Fair’s Fair: What Google Books Means for Scholarship

It is a common misconception that Google has obsoleted the purpose of libraries and their keepers. Librarians often challenge this point, noting, as Palfrey does in the afore-linked text, that companies like Google only increase the need for librarians and librarians since, by complicating the nature of information, they create demand for information experts and open new opportunities for how libraries can function. Just last October, Google shook the information boat again, albeit this time … [Read more...]

Teaching Information Privilege

As the Assistant Director for Information Literacy at Davidson, I spend a lot of my time thinking about how to teach students information literacy.  In my experience, our students and faculty often equate information literacy with the ability to write research papers, so our librarians frequently are asked to teach skills and concepts that will help students succeed on specific academic assignments.  We value this important educational role, but we also know that an information literate person … [Read more...]

Copyright Cupcakes in San Diego

This June, I went to (not so) sunny San Diego to complete a series of courses for a Certificate in Copyright Management from the Special Libraries Association.  These eight courses, taken over three years, cover all aspects of copyright, including national and international law, information for authors, and digital and social media issues.  Copyright has become an increasingly important – and complicated – issue, especially relevant to us at Davidson as we begin to tackle digital studies, an … [Read more...]

Academic Self-publishing

In a previous post, I wrote about self-publishing, which has taken off among fiction writers.  I cited four main reasons why these authors are choosing to self-publish:  speed (self-published ebooks can be available to readers and potential readers faster than traditionally published books can), control (of titles, covers, length), options, and profit.  What about scholarly publishing?  Are academic authors also turning to self-publishing? The four factors above are relevant in scholarly … [Read more...]

Self-publishing: It’s a New World!

We used to know what it was, and it was bad: only losers self-publish with a “vanity press.” If they could get a real publishing contract, they would. We knew what to tell students: steer clear of anything self-published. But the internet has changed self-publishing, and it is becoming a real factor in popular fiction. Barry Eisler, author of the John Rain series of thrillers, has left his traditional publisher and retrieved the rights to his books. They are now available as ebooks (at … [Read more...]