This is the second-last issue of LIBER Quarterly as we all know it. As announced during the 2011 General Annual Conference, we are modernizing LIBER Quarterly this year. This journal will become a peer-reviewed academic journal led by an Editorial Board chaired by Professor Mel Collier with Professor Raf Dekeyser as coordinating editor. More information about the new journal and the peer review process will, of course, be published in due course. But if you cannot wait and are interested in contributing to LIBER Quarterly new style, please contact professor Dekeyser at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For sharing news from your institutions on a more practical and professional level, we are developing an on-line resource platform which will be attached to the LIBER website and which will benefit from all the technological innovations which have appeared in recent years: almost instantaneous publication, tagging, user comments to articles, inclusion of video and other embedded content. We are planning to make this platform as accessible as possible and thoroughly hope that you will make it your platform. More information to follow in due course.
Meanwhile, you can enjoy this issue with lots of interesting contributions:
Ellen Collins and Michael Jubb of the UK Research Information Network (RIN) delve into the habits of the researchers that our libraries serve: how do they use their information resources? And have the new tools and technologies fundamentally changed the nature of their research? The answer, as with more scientific subjects, is complex. Researchers in most of the cases agreed that electronic resources enable new kinds of research, but do not necessarily inspire it.
In his article about information literacy in the United Kingdom, Stéphane Goldstein (also of RIN) recommends that information literacy in higher education, which has traditionally been the preserve of academic libraries, would greatly benefit from greater join-up involving input from and strategic coordination between parties beyond the library sector (SCONUL, JISC, RIN and others). Goldstein reports on a successful experiment in the UK — which might merit transposing to other countries.
More practical contributions come from:
Frank Scholze and Jan Maier (Karlsruhe), on the implementation of a research information system (CRIS) to streamline the entire scholarly communications cycle
Max Kaiser (Vienna), about the National Library’s partnership agreement with Google to digitise over 600,000 volumes from the historic collections
Henriette Reerink (Amsterdam), about the UNICUM portal to university collections and museums and standardisation of the required metadata
Lorraine Beard and Andy Land (Manchester), about introducing vertical search by means of Primo by Ex Libris, including lessons to be learnt about planning and managing user and staff expectations
Peter Ahlroos and Jonna Hahto (Vaasa, Finland) about experiences with e-readers in education and research — noting in passing that students experienced e-readers as ‘old black-and-white televisions’
Ellen Simons (Netherlands) describes how her institution benefitted from introducing the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle (PDCA cycle) into the organisation. In combination with the Balanced Score Card method, management and staff gained more insight into how their resources were exactly being spent.
Insight into an organisation’s achievements is also the topic of Tord Høivik’s (Oslo) article about analysing web statistics. Høivik asserts that for any numbers to actually mean something, they must be placed in the context of a worldwide web environment — with dynamics that are very different from the analogue world.
Lastly, Ricky Erway of OCLC (US) reviews recent research work by OCLC into increasing access to special collections. The case studies are all based on US data and institutions, which could be considered a flaw in a European context. However, as of 1 December 2011 OCLC EMEA in the Netherlands is also building a research staff in Europe and the LIBER community can expect more Europe-related research from them.