Many institutions have (or by year’s end will have) invested in a discovery layer. My own institution is in the middle of a trial with EBSCO’s discovery product. Here’s some important information about discovery layers and possible bias in the algorithms.
Harvard Library is in the process of digitizing and releasing all known archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th and 18th century North America. More information HERE.
Open eBooks is an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from in-need households. These eBooks can be read without checkouts or holds. Children from in-need families can access these eBooks, which include some of the most popular works of the present and past, using the Open eBooks app and read as many as they like without incurring any costs. The goal of Open eBooks is to encourage a love of reading and serve as a gateway to children reading even more often, whether in school, at libraries, or through other eBook reading apps. Learn more here.
Image credit to flickr.com/photos/cdevers/5702488800/
Under new direction, the Libraries and the Press are revisiting their own missions and core values, and have converged in part around the principle of adaptability. Namely, both organizations share the aims to actively engage in the changing technologies, practices and policies around creating and sharing information; embrace an entrepreneurial ethos that welcomes thoughtful risk taking and is not afraid to learn from failures; and adapt continually to the changing needs of the communities they serve…Read the rest.
On September 5th, 2011, Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher from Kazakhstan, created Sci-Hub, a website that bypasses journal paywalls, illegally providing access to nearly every scientific paper ever published immediately to anyone who wants it. The website works in two stages, firstly by attempting to download a copy from the LibGen database of pirated content, which opened its doors to academic papers in 2012 and now contains over 48 million scientific papers. The ingenious part of the system is that if LibGen does not already have a copy of the paper, Sci-hub bypasses the journal paywall in real time by using access keys donated by academics lucky enough to study at institutions with an adequate range of subscriptions. This allows Sci-Hub to route the user straight to the paper through publishers such as JSTOR, Springer, Sage, and Elsevier. After delivering the paper to the user within seconds, Sci-Hub donates a copy of the paper to LibGen for good measure, where it will be stored forever, accessible by everyone and anyone. Read the rest.
Photo credit to https://www.flickr.com/photos/photographingtravis/
Many folks don’t understand that libraries are not simply repositories of information, but rather function as collective memories of cultures and communities. Google, on the other hand, does not function under these values and ethics. Andy Baio offers a timely reminder that Google is not a library.