I haven't decided if my library will take advantage of the offer, because these journals seem more academic that what our patrons are usually after, and also, it's in-library access only. But on the plus side, it's free, and this is a good direction for publishers to be headed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APS ONLINE JOURNALS AVAILABLE FREE IN U.S. PUBLIC LIBRARIES
Ridge, NY, 28 July 2010: The American Physical Society (APS) announces a new public access initiative that will give readers and researchers in public libraries in the United States full use of all online APS journals, from the most recent articles back to the first issue in 1893, a collection including over 400,000 scientific research papers. APS will provide this access at no cost to participating public libraries, as a contribution to public engagement with the ongoing development of scientific understanding.
APS Publisher Joseph Serene observed that "public libraries have long played a central role in our country's intellectual life, and we hope that through this initiative they will become an important avenue for the general public to reach our research journals, which until now have been available only through the subscriptions at research institutions that currently cover the significant costs of peer review and online publication."
Librarians can obtain access by accepting a simple online site license and providing valid IP addresses of public-use computers in their libraries (http://librarians.aps.org/account/public_access_new). The license requires that public library users must be in the library when they read the APS journals or download articles. Initially the program will be offered to U.S. public libraries, but it may include additional countries in the future.
"The Public Library program is entirely consistent with the APS objective to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics," said Gene Sprouse, APS Editor in Chief. "Our goal is to provide access to
everyone who wants and needs our journals and this shift in policy represents the first of several steps the APS is taking towards that goal."
--Contact: Amy Halsted, Special Assistant to the Editor in Chief, firstname.lastname@example.org, 631-591-4232
--About the APS: The American Physical Society is the world's largest professional body of physicists, representing close to 48,000 physicists in academia and industry worldwide. It has offices in Ridge, NY; Washington, DC; and College Park, MD. For more information: www.aps.org.
Last week at a meeting of area reference librarians, the topic of research databases came up - which ones we like, which we wish patrons would use more, etc.
One librarian remarked that her favorite database is one of the most expensive, but doesn't get used much so she's considering cutting it. She happened to mention the price they're paying, which got everyone's attention.
That particular database vendor bases their pricing on population. For her town of 32,000, they're paying over $7,000 for that database. My town is exactly the same size, but we pay only $4,400 - and another town, of 25,000, pays over $5,000. What?
Then we started relating other database pricing anecdotes:
A sales rep told one librarian a database cost $4,000. When the librarian said she couldn't even come close to that, the sales rep asked, "well, what can you afford?" - she said $1,500, and the rep made the deal for that price
One vendor said they don't like losing customers, so when I called to cancel a database, they gave it to me for free provided I kept access to the others I had from them
Another vendor gives volume discounts, so when I called to cancel two of the three databases we got from them, he said buying just the one database (without the volume discount) would be more expensive than getting all three
I hate this. Don't get me wrong - I like the database sales reps I work with - I just don't understand the business model behind databases. And the difference between charging a library $4,000 for something instead of $1,500 seems like price gouging.
It's great that reps are able to work with small-budget libraries, but it would be so much easier to have fixed, posted prices, rather than everyone paying different rates (isn't that one of the things that got the health care industry in trouble?).
All the librarians at the meeting agreed to compare notes and prices, so we can try to save money the next time we renew our contracts. I hate to haggle and negotiate for prices, but now I feel like it would be fiscally irresponsible of me not to - and never accept the first quote. Since what we pay is public record anyway, maybe libraries should post their database contracts in a central place, so we can all get better deals.
In the video, I'm the "fellow Westford resident" he mentions at 2:14 - yay
I feel bad that the additional information didn't help reduce Brian's trepidation towards the animals, but based on the experience and facts, perhaps it's justified.
Also: it's holiday time again, so I'll be in Ohio all of Thanksgiving week. Instead of blogging, I'll be playing with my nieces and nephews. I've got a big stack of audio books for the drive, and I'll be back the week of Dec. 1st - see you then.
Sometimes, being a librarian equates to being a packrat. At least in the virtual world, I can collect as many links as I want and it doesn't take up any room. However, to be useful, it does take organization.
For awhile now I've been bookmarking posts about free resources for clipart, photographs and other artwork. I use them for library publications, and also for my posts here. But just this week I got my act together and started transferring those links from my Bloglines account to my Delicious account, and thought I'd share them.
If you're curious how to do this with Delicious, check out my how-two post for creating library subject guides.
And just for good measure, here are a few web design tools I had bookmarked, too:
An AP story also says that Ancestry has added some new resources, including
...more than 600 Navy cruise books...[which] include the names and photos of those who served on ships...one book - a 1946 edition for the U.S.S. Pennsylvania - includes a photo of TV legend Johnny Carson.
Great idea, Ancestry - thank you. And if I may suggest another great idea: offer libraries remote access at an affordable price.
An important function of the library is communicating our upcoming events to the community. There are lots of ways to do this, one of which is by having an online calendar.
Of course, there are also lots of software for online calendars and for patrons to reserve meeting rooms. My library just switched calendars, and so did the Blue Hill (ME) Public Library. Since we each evaluated a number of different calendar options, Rich Boulet and I combined our notes, in the hopes of saving other libraries a bit of legwork when looking at calendars.
There are more calendars than what is listed here (in no particular order), and our pro/con notes reflect the needs, requirements and situations of our individual libraries. If you have questions about how we made our decisions, you can contact me through my contact form, and Rich through Blue Hill Library's staff page.
Allows a great deal of design customization, to integrate with the look of your website
Serves as both a calendar and meeting room reservation system
A limitation is that it is designed as an "in-house" product (example, a school would use it for the teachers to reserve meeting rooms). It does have a public room reservation form, but take a little work to customize to be easy enough for the public to use
Allows for multiple calendars (Childrens, Adult, Teen, etc) all to be fed up into one master calendar