Small campus library bolstered by the cloud

Student citations have improved since Covenant moved to a cloud-based library system.

Sitting on top of Lookout Mountain, Covenant College sometimes is lost in the clouds. Now, the private Dade County, Ga., school’s Kresge Memorial Library will be in the clouds every day, thanks to an Ohio-based organization that brings together schools to share library resources while keeping down rising costs.

Covenant College is one of only a handful of institutions around the world to launch a cloud-based library system to streamline administrative functions and provide access to books and media in libraries worldwide—expanding student research well beyond the confines of the small Christian liberal arts campus, said Tad Mindeman, Covenant’s director of library services.

“It’s unlike anything that has been done before,” he said.…Read More

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

Stanford affirms support for Google Book Search

Stanford agreed to make millions of its books available to Google's online library.
Stanford has agreed to make millions of its books available to Google's online library.

The U.S. Justice Department’s concerns about Google Book Search persist, but not everyone shares those concerns: Stanford University last week affirmed its support of the expansive online library in what a campus statement called a “milestone in Stanford’s commitment to the program and to the provision of public access to millions of its books.”

Stanford announced Feb. 2 that the school would be a “fully participating library” in the Google Book Search project, which seeks to make millions of books available as the internet giant battles publishers and other opponents who fear the web repository would have too much control over online book prices.

Stanford’s library is one of more than 20 worldwide that has signed on to Google Book Search.…Read More

Partnership a boon for alternative textbooks

More than 40,000 students at 400 colleges used Flat World textbooks in the fall 2009 semester.
More than 40,000 students at 400 colleges used Flat World textbooks in the fall 2009 semester.

Students who are blind, have low vision, or have a learning disability that requires computer-generated speech and highlighted text soon will have more resources after publisher Flat World Knowledge announced Dec. 14 that it will make its content available to Bookshare, the largest web-based library for people with print disabilities.

Bookshare, which has 75,000 members worldwide, will add 11 new digital textbooks to its online library, which has been bolstered in the past year by contributions from colleges and universities hoping to bring reading material to students who can’t see standard print or can’t turn a page.

The first Flat World Knowledge peer-reviewed textbooks on Bookshare will be for economics and business. The partnership is expected to produce about 50 more books–covering algebra, genetics, sociology, and a range of other subjects–that will be released over the next two years, according to an announcement from Bookshare, which launched in 2002.…Read More