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Social Media Bots Draw Public’s Attention and Concern

Social Media Bots Draw Public’s Attention and Concern

While most Americans know about social media bots, many think they have a negative impact on how people stay informed

Social Media Bots Draw Public’s Attention and Concern

Stephen

Posted on: November 14, 2018, 6:25 am Category: Uncategorized

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – An Important Tool for Special Librarians

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – An Important Tool for Special Librarians

3 minute read
Posted by Ron Aspe, CEO Lucidea
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – An Important Tool for Special Librarians“It used to be that everything a special library’s clients needed to know was available ‘in the stacks’—and it was therefore a reasonable assumption that if it was shelved, it should be easily retrievable. Today’s flood of digital content makes it difficult for many libraries to meet the ‘all access’ expectation.

Separating the wheat from the chaff

Remember the days of ‘weeding’ the collection? Periodically, library staff would decide what was needed and what could be discarded. This was done to manage storage costs and physical workloads. An interesting by-product of this process was that it also ensured the overall relevancy of the library’s collection.

With digital content, the drivers of storage cost and physical workloads no longer apply. As digital resources ‘age out’, they can clutter up your library’s knowledge base. Compounding this problem is the reality that it costs more for a librarian to weed a digital resource than it does to just ignore it; yet ignoring it causes a reduction in digital content’s relevance over time.

AI could be used to help weed a digital collection by automatically deleting content within certain parameters. More useful, however, is teaching your AI search engines to ignore content that is less relevant. With that approach, if someone can’t find what they’re looking for, they can still access the expertise of the library staff to help them find what they need.

Frankly, I’m not sure we are ready for a machine to decide what to keep and what to delete—even Microsoft doesn’t go that far! Then again, perhaps we should offer a ‘deleted items’ archive and ask users if they want to search that too?

Do you need to dam the flood?

If you take away physical limits, it’s a reasonable expectation that a library system (ILS) should be able to store everything. Most end users have no appreciation for the need to curate the collection, so hiring extra staff to do so is a tough sell. On the other hand, while storing everything and offering what’s current is a big challenge, it is a great opportunity to expand the scope and influence of the library.

So, if everything could go into your ‘virtual library’, how do you decide what shouldn’t? Maybe, it’s better not to restrict what goes in, but instead use AI to make the process of adding content to the collection less time consuming—while preventing your collection from becoming a ‘junk drawer’ that people rummage around in to find a rubber band to tie their thoughts together.

AI can also quickly review almost any piece of content and tease out important metadata such as possible subjects and match them against your library system’s taxonomy or thesaurus. Supervised by a human operator, AI can dramatically increase throughput. Furthermore, AI can actually learn from the process of having humans correct its errors. AI might never be 100% accurate, but would definitely be better than having nothing in the drawer. And, if you flag which items were machine cataloged, your search engine can be taught to offer these as supplementary, rather than primary resources.

The more things change…

Having been in the library automation industry for 3 decades, we’ve seen a lot of change. Early versions of our software were capable of printing catalog cards! Before long, those same catalogs could be searched online using our software, via the library’s computer(s). Then, there were wide area networks—and then the internet. People were then able to get their information from any digital device, which represented significant change.

Here’s a bit of irony and also a possible indicator of our future. Recently, in response to our clients’ needs, we introduced a Request Tracking and Management function to help manage reference requests. Apparently, the volume of requests our clients handle has increased, rather than decreased. Probably because of the flood which shows no signs of receding.”

 

 

Posted on: November 14, 2018, 6:05 am Category: Uncategorized

OCLC: University Futures, Library Futures: Aligning library strategies with institutional directions

University Futures, Library Futures: Aligning library strategies with institutional directions

https://www.oclc.org/research/publications/2018/oclcresearch-university-futures-library-futures/report.html

“University Futures, Library Futures: Aligning library strategies with institutional directions establishes a new framework for understanding the fit between emerging library service paradigms and university types.

Supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, project leads Constance Malpas, Lorcan Dempsey, and Rona Stein from OCLC Research and Roger Schonfeld and Deanna Marcum of Ithaka S+R, examined the impact of increased institutional differentiation in universities on the organization of academic libraries and the services they provide.

As libraries move away from a collections model in which libraries measure their success by how large their collections are, this report puts a framework around library services, explores emerging patterns in different institutional settings, and gauges the importance of these services areas—now and for the future—according to surveyed library directors.

The work has three main components:

  • a working model of US higher education institutions that is characterized by educational activity (Research, Liberal Education, Career-directed) and mode of provision (traditional-residential and new-traditional-flexible)
  • a library services framework that covers nine key areas
  • comparison of the above two to test the hypothesis that the services portfolio of libraries map onto the institutional priorities of their host university

Read the full report for the findings of this work.

Download US Letter .pdf

Download A4 .pdf    

Suggested citation:

Malpas, Constance, Roger Schonfeld, Rona Stein, Lorcan Dempsey, and Deanna Marcum. University Futures, Library Futures: Aligning Library Strategies with Institutional Directions. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research. https://doi.org/10.25333/WS5K-DD86

Stephen

Posted on: November 14, 2018, 6:04 am Category: Uncategorized

What Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Libraries Have in Common

What Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Libraries Have in Common

Stephen

Posted on: November 13, 2018, 6:24 pm Category: Uncategorized

Bibliotourism: 7 reasons why tourists should visit the library

 

Bibliotourism: 7 reasons why tourists should visit the library

Bibliotourism: 7 reasons why tourists should visit the library

“What benefits do public libraries have for tourists? Public libraries are targeting tourists as there are many resources that directly benefit people that are travelling. Besides the glorious collection of books they hold, public libraries offer many other useful services for tourists. Whatever the motivation for travelling is, the library may just be the perfect place for travelers to go when exploring a new city.”

“An article by the Huffington Post mentions bibliotourism could be the latest trend for tourists where they experience many amazing libraries all over the world. Making public libraries a desired destination to visit while traveling will help in increasing library visits.”

In this post, you will find 7 reasons why public libraries are a great place for tourists to visit.

1. City Tours

2. Architecture / Design

3. Free Wi-Fi

4. Printing hub

5. Social spot (Café)

6. Multimedia (Music/Movies)

7. Games and Activities

Conclusion

“These are all great options for travelers that are looking for a fun outing in a new place or craving to try something new. Libraries are an important part to the communities they serve, tourists should take the opportunity to learn about the offerings that the public libraries in the area they are visiting have to not only better their trip but experience how that specific library makes an impact in the area it is situated.”

Stephen

Posted on: November 13, 2018, 6:53 am Category: Uncategorized

The U.S. newspaper crisis is growing: More than 1 in 5 local papers have closed since 2004

The U.S. newspaper crisis is growing: More than 1 in 5 local papers have closed since 2004

A new study from UNC Chapel Hill says thousands of communities are at risk of becoming “news deserts”

https://www.salon.com/2018/10/16/the-u-s-newspaper-crisis-is-growing-more-than-1-in-5-local-papers-have-closed-since-2004/

Stephen

Posted on: November 13, 2018, 6:24 am Category: Uncategorized

Library Tourism Could Be The Next Big Travel Trend

Library Tourism Could Be The Next Big Travel Trend

Why visit a cathedral when you can kneel down at the altar of literature, surrounded by the words of the world’s greatest writers?

https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/fleur-morrison/library-tourism-could-be-the-next-big-travel-trend_a_22491123/ 

We’ve had agritourism, gastrotourism, ancestry tourism, sports tourism and volunteer tourism, but could the next big thing in travel be bibliotourism?

Stephen

Posted on: November 13, 2018, 6:03 am Category: Uncategorized