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October 27, 2006

Stanford's "Bookless" Engineering Library Needs a Head Librarian

.: My friend and colleage Pam Ryan brought this to my attention today: Stanford University is advertising for a Head Librarian for Engineering, Stanford University Libraries, where the library is envisioned as a "bookless facility":

The Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources seek a well-qualified librarian with successful policy and administrative experience to join its staff as Head Librarian for Engineering. Stanford is currently planning for a new Engineering Library, and this position will have primary responsibility for the transition to that new facility, as well as the management of associated staff.

The new Engineering Library will be a forward-looking facility. It will be a library, but in the most advanced definition of that term, and ultimately, as the literatures of engineering disciplines move to digital form, it is envisioned as a bookless facility. This library will be a gathering place that will foster a sense of community for the School of Engineering, foster collaboration among students and faculty, and support discovery and retrieval of information resources, both print and digital. It will also allow instruction and discussion opportunities, provide quiet, comfortable individual and group study space and areas where users can socialize.

The primary goal of the new Library will be to provide for the informational needs of the students, faculty, and researchers in the departments of the School of Engineering. We plan to provide one subject specialist for every two departments, under the coordination of the Head Librarian. These specialists will create and maintain online “reading rooms” or online guides to the specialized literatures of their fields, provide information instruction, and manage online information repositories.

We anticipate that the transition from traditional to “bookless” library will present significant challenges, and solutions will require innovative thinking, effective planning, and tireless advocacy.

This sounds like a fascinating challenge and development, and speaks volumes of how much of the core engineering literature, regardless of the format being a journal, monograph, conference, patent, standard, data, what have you, has moved from print to electronic in such a short period of time. As the librarian for the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT), I am experiencing what this is like to a certain degree - NINT is on our campus, but there is no library within the building, and rarely do the researchers there step out and come to the Science and Technology Library. Pretty much most of what they need is online, and if not, they request it online.

May 10, 2006

Info*Nation - Promoting LIS Professions In Canada

.: A new website promoting library and information professions in Canada is being developed, to encourage recruitment to said professions. From an e-mail received earlier this month:

Join the Info*Nation Movement!

Info*Nation is a participatory website that promotes library and information professions in Canada. It is targeted at today’s youth and other people seeking exciting career opportunities. It will speak their language and grab their attention.

To find out more about Info*Nation check out our pre-launch site at www.infonation.ca. It has been designed to announce the project, start a buzz, and above all engage potential participants from the information professions.

Every nation needs its citizens. Join now! We need your help to gather the diverse voices of people that work in Canadian libraries. If you have an interesting job in the information world and are passionate and proud of what you do, join our movement by visiting www.infonation.ca and putting the reasons why into a few words.

You can also help us spread the word! Join the campaign. Write about the project on your blog or website and grab a free graphic off our site to help with publicity. Tell your friends. If you know someone who loves their work and is interested in bringing in new recruits to the profession, you should encourage them to join up too.

How long do you have? Well, the pre-launch campaign runs throughout the month of May and the official Info*Nation website is set to launch mid June at the CLA conference.

For more information contact us at infonation.project AT gmail.com.

Oh yeah, and who are we? We are the Recruitment Working Group of the CLA President’s Council on the 8Rs http://www.cla.ca/top/whatsnew/presidents_council_8rs.htm. Our members are Jason Bird, Fiona Black, M.J. D’Elia, Karen Hildebrandt, Murray McCabe, and Catherine Steeves. But this is not about us, it is about you and our profession.