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  • Briefly Noted

Using Qualitative Methods in Action Research: How Librarians Can Get to the Why of Data, ed. Douglas Cook and Lesley Farmer. Chicago: ACRL, 2011. 264p. $60 (ISBN 978-0-8389-8576-2)

So much of the information that librarians need to improve services comes in "soft," rather than in quantifiable form. Douglas Cook and Lesley Farmer have assembled an impressive group of librarians and faculty to provide an overview of methodologies and issues regarding qualitative research in libraries. The authors of this volume cover narrative inquiry, discourse analysis, peer observation, and other methods to investigate a wide range of library and instruction environments. The issues covered include LibQual assessment, multi-campus research, visual literacy, and the reference interview. This work will be useful for administrators, busy librarians carrying out their own research, and library faculty teaching qualitative research. (FR)

Getting Started with Cloud Computing: A LITA Guide, ed. Edward M. Corrado and Heather Lea Moulaison. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2011. 214p. $65 (ISBN 978-1-5557-0749-1)

This practical manual consisting of twenty short chapters can be used as a handbook or read from cover to cover. The subject is cloud computing, which the editors broadly define as "any use of remote computing power accessed through the Internet." Cloud computing is becoming an increasingly attractive solution for libraries that wish to reduce costs and increase flexibility, despite lingering concerns over security, privacy, and viability. General treatments of the pros and cons of cloud computing start off the book, followed by chapters on specific uses of the cloud for data sharing, repositories, file sharing, intranet, and a library management system. The book concludes with brief case studies of the use of applications and tools such as Google Forms, Dropbox, and Ning. (JA)

Broken Pieces: A Library Life, 1941-1978, Michael Gorman. Chicago: American Library Association, 2011. 248p. $35 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1104-4)

Michael Gorman, co-editor of multiple editions of the Anglo-American Cataloging Rules (Chicago: American Library Association, 1998) and several other works on librarianship, has produced an autobiography of his first 37 years. Explaining how he cared only about a few things as a young man—books, films, radio, and cricket—he tells the story of being dismissed from Finchley Catholic Grammar School and finding his way into a job at a library. After a few detours, he married and began a career in libraries. The reader gets the sense that Gorman's "library life" was a happy accident. He just fell into librarianship, as many librarians do. His descriptions of mid-century Britain and the United States in the 1970s are quite vivid and though much of the narrative focuses on work in libraries, the reader is also witness to a very full life of travel, friends, and civic engagement. The final chapter breaks free of the chronological narrative by providing a brief personal history of Gorman's work on the Anglo-American cataloguing rules. (FR) [End Page 108]

Facilitating Access to the Web of Data: A Guide for Librarians, David Stuart. London: Facet Publishing, 2011. Distributed in the U.S by Neal-Schuman. 173p. $110 (ISBN 978-1-85604-745-6)

Data librarianship is one of the hottest trends in academic libraries today, sometimes heralded as the salvation of the library profession. In this excellent book, David Stuart discusses not only scientific data sets, but also governmental, commercial, and social data that exist on the Web but are not readily accessed through commonly used search and retrieval tools. Though expensive, the book is a rare attempt to challenge librarians to master new developments on the Web without overwhelming them with technical detail. Stuart, currently a researcher in the Centre for e-Research at King's College, London, straddles the worlds of everyday library practice, information science, and technology. Open data, the Semantic Web, data silos, linked data, and embedded semantics are among the topics discussed. The book concludes with a welcome list of nine first steps that an individual librarian can take to master some of the skills needed to embrace the Web of data. (JA) [End Page 109]

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-7131
Print ISSN
1531-2542
Pages
pp. 108-109
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-13
Open Access
No
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