The following post was submitted by CMLE scholarship recipient David Wuolu, Collection Development Librarian, Clemens Library & Alcuin Library, College of St. Benedict’s/St. John’s University.
Thanks to the CMLE scholarship, I was able to recently attend the 2013 American Library Association annual conference in Chicago, IL. In fulfillment of my obligations for this funding, I am submitting this essay.
What were your favorite takeaways or new things learned?
I was hoping to learn more about best practices with ebooks for academic libraries. There were several poster sessions which dealt with ebooks, and demand-driven acquisition experiences, and I was able to visit with the librarians who had implemented these programs. I also attended the Collection Development of Academic Libraries meeting which included two vendors (JSTOR and EBL) and a librarian who shared their thoughts on the next significant ebook development, which included issues important to ebook suppliers such as preservation policy, discoverability, harnessing big data, evolution of lending models, as well as the ongoing issues important to librarians such as ILL, multi-user access, and DRM-free ebooks. Interestingly, JSTOR indicated a little wiggle room on fair use, which is a change from their earlier stance on this topic.
Another session I attended was the Digital Preservation Interest Group. Aside from learning how complicated digital preservation is, and how some institutions working with preservation of digital content, I did take away a model that has been developed by the Library of Congress, NDSA program, which is called the NDSA levels of preservation, a simple 1-page guide used to describe digital preservation (http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/ndsa/activities/levels.html).
As a result of attending this event, can you identify and explain a few things you can use/apply to your work or practice?
I learned more about ebooks, and more about digital preservation, both of which can be applied to my work. The future is becoming increasingly digital, and increasingly clearer to me as a result of attending this meeting. Still, there were a few interesting comments in the collection development meeting about an increase in print usage coinciding with ebooks, so I don’t think we’re done with print quite yet.