Primary Research Group has Released a New Study: Best Practices of Academic Library Information Technology Directors, ISBN: 1-57440-072-X

This study is based on interviews with IT directors and assistant directors of leading college and university libraries and consortiums, including The Research Libraries Group, Vanderbilt University, the University of Texas, Lewis & Clark College, Salt Lake Community College, the University of Washington, the California Institute of Technology, Hutchinson Community College and Australia’s Monash University.

(PRWEB) March 10, 2005 -- This study is based on interviews with IT directors and assistant directors of leading college and university libraries and consortiums, including The Research Libraries Group, Vanderbilt University, the University of Texas, Lewis & Clark College, Salt Lake Community College, the University of Washington, the California Institute of Technology, Hutchinson Community College and Australia’s Monash University. Just a few of the study’s findings are:

•    Technology Centers in academic libraries, often initially conceived for faculty or specialized students in art or engineering, are increasingly used by the average student. Supply of technology centers, properly marketed and conveniently situated, stimulates demand, surprisingly broad based demand.

•    In general, students appear to appreciate the option of borrowing laptops from their library, and most libraries that offer this service report high levels of student enthusiasm. In addition, libraries report virtually no problems with theft or even poor maintenance of equipment. However, the time demands of storing, distributing, maintaining, providing net access, and assuring compliance with legally mandated use provisions leads many librarians to seek to limit the programs. In addition, the availability of lap tops in the library does not appear to significantly affect use of other library workstations.

•    One participant points out that many cutting edge library services require php programming and that many smaller libraries in particular focus excessively on workstation maintenance and other issues.

•    Ebook usage is steadily increasing especially among smaller libraries. Increased ease of use for patrons and librarians, a focus on downloadable titles rather than special viewing devices, and an increase in the number of titles available, has led to an upsurge in demand and usage. Other factors that have stimulated Ebook usage are the continuing advance of distance and cyberlearning, and the better integration of Ebooks into course management and electronic reserve systems and library catalogs. Some users complain about incompatibility among different vendors of Ebooks.

•    Most libraries have some kind of wish list for the digitization for their special collections, particularly their photographic collections. However, expertise is still limited and plans are thin for integrating digitized special collections into library catalogs, or publicizing them effectively over the web. More thought needs to be given to the integration of special collections in to mainstream library catalogs and how to publicize special collection over the web, or in partnership with other institutions

Among the many topics covered are: investment in and maintenance of workstations, implementation of wireless access, policies towards laptops in the library, digitizing special collections, establishing digital depositories, preserving scholarly access to potentially temporal digital media, use of Ebooks, services for distance learning students, use of url resolvers, web site development and management, use of virtual reference, investment in library software, IT staff size and staff skill composition, range of IT staff responsibilities, use of outsourcing, relations between Library and general University IT staff, uses of PHP programming, catalog integration with the web, catalog enhancement software and services, web site search engine policies, use of automated electronic collection management software, technology education and training, development of technology centers and information literacy, library printing technology and cost reimbursement, and other issues of concern to academic librarians.

Download a free chapter with this press release. Publications and media-oriented websites may request a review copy by calling: 212-736-2316. Orders can be placed with major book distributors or directly at the number listed above. The price of a print version of the 90-page perfect bound report is $75.00; a PDF version with rights to one print out and maintenance on one computer is $95.00.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/3/prweb215916.htm