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Envisioning the science library of the future

Page history last edited by Librarian Kimberly 11 years, 9 months ago


Helen Josephine – Stanford University, Science Library

  • Engineering Library  - “booklite”



Michelle Garcia – Los Alamos National Laboratory

  • footprint reduction
  • loss of expertise and attrition
  • public service / service to researchers (concerned about how to provide)



Victoria Mitchell – University of Oregon Science Library

  • facility outdated – planning / fundraising for new facility
  • just hired new science data services librarian

o       what credentials did you look for?

  • See a lot of collaborative work occurring in library

o       Science students need collaborative spaces



UC – Irvine (Julia Gelfand) – foot traffic marginal in 14 year old library and collaborative space. Computers unused – there were other issues with the facility not being well-used during the day. Cuts came. Night hours curtailed.  Our faculty didn’t react to this.



-          Question for the group: Would the science communities at your campus have been outraged by this?

-          Response from Victoria: Yes, if our students would not be using the Library and faculty would complain – too student-focused.

-          Response from Jennifer King (CUNY): Depends on what campus and what students: we don’t have a separate Science Library, commuter campus, we had a student group come to ask to extend hours on Friday and Sunday. For the science people; get into the Labs, not coming for the print resources (CUNY). CUNY has 24 campuses and another college has more money; some students don’t have safe home life, need a quiet place to study because that is the place to provide it.

-          Question from Kimberly: Have the students been surveyed?

-          Response: They are hanging out elsewhere.

-          Comment from Mary: If there isn’t a need there isn’t a need. Maybe having the science library isn’t the ticket.

-          Comment: Maybe the providing of the staff or the resources to meet when the need is?

-          Response: There is this gorgeous huge building; nobody uses it.

-          Comment: How can we repurpose the space to meet the customer needs?




Mary Donahue – National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

-          We’re all thinking about how to re-purpose our facilities to meet user needs



Helen –

-          Also how do we reconfigure our online environments?

-          My library customization



Victoria –

-          Students need space for research presentations, brownbags, group study rooms, etc.






How do we be more responsive to whatever they need from their research environment?



-          e.g. reconfigurable furniture (physical environment)

-          online environment – through Homepage/Drupal,  they reconfigure the page the way they want



-          Reconfiguring both physical and online environments:



-          Be a user-shaped, “third place” for social, research, etc., interaction



-          Victoria: Does it have to do all those things – café, study space, research, etc?



Experience from Jill Cirasella (Brooklyn College): One of the only things students said to the President is the Library needs longer hours – so the Library is trying to keep the first floor open earlier and later; this means the Library is offering students a very-old-fashioned service; they can’t get to the books; so we instituted a paging service which is cheaper than keeping the floors open.



Comment from Deb Kegel (UCSD): We’re seeing some after-hours access, but in addition to space demands, we’re seeing demands on staff time causing us to rethink our work schedules to accommodate customers coming in at dinnertime, early evening.



Comment: Does it have to be a “librarian’ or is this a different staffing level?



Response: I don’t care what they are called but they have to have a certain level of expertise – we have people who can handle direction/location – but we need to have the skill level of finding a journal article to questions evolving into the reference question from hell.



Comment: How many libraries are offering professional librarians working evenings? And weekends?



A couple of responses were that some libraries have science librarians, some use graduate students, some have no librarians during those hours.



Shelly Sommer (ESRI) commented that Boulder’s science library removed journals and put them in storage, offered a scanning service to meet the user’s needs for the material.



Question: Do we need a physical collection present?



Comment: Scanning service for that



Comment from NREL: Similar situation at our Library – the facilities are separated by a highway; researchers can request articles so they don’t need to go across the street.



Supporting comment: Researchers don’t want to take the time; graduate students don’t have time to do a lot of the footwork themselves; our library is not so much into the user education.



Topic: Planning new buildings / space renovations

Question: How much are the users involved / consulted in this planning?



Question: How much comes just from the higher administration? Does the library have a role in campus planning?



Response: We started this quick and dirty poll to get input:



-          yes / no

-          do you want this / that



-          Turned out to be a popular way to get feedback; it is popular but limited with what you can ask to get yes/ no responses – e.g. Do you want wheeled chairs in the lab?



-          Started doing running survey almost all the time and nobody gets tired of it



Question from Colorado School of Mines: Can you give an example?

Response: We used poker chips and you put them in the jar; it is easy, tactile; have seen students bring friends to vote; voters get to see the results immediately



Question: Can you act quickly on these kinds of things (results of votes)

Response: For things that are not resource-intensive, it is immediate, e.g. do you want a brown bag? For other issues, e.g. the furniture thing, only happens if there is ever money.



Comment: In my library, we’ve been busy renovating; thinking about the science library of the future – sense that there is too much from the top – planning aimed at the researchers; but they aren’t taking into account the undergraduates, but they need the person-to-person interaction, left by the wayside; feeling they are left out.



UNM only the research library in NM that covers everything (broad science disciplines).



Question to the Group:

How many of you are feeling left out of planning?



Comment from Kimberly: I’m finding it more useful to reframe the question, it’s not envisioning the science library of the future. It is what resources and services do our science users need us to deliver to them? And then that can help shape what the future looks like.



Comment from Aric (Boulder Labs): We are pretty directly involved in whatever researchers or students do; we have a lot of foot traffic; the students who work for the researchers; it is a retroactive learning curve; they have to learn how to use microfiche for older material that is not online, some of it goes back to the 19th century – but it’ll probably never be online; we’re still going to have the print journals going back decades; we have online and traditional services; always need the personal physical outreach.



Comment: We rely heavily on the print collection, can’t afford to buy the backfiles; a lot of stuff is still old bound journals.



Comment: Building on that; resources being used; with all the wealth of materials online, scientists are citing only newer resources and newer; journals are asking them to practice brevity.



e.g. Environmental Sciences, there is repetition; is there a way in this online model to help users see print when it is advantageous to them?



We have our Ejournals page; people are looking back, if they can’t find it, if they can’t find it in our Library they use InterLibrary



Relying on central collections –won’t contain the duplication; when we are confident that print



We can’t be all things to all people to the extent as in the past.


Stretching resources



We’re using our money to fund document delivery,



A lot of the materials electronically; print collections – keep them – science and technology ; increasing our diversity of our users if expecting to rely more on Boulder for those kinds of things; e.g

Keep specialized stuff, but might need to use mainstream science materials from big campuses.



It will come out of budgets to buy and maintain it; outside it is going to become a revenue stream?



UC Boulder;



Specialized science libraries, rely on a big university library for these kinds of things.



Commnet: we’re finding the same libraries cancelling the same journals; there needs to be more collaboration and consultation. Per unit cost of acquiring



Consortia expand, collections shrink. How can we rely on other libraries? We didn’t use Linda Hall for years to the extent that we are now. Is it cheaper in the long run to keep the stuff, what is the minimum transaction cost; cheaper cost in the Humanities offset.



Comment from Trey: Something from a user perspective, I was a researcher in Germany, I found myself over the last ten years using the Library less and less; I’m in molecular biology and I need what was published yesterday, I found myself using the physical library less and less because the content was electronically available through the Library although some is now more free; Needed the space less, using the Librarian more and more; because the amount of information exploded, couldn’t figure it out. Often calling or going to their office; used the café to talk to the other scientists to talk or read the research.



Build on that; from the viewpoint that shows a reinvigorated or new role that the library should be moving in, a lot of what we’re talking about has been very traditional.



One of the things you mentioned earlier (UO Victoria) bringing in a science data curation librarian.



How did you decide you needed that?



Response from Victoria: The demand came from above, the Dean of Libraries.



What is the position responsible for? Basically anything…any output of the faculty research that is not a published article. Research, datasets, any digital asset that is not the published article.



Would they be doing the metadat?



Response: One guy – he is just trying to collect information, trying to coordinate with campus IT and departmental IT; he is a librarian with computer background.



Those kinds of roles – new niches of data management and access;

  • Help scientists with their own data management
  • To work with campus IT storage systems to work with the metadata



Got the attention of the people on campus.



If you don’t do it, someone else is going to do it; a lot of people see this is the wave of the future which is why the Dean wanted to jump on it



Different than a traditional data archivist who managed social science data; the whole issue in escience of data curation is building on sharing data; how do you package it; in the past, we thought it needed a big supercomputer, but that is no longer the case, value added metadata, retrieve and repackage; repurposing access to data; makes it sharable

These kinds of job descriptions are valuable; what is the learning curve and the institutional breakin to make these successful?



UNM is hiring three librarian positions for data curation-type issues; there is grant money.



Comment from Helen: At Stanford; most of the data curation is happening in the GIS arena; on the same stage of inventory, finding out campus needs; what data do you have; what is our new role, and selling it while finding out campus needs.



There is a conference coming up in April; ASIST and CNI are hosting in Phoenix about the role of the data librarian. Julia has the announcement.



Builds on the CNI/ARL escience in Ocober.



The library can provide an interface when...



At Boulder Labs, have to deal with copyright issues.



Scientists are involved in their work; specific goal; citations; students put it in, their expertise.



Two library school programs where they have digital curation programs; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of North Carolina Chapel Hill



Data curation – Syracuse University





Looking for people with backgrounds in data-intensive science.



Interviews at Stanford; it was clear that the demand for GIS data goes all across campus; collaborative work



This data thing; glad to see library schools build curriculum; rethinking of liaison positions to incorporate these kinds of things – managing scholarly communication piece and the data inquiry – what is happening with these large grants?



At my institution (Julia) NSF grants, what do you do with the data, what is the responsibility of IT, not sure the Library is prepared to absorb all the responsibility.



NSF doesn’t have a mandate yet but aren’t they moving to having to share the data?



Two different ends of the spectrum – researchers and then undergraduates.



Do the big schools take care of it?  What do you do if your Library doesn’t have the infrastructure; (at a small place, different environment)



Where is the pressure – from student community or the faculty?  It is coming from the faculty.



NSF actively trying to create consortia; using national labs and academies;

How do you practice this at your own institution? Lmited manpower in libraries, who is in charge; large institutions have units in their IT departments that have scholarly comm. People – relying on these people; peer group



How are we trying to meet these needs with everything else we have to do?



Try to have very strong outreach. National Geophysical Data preservation project – grant to the USGS and parse out to state surveys; gather data from state surveys and put in a large database; collaboration.



Faculty research expectations so high coming to a smaller university; have to make difficult choices about how to spread out our resources.



NREL is a research institution and have frustrations; trying to do Web 2.0 and it is hard to get people we have to depend on to think creatively; Library has difficulty working with IT and getting them to be responsive. One of the things in the future that libraries need to be able to do – put it out there online in a really good way that is visible and easy to use that reduces the amount of staff time;



Julia – we put out a website – so many different stakeholders. Joe – lot of work to put up a new website. Time, planning, coordination.



Deb - Campus hired a web design group; approached by a web design team, offered the opportunity to be the beta testing. Got staff input; small group hammered content into the website; it is better than it was; stripped out huge chunks of our existing content; what is cool and useful. Stripped out over 50% of previous content as so librarian-like – 99% of the customers are undergraduates with basic questions.



Comment: Has the content been missed? Maybe you went the right direction?



Making decisions of the top five resources in your field instead of the top 96. 30 print resources on research guides isn’t going to be read? Every possible resource on guides –



Does this tell us now that we can rethink this? If we’re not going to put it on there, do we need to have it in the Library?



How important is federated searching on all this?



NREL has Serials Solutions 360 (formerly Central Search); it is used; casts a wide net; recommend to that see where the results fall and recommend going into those databases.



I keep wondering if federated search right now is just a stepping-stone to something better (Victoria). What we have right now is somewhat crude and will not be around that much longer. Useful sometimes, good for undergrads; good database discovery tool;



Isn’t the technology (Carol) for searching developing quickly and there will be a better product sold to us.



In the future, searching fulltext



How is Google going to impact this? I expect in 5-10 years every library catalog on Google, Google Scholar will be the preferred search.



Library subscriptions change dramatically for paid A&I services; huge pressure right now; economics for us to cancel. How can you run a program without the indexes, they get cancelled, nobody says anything, doesn’t seem to impact research.



Cancelled Inspec, nobody said anything.



Summon – true federated searching, all hosted on one server.



Is anyone considering this?



Victoria – Aric, the need for the older print journals. We can pretty much write off print indexes. But the only way to find those old print journals is the citation indexes – bibliographic indexes that go back in time. That is a little troubling.



You’re an exception if you have the print indexes and going the way of the dinosaur.



We don’t have it, people who do have it help out – not keeping the ability to verify.



NREL has a set of ChemAbs for Aric.



Curious about this whole Inspec thing. Held out, Univ of California has it packaged in Web of Knowledge; access to the proceedings; SPIE and IEEE; if the expense continues to multiply – nobody is complaining. Joe –



Julia - Google Scholar is only good if you have the content.



It wasn’t like we wanted to get rid of Inspec. Difficult choices.



What will drive keeping the indexes is a massive lawsuit somewhere where – they might pay people to do searches, the information is freely available.



It already happened in medicine.



What is retention? Scholarship as a reflective body; anticipate information so it is available at the point of need.



So much cheaper to get everything than nickel and dime at the point of need.







Comments (1)

patricia.watkins@... said

at 5:38 pm on Jan 11, 2010

Everything we heard this weekend just reiterates the pace of change and tech innovations going forward that will affect every facet of LibraryLand.
Have you seen this :"DID YOU KNOW" video produced by The Economist? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ILQrUrEWe8

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