Taking it to the Street > the Library is Everywhere

Our UW-L LibX library toolbar is live! If you haven’t heard of LibX, it’s this amazing grant-funded, open-source project from Annette Bailey (digital assets librarian) and Godmar Back (assistant professor in CS) of Virginia Tech Tech University. You can find out all the good techie stuff at http://libx.org/.

Anyone who has done a Google search in the last six months understands why we need a toolbar that will link users from the general internet back to our library systems. Our users are running into licensed library content through Google searches, but having no idea that their library has paid for access. If these users are off-campus, they may not understand why they are being asked to pay for the content. The toolbar enables users to link from Google to our link resolver, enabling users to seamlessly access licensed journal content, or be redirected to our interlibrary loan/document delivery service.

For example, suppose I was running a Google search for information regarding the French middle paleolithic era (which I just happened to run into today).

Google Search

I see that there is a a great looking article from JSTOR that seems to contain just what I’m looking for, so I follow the link only to hit this roadblock:

JSTOR roadblock.

Upsetting! But I’m forgetting the power of the toolbar. I simply click the DOI link for the JSTOR article: and link to our familiar GetTeXt menu.



After following the full text online link from GetTeXt, I am prompted to authenticate through our proxy server, and reach my article.

Any time you find a DOI or an ISSN or ISBN number on a web page, you should notice that they are all hyperlinked. Clicking on any of these will take you to the GetTeXt menu where you should be able to choose from a variety of library services.

What’s your favorite LibX story? If LibX is saving you time, please leave a comment.


January 25, 2008. News. Leave a comment.

More Questions Than Answers: Archiving Journals

In the bad old days (oh the simple joys of the 1980s!) librarians purchased individual journal issues. After a bunch of issues accumulated, we bound the issues into a colorful volume and placed it on a shelf. And thus was journal archiving. Only theft, fire, or rain could possibly interfere with this simple process.

But the Oughts have brought us new questions about archiving journals. We no longer receive printed journal issues for most titles. Should we care about archiving? Should librarians figure out a way to safely store digital information? Publishers haven’t wasted much time figuring out that they can charge libraries content that already been paid for at least once, but we all know that libraries cannot continue to make these hefty payments.

I just read about Journal of Cell Science, whose publisher has digitized and made available for free its entire 155 volume run. Should I keep the brief holdings that my library has retained (1967-1980)? Should I send the volumes to Madison? Should every state have a complete print run of Journal of Cell Science? How do we determine which libraries preserve which titles?

I worry that all librarians have as many questions about journal archiving as I do and that the questions are not getting answered. Is it too late for these questions?


January 9, 2008. journal archiving, News. Leave a comment.

JSTOR and Science: Together Again

I tend to run a little on the cynical side, so when Science pulled out of their ten year relationship with JSTOR last summer, I snickered (really – I did.) and thought that it was the beginning of the end, that no publisher should ever be trusted, ad nauseum. Well, internet, I was wrong.

One of the first email messages I read this new year detailed the new agreement between JSTOR and AAAS. Well, there were actually no details (that sort of financial stuff is simply not discussed in public), but the gist of the matter is that Science is NOT leaving JSTOR.

While I am still cynical about the rather precarious relationship between publishers and librarians, Ithink this agreement is a step in the right direction and feel very pleased that AAAS listened when librarians complained about them leaving JSTOR.

Happy New Year!

January 7, 2008. News. Leave a comment.