Librarians: Many faculty members embrace digitization

Librarians remind students that some valuable literature isn't yet avaiable online.
Librarians remind students that some valuable literature isn't yet available online.

The sentimentality that college faculty members have for the old-fashioned campus library isn’t the norm at some institutions with vast digital libraries, higher-education librarians and technologists say—countering recent research that lists faculty resistance as a roadblock in digitizing library collections.

Research that refers to the “wistfulness” for the days of wooden bookshelves and massive piles of literary works 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 study, titled “The Idea of Order: Transforming Research Collections for 21st Century Scholarship,” charges that entrenched professors and staff members have slowed the creation of digitized book collections. The study also cites the conflicting ideas about whether information should be commodified or made freely available online as a persistent impediment to library digitization.…Read More

Study explores the future of book digitization

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 book digitization, according to research conducted by digital media experts from Rice University and the University of Michigan.

The 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