Edition 2022.08

A bit of a mixed bag for you this week.

ICOLC Statement on the Metadata Rights of Libraries

Metadata and the metadata services that describe library collections are critical in supporting content discovery, knowledge creation, and libraries’ public missions. Metadata describing library collections is not typically copyrightable, and should be considered freely shareable and reusable under most circumstances. However, some industry players restrict libraries’ rights to use such metadata through contractual terms and market influence. Such restrictive activity is out of alignment with libraries’ needs and public, not-for-profit/educational missions.

In case you missed the reference, “some industry players” primarily is referring to OCLC and their recent legal action against Clarivate. The reality is that both companies — and others — are in an ongoing battle to enclose as much publicly-funded and produced bibliographic metadata as possible.

Read about it: Tackling the problem of students’ failure to hit the books

Justin Sung from Monash University lays out some interesting research findings and recommendation regarding how and why students read (or, more often, don't read) the readings set for them by their university lecturers and tutors. I found this really illuminating, and it's useful both for academics setting reading, and librarians working with academics to select and supply readinigs as well as those helping students with their academic skills.

Beyond Implementation: Positioning Maintenance as a Core Commitment in Libraries

Ruth Kitchin Tillman presented at CNI in April ahead of a paper coming out in January. This is full of amazing stuff. I've spent over half my library career maintaining library technology and leading teams of library systems maintainers, so this really hit home for me.

Maintenance is understudied in comparison to the role it plays in our day-to-day work. When I asked ILS/LSP maintainers to estimate how much of their work week is spent on maintenance-related tasks, their numbers ranged from 40-60% depending on how strictly we were defining maintenance. But our research, surveys, and case studies focus almost exclusively on migration or implementation of new systems or on development projects. While we assume we know what goes into maintenance, my research suggests that its low visibility negatively impacts both the institutions and the individuals who perform it.

This is spot on in my experience. I really recommend this — you can read the transcript, or there is also a link to a video of this presentation.


Libraries and Learning Links of the Week is published every Thursday by Hugh Rundle. If you like email newsletters you might also like Marginalia, a monthly commentary on things I've read and listened to more broadly.