Study explores the future of digital libraries

As more libraries move their collections online, some faculty are concerned about their ability to find and read digitized texts.
As more libraries move their collections online, some faculty are concerned about their ability to find and read digitized texts.

Reluctant faculty members, challenges in scanning old texts with foreign characters, and conflicting ideas about whether information should be commodified or made free on the internet have been barriers to educators and librarians who advocate for digital libraries, according to research conducted by digital media experts from Rice University and the University of Michigan.

Their report, “The Idea of Order: Transforming Research Collections for 21st Century Scholarship,” was released June 2 by the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Library and Information Resources, a nonprofit group that advocates for greater access to information. The research examines the “wistfulness” for the days of print libraries that has slowed the creation of digitized book collections, among other topics.

Many in higher education have argued for more comprehensive web-based libraries like Google’s much-publicized Book Search, which has come under scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department.…Read More

Librarians weigh in on national ed-tech plan

ALA also observed that many libraries work together to support learning beyond the school walls.
Many school and public libraries work together to support learning beyond the school walls, ALA said.

School libraries are an important resource that should be leveraged as state and local leaders implement the recommendations in the National Education Technology Plan, the American Library Association (ALA) says.

In comments filed with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on May 17, ALA said it applauds many of the plan’s recommendations. The organization also stated its case for why school librarians should play a key role in state and local discussions on school technology use.

“The school librarian, as an expert in new and emerging information and communication tools, intellectual property issues, … new interpretations of fair use and use of Creative Commons licensing, … and information literacies—now often referred to as “transliteracies”—is a critical team member,” ALA said.…Read More