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May 30, 2003

Mixed-Bag Special 03.05.30

:: Thank you to Teri Vogel (William Russell Pullen Library, Georgia State University) for bringing to Randy's attention the following: The Chronicle of Higher Education's Colloquy Live for Wednesday, June 4th, 1:00 pm EST, is about Academic Blogging: "Do Web logs, or "blogs," contribute to academic discourse? What should academics who want to blog know about the medium?" Join in for what promises to be an interesting discussion. The June 6 issue of TCOHE also features the article, "Scholars Who Blog: The soapbox of the digital age draws a crowd of academics", by David Glenn. Teri mentioned that she is doing a poster session at SLA (see Tue at 11:30 am) on the Pullen Library science newsblog, and that she is using The (sci-tech) Library Question as one of her examples of a librarian-to-librarian blog. Thank you, Teri!

:: The latest issue of Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship in now available. Among the many interesting submissions:

ViFaTec Engineering Subject Gateway, reviewed by Thomas G. De Petro;
Hands-on Learning for Freshman Engineering Students, by Julie Arnold, Robert Kackley, and Stephen Fortune, University of Maryland;
Connecting Engineering Students with the Library: A Case Study in Active Learning, by Brian D. Quigley and Jean McKenzie, University of California, Berkeley;
Developing an Information Skills Curriculum for the Sciences, by Eleanor M. Smith, North Carolina State University

:: I am currently attending the annual BCLA Conference, and next week (5-6 June) Randy and I will be involved with the EBL Conference in Edmonton. On June 7 we fly to NYC for SLA. (I wonder if this is what it feels like to be Steven Abram?) As such, postings to the STLQ may be sporadic from time to time.

May 28, 2003

Sci/Tech Web Awards 2003

Scientific American has announced its Sci/Tech Web Awards 2003. Fifty sites were chosen from ten different subject categories. Winners from 2002 and 2001 are also available. (From: Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends)


May 27, 2003

A civil engineering departmental blog/BlogTalk Conference in Vienna

:: BlogTalk, A European Conference on Weblogs, was held on 23-24 May 2003 in Vienna. Among Dave Weinberger's brief postings from the conference was a report about the presentation on BauBlog, a blog (in German), developed by Ulrich van Stipriaan, public relations specialist, from the Dept of Civil Engineering (Fakultät Bauingenieurwesen) at Technische Universität Dresden. van Stipriaan spoke on his attempts to make a blog work in the department, its purpose being to inform people outside the university about what's happening within the department. Has anyone else considered this? van Stipriaan noted that it was difficult to "cajole" 50 faculty members into trying this, but it has developed a small following. I'm wondering if it is easier to try to start a departmental blog with such a purpose if the blog creator works within the department, rather than outside of it, like a librarian.

van Stipriaan's presentation is available here.

Weinberger's reports of the conference begin here.

Toward a User-Centered Approach to Digital Libraries

:: Feel like flying to Finland for fun and fulfillment? Plan to attend the 2003 Conference on Users in the Electronic Information Environments, 8-9 September 2003, in Espoo, Finland.The conference is aimed at promoting scientific discussion and information exchange on issues such as:

    •how are users acting in the new digital information environments
    •do the digital information environments contribute to the quality and productivity of research
    •how do the users perceive the new information environments and evaluate their usefulness and usability
    •how to evaluate the performance and resources of digital libraries from the viewpoint of service providers
    •how do we ensure the usability of the high quality digital resources
    what are the visions for future in this area

Mixed-Bag Special

:: "Scientific papers that are not widely read and that lack any great influence can end up being classed as high-impact, claim researchers in California". Read the story here.

:: Karlin Lillington recently attended the ISC Symposium in Switzerland, and she describes how each delegate received a SpotMe, which is a small handheld computer running embedded Linux. It has a radar function that displays the photos and details of all people within 30 metres, among other features. It is designed for events with 100-2,000 participants. I wonder if this means it could not be used at SLA or ALA? Also, what new social issues might surface? Karlin notes that during the keynote address, everyone was fiddling with their SpotMe's. It would be interesting to see the group dynamic in small sessions or hospitality suites. Also, what might happen if you are trying to avoid someone? Ooooh....

Also of note, Karlin visited the Stiftsbibliothek St Gallen (Abbey Library of St.Gall), the oldest library in Switzerland. Check out this amazing fisheye lens view of the Baroque Library. Imagine doing reference in there!

:: We are all fed up with coming to work each morning and having to delete dozens of useless, non-functional and occasionally offensive e-mails known as spam. Saul Hansell wrote an interesting article on spam in the Sunday 25 May 2003 NYTimes (ID and PW: podbay). Included are interviews with "seven people who have some ideas for a solution." One of these people is Steve Linford, the director of the Spamhaus Project, creators of the Spamhaus Block List (SBL). "The Spamhaus Block List (SBL) is a realtime database of IP addresses of spam-sources, including known spammers, spam gangs, spam operations and spam support services." For more info, read the SBL FAQ and Rationale, Listing Criteria and Procedures. Note that: "For information on how to configure your mail server to use sbl.spamhaus.org please refer to your mail server documentation/manuals or ask your mail server developer. With so many different mail servers in use we can not offer technical help with setting up the SBL."

:: Margaret Atwood explains why science is crucial to her fiction.

May 25, 2003

Farewell to PDA's?

Do you own a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)? I don't, but have been thinking about it for some time. The University of Alberta Library offers a guide to resources and library services for handheld users, and Geoff maintains a good, detailed list of science and engineering resources for PDA's. Yet technology seems to move faster than one can keep up in the 21st century. Ephraim Schwartz, editor at large at Infoworld writes that General Motors believes the time may be approaching for you to get rid of your PDA.

General Motors announced last week that it will partner with wireless carrier Nextel to use Nextel’s Motorola cell phones with data capabilities to market a field-force management application to its commercial truck fleet customers. The announcement casts a shadow over the future of handheld devices in the business marketplace.

By selecting a cellular phone, GM in essence said no to Palm, HP, and Microsoft.

IT departments should consider the reasoning behind GM’s decision before recommending a handheld solution of their own.

The technology includes GPS, Java, and push-to-talk, and in tandem with ease of use, it becomes hard to chose a handheld over a handset. Cell phones are also considerably cheaper than PDAs.

Can someone slow technology down for just a few minutes, please? (From: Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends)

May 23, 2003

New Students Turning Away from Computer Science

:: An interesting article in 22 May 2003 NYTimes discusses the declinining enrolments in computer science studies since the dot com bust in 2000. (If ID and PW required, use podbay.)

Blogging Presentation for Faculty at the University of Alberta

Randy and I presented a session this afternoon on edublogging to various faculty, teaching staff, and librarians at the University of Alberta. I think the session went very well, and we were grateful to have so many questions and to see so much interest in blogging tools. I've posted an HTML version of the presentation for others to look at. Thanks to Jenny Levine and a few other websites that served as great examples of blogging done right. Also worth noting, Randy has posted a .pdf of Throw Another Blog on the Wire, an article we co-wrote for Feliciter. Feel free to toss comments and feedback our way. For a little less of a library slant, you might be interested in a similar article we wrote for Dispatch, Weblogging on Campus and Beyond (p.13).

May 22, 2003

Researchers Able to Stop, Then Restart Light

A team of researchers at Harvard has discovered a way to slow the speed of light to a complete stop, and then restart it again. The team is led by Lene Vestergaard Hau. Previously, Lau and her colleagues reduced the speed of light to 17 metres per second (Nature 397: 594 (1999).

May 21, 2003

Reviewing Science Reference Books for Library Journal

From STS-L (discussion listserv of STS): "Library Journal is looking for reviewers who write well and who have a strong background in the sciences. I especially need reviewers in the areas of science history, general science, biology, natural history, chemistry, astronomy, physics, engineering, and technology. If you are interested, please email me your resume and a brief writing sample."

If you are interested, please contact Wilda Williams, Senior Editor, Book Review, Library Journal:

Einstein Archive

I'm still out of commission on account of the flu. I took a little time this morning to look through Einstein's Archives Online. It's quite amazing to be able to read through the lecture notes and papers of one of the most amazing minds in science. "The Einstein Archives Online Website provides the first online access to Albert Einstein’s scientific and non-scientific manuscripts held by the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and to an extensive Archival Database, constituting the material record of one of the most influential intellects in the modern era."

May 20, 2003

Teaching Resources for the Sciences

While at home this morning, doing battle with a tenacious flu bug, I was listening to the webcast of "Electronic Scientific, Technical, and Medical Journal Publishing and Its Implications" and learned of these two learning object repositories:

1) iLumina:

iLumina is a digital library of sharable undergraduate teaching materials for chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and computer science. It is designed to quickly and accurately connect users with the educational resources they need. These resources range in type from highly granular objects such as individual images and video clips to entire courses. Resources in iLumina are cataloged with IMS-compliant metadata, which captures both technical and education-specific information about each resource. An advanced search engine, quick search feature, and browse utility provide multiple methods for accessing resources in the library. iLumina contains thousands of educational resources and several virtual collections.

2) ben (BiosciEdNet):

The BEN Collaborative, spearheaded by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and composed of professional societies and coalitions for biology education, is developing a revolutionary approach for transforming biology teaching and learning in undergraduate and graduate institutions, as well as in professional schools.

Through the development of a BEN portal site, the BEN Collaborative provides searchable and seamless access to the digital library collections of its Partners to provide users with accurate and reliable biology education resources.

Resources accessible through the site will impact the learning of the biological sciences by students with diverse interests and career aspirations. The materials are collected and maintained by respected professional societies representing a broad spectrum of biological sciences.

Mixed-Bag Special

:: D-Lib Magazine has a thought-provoking article by James W Marcum, entitled Visions: The Academic Library in 2012. Marcum provides a analysis of twelve papers which were winners of an essay contest on this topic, and provides links to most of the winning entries.

:: Geoff and I wish to thank Peter Scott and Steven Cohen for mentioning our article, Throw Another Blog On The Wire, on their web sites.

:: Interesting article in Online by Greg Notess: Unlocking URLs: Extensions, Shortening Options, and Other Oddities.

:: BIOSIS, publishers of Biological Abstracts and Zoological Record, is looking for a partner to expand its resources. In late 2002, BIOSIS launched BiologyBrowser, a free resource to use for searching biological information on the 'net.

May 19, 2003

A Dictionary of Units of Measurement

Russ Rowlett, Director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has gathered a wealth of knowledge in his online A Dictionary of Units of Measurement. If you are looking to find out how many shetlands of beer you will require for your BBQ party, or the t-sun between the needles used during your last visit to the acupuncturist, this would be the resource for you.

This dictionary began as a collection of notes describing the relationship between various English and metric units. It gradually grew until it finally became too large a word-processing document; I couldn't find my way around in it any more. So I turned it into a folder of html documents and added it to my Internet site. For many months, no one looked at the site except me and my students. Then, gradually, the dictionary began to attract users from around the world. Many users were kind enough to point out errors; others suggested additions and improvements. Questions about units began to appear in my email inbox. Sometimes I could answer the questions, sometimes not.

Today the dictionary has become a kind of interactive resource. It grows slowly and steadily, mostly through suggestions from readers and my efforts to answer questions posed by readers. You can participate in this process! Please let me know if you find any errors on the site, or if you can't find what you wanted to know, or if you know of units used in your field of study or in your part of the world that aren't included.

May 17, 2003

Various

:: Geoff and I collaborated on an article which was published in the v49 n2(2003) issue of Feliciter: please read Throw Another Blog on the Wire: Libraries and The Weblogging Phenomena. Your comments and feedback are welcome and encouraged. Please note that the websites and URLs listed in the article are hotlinked in the pdf document (Adobe Acrobat required for viewing).

:: I have added a link to EEVL news in the right hand column, which in turn leads to news links in engineering, math, computing, and science & technology areas.

:: Chris Sherman offers a positive review the latest book by Mary Ellen Bates, entitled Building and Running a Successful Research Business: A Guide for the Independent Information Professional.

May 16, 2003

Online Exhibitions

:: Recent exhibitions from the Smithsonian Institution Libraries:

Wonder Bound: Rare Books on Early Museums:

"Why are centuries-old natural history books vital to scientific research? Our scientists consult early printed materials to compare historical descriptions with modern specimens. These researchers use the rare book collection of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries' new Joseph F. Cullman, 3rd, Library of Natural History."

"Make The Dirt Fly!" Building the Panama Canal

Underwater Web - Cabling The Seas

"The Underwater Web: Cabling the Seas," a new Smithsonian Libraries exhibition, demonstrates how the world suddenly became smaller 150 years ago when a telegraph cable laid under water in the English Channel opened communications between England and France."

May 15, 2003

Stuff of Interest

:: The Internet Resources column in the latest issue of C&RL News covers horticulture.

:: This past January, LITA identified the Top Technology Trends of the moment. Of interest are PDAs and wireless.

:: "The Engines of Our Ingenuity is a radio program that tells the story of how our culture is formed by human creativity. Written and hosted by John Lienhard, it is heard nationally on Public Radio and produced by KUHF-FM Houston. Among other features, this web site houses the transcripts for every episode heard since the show's inception in 1988. Streaming audio is available on each of the posted episodes."

:: By now, you must have heard about David Stevenson's proposed journey to the centre of the earth. Here is the longer version of the paper that appears in the 15 May 2003 issue of Nature.

May 14, 2003

Interesting Sites and Stats

:: From the ASEE web site: "ASEE Directory of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges has been updated to include the results of the 2002 survey. This directory provides a detailed profile of 358 U.S. and Canadian schools offering undergraduate and graduate engineering, as well as engineering technology. This is the most comprehensive online resource available for researchers and prospective students preparing for their education in engineering."

:: Beyond Brilliance, Beyond Stupidity, is a site that examines "Positive developments in transportation, urban planning, design, the environment, the internet and many other vaguely related areas", and the negative as well. Coverage includes architecture, aviation, cars, cycling, design, environment, geography/maps, internet, society, transit, urban planning, and wildcard.

:: Via Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends: a fascinating discussion on self-repairing computers

:: The Guardian maintains a fascinating and detailed weblog site. In addition, check "Onlineblog.com, a weblog covering internet and technology news produced daily by the Guardian Online team."

May 13, 2003

Directory of Open Access Journals

Making its way around the listservs today:

Lund University Libraries today launches the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ, http://www.doaj.org), supported by the Information Program of the Open Society Institute (http://www.osi.hu/infoprogram/), along with SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, (http://www.arl.org/sparc). The directory contains information about 350 open access journals, i.e. quality controlled scientific and scholarly electronic journals that are freely available on the web. The service will continue to grow as new journals are identified.

The goal of the Directory of Open Access Journals is to increase the visibility and accessibility of open access scholarly journals, thereby promoting their increased usage and impact. The directory aims to comprehensively cover all open access scholarly journals that use an appropriate quality control system. Journals in all languages and subject areas will be included in the DOAJ.

The database records will be freely available for reuse in other services and can be harvested by using the OAI-PMH (http://www.openarchives.org/), thus further increasing the visibility of the journals. The further development of DOAJ will continue with version 2, which will offer the enhanced feature of allowing the journals to be searched at the article level, and is expected to be available in late fall 2003.

“For the researcher DOAJ will mean simplified access to relevant information said Lars Björnshauge, Director, Lund University Libraries. The directory will give open-access journals a simple method to register their existence, and a means to dramatically enhance their visibility. Moreover, by enabling searches of all journals in the database at the article level, the next stage of DOAJ development will save research time and increase readership of articles.”

If you know a journal that should be included in the directory, use this form to report it to the directory: http://www.doaj.org/suggest. Information about how to obtain DOAJ records for use in a library catalog or other service you will find at: http://www.doaj.org/articles/questions/#metadata.

May 12, 2003

Science Liaison Librarian position at U Calgary

The University of Calgary Library has a position open for a full-time science liaison librarian, term position from June 2 - December 31, 2003. See below.

Science Liaison Librarian (Full-Time, Specific Term, Term Certain)

The University of Calgary Library is currently accepting applications
for a full time, science liaison librarian for a specific term, term
certain appointment from June 2, 2003 to December 31, 2003. The
University of Calgary is a research-intensive university with a strong
science, engineering, medical and health science focus. Reporting to the
Head, Science and Technology Liaison Services, the successful applicant
will provide reference service, instruction, collection development and
library information support for geology, geophysics and geography. In
addition the successful applicant will manage the Corporate Research
Service. This appointment will provide a challenging opportunity for a
recent graduate to develop and acquire experience in an academic library
environment.

Responsibilities
Within assigned subject areas the incumbent will

· Liaise with Faculty, ensuring understanding of library and information
resources and services.
· Maintain awareness of current and emerging trends in service needs and
proactively identify appropriate service responses.
· Provide in-depth reference assistance and research consultation.
Develop expertise through self-directed learning and participation in
training opportunities.
· Participate actively in the delivery of general reference service.
Develop expertise in assigned areas and contribute to the discussion of
reference service delivery.
· Plan, develop and deliver instruction sessions for students and
faculty. Participate in the delivery of general library instruction
offerings.
· Work towards integrating information literacy into the curriculum by
collaborating with faculty in course development, particularly as it
affects research or information based assignments.
· Develop collections to meet teaching and research needs, expending
funds in a timely, efficient and appropriate manner.
· Manage and develop the Corporate Research Service.

Qualifications
Candidates must have an ALA accredited MLS or equivalent. Strong
interpersonal and communication skills are essential, along with the
ability to work within and support a collaborative work environment.
Familiarity with a variety of information technologies and a proven
interest in working with science subjects is required. An undergraduate
degree in the sciences, previous teaching experience and knowledge of
collection development issues would be beneficial. Familiarity with the
academic environment is an asset.

Salary
Commensurate with experience. Minimum salary $40,000 per annum.

Applications
Please submit a letter of application addressing background and
experience relevant to the position, a current curriculum vitae, and the
names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of three current
professional references to:
Darlene Warren
Assistant Director, Client Services
Information Resources
University of Calgary
2500 University Drive N.W.
Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4
Phone: (403)220-3611 Fax: (403)282-6024
Email: dcwarren@ucalgary.ca

Deadline Date for applications: Tuesday, May 20, 2003, 16:30 hours.

1) Academic Fraud; 2) New journal from Public Library of Science

:: An interesting article in The Education Guardian weekly discusses about academic fraud, and cites a U Minnesota study of 4,000 researchers in >100 faculties. The study "found that one in three scientists plagiarised, 22% handled data "carelessly" and 15% occasionally withheld unfavourable data." I'm still looking for the study. Does anyone have any information about it?

:: The Public Library of Science has announced its first journal: PLoS Biology. Online and print editions will appear in October 2003. (Thanks, Catherine.)

May 11, 2003

Botanique and Invasive Species

The Librarian's Index the Internet (RSS) should be a regular read in your newsreader or your browsing routine. A few new biology-related links as seen on lii.org:

Botanique: Portal to Gardens, Arboreta, and Nature Sites A directory of more than 2,400 botanical gardens, preserves, parks, and other nature sites in the United States and Canada. Entries include descriptions of collections, location, facilities, and, for many, links. Resources has links to organizations, publications, forums, herbaria, a zone map, general gardening and agricultural sites, and "the catch-all-but-interesting, potpourri." Also includes a calendar of tours, shows, plant swaps, and other garden events. Searchable.

Invasivespecies.gov: A Gateway to Federal and State Invasive Species Activities and Programs
This site deals with the U.S. federal government's response to the impacts of invasive plants and animals. The site has species profiles, plus information and links for news and events, laws and legislation, agencies and organizations, transportation of species from one location to another, and many other resources on issues involving invasive species. This is also the Web site for the National Invasive Species Council, an inter-departmental coordinating agency.

May 9, 2003

Tabling of the Bill Creating the Library and Archives of Canada

A new Bill was tabled in the Canadian House of Commons yesterday, to create the new Library and Archives of Canada. The National Library of Canada and the National Archives of Canada will merge to form the new institution.

New Subject Web Sites, Spam in Depth

Subject web sites of interest:

  • HortiPlex Plant Database:"...contains plant images and data as well as links to information sources, images and vendors at other sites." Features: "101,133 records; 78,477 links; 50,744 taxa; 50,389 cultivars; 14,409 images/image links; 1,651 vendor links"
  • EngNet - Engineering and Internet: "EngNet® is a powerful Directory/Search Engine/Buyers Guide Service aimed specifically at the Engineering Industry to enable Engineers, Technicians, Tradesmen, etc. to find information and communicate effectively with suppliers in the Engineering Industry."
  • Centibots: The 100 Robots Project [.pdf, .zip, .mov, .avi]: "The Centibots are a team of 100 autonomous robots (80 ActivMedia Amigobot and 20 ActivMedia Pioneer 2 AT). The goal of the project is to demonstrate by December 2004, 100 robots mapping, tracking, guarding in a coherent fashion during a period of 24 hours"
  • TRN: Technology Research News: "TRN stories cover developments at university, government and corporate research centers on topics like robotics, nanotechnology, quantum computing, virtual reality, wireless communications, and the Internet."
The current issue of the NDSL Scout Report for Math, Engineering & Technology offers spam as its Topic in Depth. Eight websites are highlighted.

May 8, 2003

Online Exhibitions at Linda Hall Library

Linda Hall Library features a number of great online exhibitions. Here's a sampling of their current offerings:

  • Centuries of Civil Engineering - "An Exhibition of rare books celebrating the heritage of civil engineering, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Ameican Society of Civil Engineers."

  • Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679-1859 - "The Linda Hall Library's collection of the published monuments to the great expeditions of the age of sail is featured in this exhibition."

  • Paper Dinosaurs 1824-1969 - "Dinosaurs have excited the public imagination ever since the first dinosaur was described in 1824. This exhibition features original printed materials related to the history of dinosaur discovery."

  • Out of this World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas - "The exhibition features forty-three star atlases and maps, covering the period from 1482 to 1851. They capture the sweeping grandeur of the heavens, and are among the most beautiful scientific books ever made."

  • The Face of the Moon: Galileo to Apollo - "This is an online version of an exhibition catalog that was originally published in 1989. Written by William B. Ashworth, Jr., it won the First Place Award in the annual competition sponsored by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries."

May 7, 2003

The Wireless Librarian

Is your library wireless, or preparing to become wireless? Bill Drew has created The Wireless Librarian, and notes:

The purpose of this page is to provide a space for documenting my experiences using wireless and to provide resources for other libraries and librarians going through the wireless experience. This site so far concentrates on Wireless LANs in libraries but will be expanded if other wireless technologies start to make their way into libraries. This site does not cover cellular phone use or using cellular phones to access library resources. I will also include links to sites of interest. Images are used with permission of their owners.
The University of British Columbia has 75% wireless coverage, and hopes to be at 100% in a few months. Most of the libraries at UBC are either partially or completely wireless at this time.

May 6, 2003

RSS channels for engineering, math and computing resources

"EEVL has recently announced three new RSS Channels which provide details of the latest additions to the EEVL catalogue in each main subject section (Engineering, Mathematics & Computing). RSS, which stands for RDF Site Summary, is a technology which allows headlines to be easily incorporated and shared between websites. It is possible to include an EEVL RSS 'channel' containing headlines onto your website simply by inserting a small snippet of code. For further details of how to utilize these channels see the Working with EEVL page."

May 5, 2003

EEVL's Engineering E-journal Search Engine and RAM: Recent Advances in Manufacturing database

Roddy McLeod sent a note about EEVL's E-Journal Search Engine. The Engine indexes >100 full-text, free engineering e-journals, most of which are available w/o registration, and are not indexed elsewhere. The search engine is very simple: you can search by "exact word" or "title only", and restrict the search to "all" or "any" word(s). One drawback is that when you search a phrase, it also searches for any occurrence of any word in the phrase and returns those results as well. However, Roddy hopes that in the near future they will be able "to develop the technology to allow the development of e-journal search engines in several different subject areas with some of the features mentioned at the end of the article."

In addition to the E-Journal Search Engine, EEVL offers RAM - Recent Advances in Manufacturing, a db which indexes >500 leading journals in this subject area.

May 2, 2003

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology - the liaison librarians' challenge

The latest buzz-word in scientific, medical and engineering research, or should I say buzz-prefix, is "nano". Nanostructures, nanotubes, nanoparticles, nanocrystals, nano-optoelectronics, nanoscale, nanofabrication, nanotribology - as Aaron Brown might say, "and the list...goes on." In recent nanotechnology news, research on carbon nanotubes has resulted in a way to make the nanotubes emit light. Nanotechnology is emerging on our campus as a major area of research and study. NINT, The National Institute for Nanotechnology was established in 2001, and anticipates housing over 400 staff, faculty, researchers and students in the near future.

Providing information and research services to users and faculty working in nanoscience and technology is a challenge for librarians, as the subject field crosses so many traditional boundaries. At the U of Alberta, researchers in the following areas are working on various nano projects: Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Chemical and Materials Engineering, Genetics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics, Oncology, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Rehabilitation Medicine, Law, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Pharmacy, Business, Biochemistry, Medical Genetics, Computing Science, and Physiology. Traditionally, liaison librarians work with one or two departments, sometimes three. Nanoscience and technology is a rapidly emerging cross-disciplinary subject, and one or two librarians may find it overwhelming to liaise with professors and researchers across many faculties, keeping them abreast of the latest developments in library services to this area. One solution is to produce a subject guide based on the discipline itself. Traditionally, most of our guides are created to serve the subject needs of a department.

What has the experience been in your libraries when dealing with cross-disciplinary subjects such as nanotechnology?