cultural Objects: Analysis, discovery and retrieval edited by Allen Foster and Pauline Rafferty both at Aberystwyth University.
The book explores the analysis and interpretation, discovery and retrieval of a variety of non-textual objects, including image, music and moving image.
Bringing together chapters written by leading experts in the field, the first part of this book provides an overview of the theoretical and academic aspects of digital cultural documentation and considers both technical and strategic issues relating to cultural heritage projects, digital asset management and sustainability. The second part includes contributions from practitioners in the field focusing on case studies from libraries, archives and museums. While the third and final part considers social networking and digital cultural objects.
Managing Digital Cultural Objects: Analysis, discovery and retrieval draws from disciplines including information retrieval, library and information science (LIS), digital preservation, digital humanities, cultural theory, digital media studies and art history. It’s argued that this multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach is both necessary and useful in the age of the ubiquitous and mobile web.
Key topics covered include:
- Managing, searching and finding digital cultural objects
- Data modelling for analysis, discovery and retrieval
- Social media data as a historical source
- Visual digital humanities
- Digital preservation of audio content
- Photos on social networking sites
- Searching and creating affinities in web music collections
- Film retrieval on the web.
The book will provide inspiration for students seeking to develop creative and innovative research projects at Masters and PhD levels and will be essential reading for those studying digital cultural object management. Equally, it should serve practitioners in the field who wish to create and develop innovative, creative and exciting projects in the future.
About the editors:
Allen Foster has a BA in Social History, a Master’s in Information Management and a PhD in Information Science. As Reader in Information Science, he has held various roles, including Head of Department for Information Studies, at Aberystwyth University. His research interest areas span the research process of Master’s and
PhD students, the development of models for information behaviour and serendipity, and user experience of information systems, creativity and information retrieval. He has guest edited for several journal special issues, is a regional editor for The Electronic Library and is a member of journal editorial boards, international panels and conference committees.
Dr Pauline Rafferty MA(Hons) MSc MCLIP is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Teaching and Learning at the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University. She previously taught at the Department of Information Science, City University London, and in the School of Information Studies and Department of Media and Communication at the University of Central England, Birmingham.
Sarah Higgins, Aberystwyth University
Katrin Weller, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Hannah Dee, Aberystwyth University
Lorna Hughes, University of Glasgow
Lloyd Roderick, Aberystwyth University
Alexander Brown, Aberystwyth University
Maureen Pennock, British Library
Michael Day, British Library
Will Prentice, British Library
Corinne Jörgensen, Florida State University (Emeritus)
Nicola Orio, University of Padua
Kathryn La Barre, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rosa Ines de Novias Cordeiro, Federal Fluminense University, Rio de Janeiro
Facet Publishing have announced the release of Visual Literacy for Libraries: A practical, standards-based guide.
The importance of images and visual media in today’s culture is changing what it means to be literate in the 21st century. Digital technologies have made
it possible for almost anyone to create and share visual media. Yet the pervasiveness of images and visual media does not necessarily mean that individuals are able to critically view, use, and produce visual content.
This book provides you with the tools, strategies, and confidence to apply visual literacy in a library context. You will learn ways to develop students’ visual literacy and how to use visual materials to make your own teaching more engaging.
Ideal for the busy librarian who needs ideas, activities, and teaching strategies that are ready to implement, this book:
- shows how to challenge students to delve into finding images, using images in the research process, interpreting and analysing images, creating visual communications, and using visual content ethically
- provides ready-to-use learning activities for engaging critically with visual materials
- offers tools and techniques for increasing one’s own visual literacy confidence
- gives strategies for integrating, engaging with and advocating for visual literacy in libraries.
With this book’s guidance, you can help students master visual literacy, a key competency in today’s media-saturated world, while also enlivening your teaching with visual materials.
Visual Literacy for Libraries will be essential reading for librarians, information professionals and managers in all sectors, students of library and information science, school and higher education teachers and researchers.