'What's New' Issue 44: April 2012

Magdalena Getler | 06 April 2012

The Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and Digital Curation Centre (DCC) are delighted to announce a new issue of our joint newsletter ‘What’s New’.

In the April issue:

WHAT'S ON: Forthcoming events from April 2012 onwards

WHAT'S NEW: New reports and initiatives since the last issue

WHAT'S WHAT: Re-Skilling for Research: Observations on an RLUK report, Graham Pryor, DCC

The Preface to this new RLUK report opens by declaring how it “is clear that as the nature of research within our institutions changes, so must the role of the library in supporting research”. I don’t believe there are many who would challenge this argument, since it has already been said many times over when considering the view from the other side of the researcher/librarian fence, most recently in the December 2011 RIN report on information practices in the physical sciences, which claims with urgency that the “need for librarians to reinvent their roles as partners in the scientific and research process is acute”. 

What concerns me most about the RLUK report is that it seems to have been based on the returns from surveys of predominantly library staff. Notwithstanding there is input from RCUK and the ESRC’s Researcher Development Section, as well as reference to the RIN’s earlier studies of researcher practices and preferences, my feeling is that it would have lent greater credence to the conclusions were there to have been some more direct gathering of contemporary researcher opinion. 

Librarians have successfully reinvented themselves again and again across the centuries to meet cultural and technological change. Their demise was predicted not so long ago in 1979, when the then Director of Aslib warned in his Doomsday Scenario that the traditional information professional risked having vanished by the year 2000. Well, instead, these highly sustainable professionals transformed themselves into digital and systems librarians, they learned how to teach information literacy to students of the digital age and they became the stalwarts of institutional repositories.... Read more

WHO'S WHO: Sixty second interview with Ed Fay, LSE

Where do you work and what's your job title?

I work in the Library at the London School of Economics, which is also known as the British Library of Political and Economic Science. My job title is Digital Library Manager.

Tell us a bit about your organisation

We’re an academic research library and also a designated national research library. So we serve our academic and student community at LSE but also have responsibilities to the wider social science research community and the general public.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

Our major project is the development of LSE Digital Library which is really a programme of smaller projects working on policy, skills, working practices and infrastructure to support the collection, preservation and dissemination of digital materials added to Library collections for which we have the preservation responsibility. We recently launched our public interface and we are working at the moment on accessioning/ingest workflows for various born-digital collections, including digital archives and digital ephemera.

Other projects we are working on include DICE (Digital Communications Enhancement) which is developing training materials to raise awareness of digital preservation in our training providers and researcher community; PhoneBooth which is repurposing the digitised Booth maps for delivery to mobile devices; and we are also partners in SPRUCE (Sustainable Preservation Using Community Engagement) which is building the business case for digital preservation in UK HE institutions.

We also have various bits and pieces of digitisation going on – we recently finished Beatrice Webb’s diaries and will soon be launching George Bernard Shaw’s photographic collection. ... Read more

ONE WORLD: Digital Preservation Management Workshops at Ten Years, Nancy McGovern, MIT Libraries

YOUR VIEW?: Comments and views from readers