11 December 2011

Academic library pick and mix

A few goodies that caught my interest of late.

First, thanks to Ed Chamberlain for alerting me to this set of slides from the US' Education Advisory Board.  It's a good assessment of the issues facing academic libraries at present and, like Ed, I think it's definitely required reading. 
It's worth comparing these slides with Christopher Pressler's Charles Holden lecture to the Friends of Senate House Library in London back in October (it's also on YouTube). He makes some great points about the historic value of libraries, and I particularly like the way he ties the purpose of his research library to its architecture, his highlighting of the need to consider differences between libraries and between science and humanities; and his accommodating Admiral Nelson, Borges and Orwell (hooray) in the talk.

Moving to more practical matters, I found this very concise description from Meredith Farkas of how to integrate online tools into research and writing.  One aspect of research she doesn't explore though is the joy of serendipity, so it's interesting to read also Libby Tilley's review of the recent talk in Cambridge from Dr Aleks Krotoski on her Serendipity Engine.

Aleks Krotoski
Ever wondered why it takes so long to get an answer to that email?  Cambridge librarians in particular may be interested in the contents of Professor Beard's inbox. Looking at this list, I am tempted to say that much of it seems to contain the kind of administrative matters which could be handled by a P.A./assistant - hmmm.  I wonder whether the Professor has ever thought of asking her College or Faculty librarian to deal with the publishing stuff?

Finally, as I recently attended a talk by Andrew Green of the National Library of Wales, I was delighted to find this clip, although I'm afraid I find it a bit too slow; and am wondering why it uses Danse Macabre when there is so much wonderful Welsh music to choose from?  Anyway, thanks to, always a great source of library videos, for finding it.

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