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  • Briefly Noted

Digitizing Your Collection: Public Library Success Stories, Susanne Caro with contributions by Sam Meister, Tammy Ravas, and Wendy Walker. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2016. 176 pages. $55.00 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1383-3)

As state document librarian at the New Mexico State Library in Santa Fe, Susanne Caro was charged with organizing and implementing a digitization project. Like many others before her, she had little previous experience to guide her through this complicated process and found herself struggling with inadequate staffing and funding. Digitizing Your Collection: Public Library Success Stories is a primer for those individuals who find themselves in a similar situation. By recounting the best practices she collected and the success stories she learned about during her first digitization process, Caro, along with contributions from three colleagues, introduces readers to the essential issues of selection criteria, funding, staffing, copyright, and preservation. (FR)

Managing Creativity: The Innovative Research Library, Ronald C. Jantz. Chicago: ACRL, 2016. 206 pages. $44.00 (ISBN 978-0-8389-8834-3)

After many years as a software developer at Bell Laboratories, author Ronald Jantz returned to school to earn a PhD from the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in New Brunswick. He is currently the digital library architect at the Rutgers University Libraries. Managing Creativity: The Innovative Research Library is based on both his academic and professional work. This investigation of innovation in research libraries is directed at library leaders and directors who seek to build the institutional culture and structures to facilitate what Jantz describes as “organizational ambidexterity,” which includes the ability to learn from the past without being bound by it and to balance present needs against future opportunities while pursuing an array of new initiatives. (FR)

Navigating the Future with Scenario Planning: A Guidebook for Librarians, ed. Joan Giesecke, Jon Cawthorne, and Deb Pearson. Chicago: ACRL, 2015. 128 pages. $36.00 (ISBN 978-0-8389-8751-3)

Strategic planning more or less assumes that the future will resemble the present and relies heavily on present trends to forecast and plan for opportunities and challenges. Scenario planning, on the other hand, begins with the assumption that the future might develop in a number of different and unpredictable directions. Where strategic planning depends on familiar mental models, scenario planning aims to disrupt them in the hope of generating new and more adaptive ones. Navigating the Future with Scenario Planning: A Guidebook for Librarians first explains in four chapters how to conduct scenario planning and then, in five chapters of essays and case studies, demonstrates how libraries have used this method to respond to environmental and operational uncertainty. (FR)

The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet, Justin Peters. New York: Scribner, 2015. 352 pages. $28.00 (ISBN 978-1-4767-6772-7)

Expanding on an article originally appearing in Slate, Justin Peters traces the life and tragic death of software prodigy and political activist Aaron Swartz against the [End Page 654] wider background and history of the free culture movement. Before Swartz appears, about halfway into the book, Peters reviews Noah Webster’s advocacy for copyright, the nineteenth-century struggle surrounding international copyright, the narrowing of the public domain, and Michael Hart’s launch of Project Gutenberg, a digital library of free e-books, in 1971. Peters describes the brief but meteoric career of Swartz, starting from his teenage years until his death by suicide at age 26, and his social activism in support of free culture. Swartz helped develop RSS, which allows users to have new content delivered to a computer or mobile device as soon as it is published; Reddit, a social news website and forum where stories are submitted by site members; and Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that offers copyright licenses for digital work. In 2013, Swartz killed himself rather than face prosecution for allegedly downloading millions of articles from JSTOR. The story of Swartz’s stalwart crusade to make Web content freely available to the public makes this interesting reading for librarians. (FR) [End Page 655]

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-7131
Print ISSN
1531-2542
Pages
pp. 654-655
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-07
Open Access
No
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