Wednesday, December 12, 2012 The Power of 10 was launched in December 2002 and has broken new ground in interagency collaboration. Senior information managers representing 13 Federal agencies forged a consensus on how national science organizations could improve public access to the nation’s rich and diverse scientific research information and partnered to create the Web portal.

One of the successful gateways, still existing....  Press release here

Monday, December 03, 2012

Google killed Meebo: many libraries scrambled to replace this tool as their virtual reference engine

Competition in the virtual reference market got really hot this past summer. Recent developments in virtual reference offerings suggest the market is much more dynamic than most of us would have imagined a short time ago. With Google’s acquisition of Meebo and its subsequent decision to shut down the chat widget service, many libraries scrambled to replace this tool as their virtual reference engine.

In any case, libraries and individual librarians have been using Meebo since at least 2007 to provide free virtual reference services, so Meebo’s demise sent them scurrying for a replacement. The good news was that other significant changes in the virtual reference marketplace were taking place, providing reference librarians with plenty of options. 

Read the detailed article by William Breitbach from

The Current State of E-Resource Usage Data in Libraries

While COUNTER and SUSHI have helped libraries come a long way toward improving the adoption and availability of usage statistics for library market vendors, I soon came to learn that there is still a good amount of work libraries must do to get the data they need to make critical collection development and database budgeting decisions. Any librarian who has managed electronic resources has experienced the—for want of words—joy of gathering and analyzing usage statistics. Such statistics are important for evaluating the effectiveness of resources and for making important budgeting decisions. Unfortunately, the data are usually tedious to collect, inconsistently organized, of dubious accuracy, and anything but a joy to work with.

How can we make this better? Read this article by Josh Welker:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

IFLA Congress 2013 Singapore: Sponsorship for delegates of developing countries

The Singapore Government is pleased to offer *partial sponsorship for delegates of developing countries to attend the IFLA annual conference during 17-23 August, 2013.

*The amount of the sponsorship covers:
  1. Accommodation at a designated hotel (check-in one day before the start of the conference, and check-out one day after the last day of the conference)
  2. A daily per diem of SGD40/day from the first day to the last day of the conference
  3. Local airport transfers
  4. Group Accident and Hospitalisation Insurance during the stay in Singapore
  5. Airport meeting services
(please note: the sponsorship does not cover conference fee and airfare)


Application deadline is 28 February 2013. All selected applicants will be notified via email by April 2013.
Offer is on first come first serve basis for eligible applicants. We apologise if we are unable to accept your application due to overwhelming response.
All decisions are final and we will not be responding to any queries on the outcome of application.

Details at 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Atlas of New Librarianship

After hearing the keynote of R. David Lankes at Internet Librarian International, I am trying to read his The Atlas of New Librarianship

The vision for a new librarianship must go beyond finding library-related uses for information technology and the Internet; it must provide a durable foundation for the field. Lankes recasts librarianship and library practice using the fundamental concept that knowledge is created though conversation. New librarians approach their work as facilitators of conversation; they seek to enrich, capture, store, and disseminate the conversations of their communities.

This book must be read by all library science teachers, and by practicing librarians. Supplements are available from

ORCID is the DOI for an author/researcher

For an author, ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes themu from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized. They can include their ORCID identifier on their Webpage, publications, apply for grants, and in any research workflow to ensure them get credit for their work.

ORCID is the DOI for an author/researcher. They work or corss link with major A&I databases and publisher's ID systems (like Scopus Author ID or Thomson Reuters’ ResearcherID® )

ORCID just launched their Registry

Other researcher identifier systems are currently in use serving specific populations or types of research work. ORCID does not compete with these systems, but rather provides a switchboard for crosslinking. Elsevier is providing a way for researchers to link their Scopus Author IDs to ORCID and synchronize their publication information between the two systems. Thomson Reuters’ ResearcherID® will link to ORCID and allow researchers to synchronize their publication information. Several research information system providers are also planning to integrate ORCID identifiers, including figshare, KNODE, Faculty of 1000, and ImpactStory. Through its affiliate ORCID EU, ORCID is working with DataCite to link ORCID identifiers with research datasets.

This needs to be informed to your researchers and faculty.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Is OPAC dead or dying?

Melissa A. Hofmann and Sharon Q. Yang from Rider University disclosed their study results on 260 academic libraries OPACs in the USA. They found discovery tool use has practically doubled in the last two years, from 16 percent to 29 percent. A total of 96 percent of academic libraries using discovery tools still provide access to their legacy catalog. The percentage of institutions using ILS OPACs with faceted navigation has increased from 2 percent to 4 percent. Combining the use of discovery tools and faceted OPACs, at least 33 percent of academic libraries are now using a faceted interface. Discovery tools that aim to be the “single point of entry for all library resources” are the most recently popular. The findings identify trends that may inform academic libraries in the quest to providing next generation interfaces to their varied resources.

Most of them use AquaBrowser, EDS, Encore, Endeca, Mango, Primo, Summon, VuFind, WorldCat Local  etc to provide discovery tools to their patrons.

Discovering” what’s changed: a revisit of the OPACs of 260 academic libraries
Library Hi Tech, Vol. 30 No. 2, 2012, pp. 253-274
DOI: 10.1108/07378831211239942

Friday, November 02, 2012

Internet Librarian International 2012

I have presented this year's Internet Librarian International 2012 at the session Seamless and digital - lessons from new libraries (London 29-31 October 2012)

 With my wife Manju (KAUST Library Admin Consultant)

Monday, April 23, 2012

UKSG Annual Conference 2012 Proceedings

I have attended this year's UKSG Annual Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland (26-28 March 2012). 

The proceedings videos are now available from the Youtube Channel

Read the reports from

With Alan Hopkinson and Dr. Sanjay Kataria during UKSG, Glasgow

Monday, April 16, 2012

Google Scholar Metrics

Introduced on 1 April 2012 and are based on the Google Scholar database, which includes more journals and other publications than that used for the IFs. They are based on the h-index, which is defined on the Google Scholar Metrics page.

Google creates a list of all the articles a journal has published in a specified period of time. The citations to each article are counted in order to determine the publication's h-index, which is the largest number "h" such that each of the set of "h" articles were cited "h" or more times. As an example of how the h-index is calculated, consider a publication that has had six total articles having 2, 18, 11, 3, 22, and 9 citations, respectively. This gives the journal an h-index of four. Articles meeting the h-index criterion constitute the h-core. In the example, the core is the articles with 18, 11, 22 and 9 citations. Within the h-core, the median of the citation counts is used to assess the typical influence among the most highly cited set and is reported as the h-median. In the example, the h-median is 14.5. Read more from here

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Occupational Classification of Librarians in different countries - Part 1

Occupational Classification of Librarians in different countries - Part 1

1. Introduction

It is interesting to analyze how LIBRARIANSHIP is classified in Occupational Indexes or Occupational Classifications from various International organizations and Government agencies, especially the labor laws enforcing organizations in the world. LIBRARIANSHIP is classified as a professional occupation, along with lawyers, health professionals, teaching professionals, business professional etc.

What does that mean? A professional occupant requires a professional degree/qualification in the field. A professional degree prepares the holder for a particular profession by emphasizing competency skills along with theory and analysis. These professions are typically licensed or otherwise regulated by a governmental or government-approved body (Wikipedia).

Let us see what the governmental and professional organisations say about our profession.

2. International Labor Office (ILO)

An occupational definition of “Librarian” is available from International Labor Office in their International Standard Classification of Occupations -ISCO-88.
    Librarians and related information professionals collect and store recorded or published material, and retrieve and provide information as requested.
    Tasks include
    (a) organising, developing and maintaining a systematic collection of books, periodicals and other printed or audio-visually recorded material;
    (b) selecting and recommending acquisitions of books and other printed or audio-visually recorded material;
    (c) organising, classifying and cataloguing library material;
    (d) organising and administering loan systems and information networks;
    (e) retrieving material and providing information to business and other users based on the collection itself or on library and information-network systems;
    (f) conducting research and analysing or modifying library and information services in accordance with changes in users' needs;
    (g) preparing scholarly papers and reports;
    (h) performing related tasks;
    (i) supervising other workers.

    Examples of the occupations classified here:

  • Information scientist, business services
  • Information scientist, technical information
  • Librarian
ILO classifies Librarian as a professional occupation (see below)
Major Group 2 Professionals
21. Physical, mathematical and engineering science professionals
211. Physicists, chemists and related professionals
212. Mathematicians, statisticians and related professionals
213. Computing professionals
214. Architects, engineers and related professionals
22. Life science and health professional
221. Life science professionals
222. Health professionals (except nursing)
223. Nursing and midwifery professionals
23. Teaching professionals
231. College, university and higher education teaching professionals
232. Secondary education teaching professionals
233. Primary and pre-primary education teaching professionals
234. Special education teaching professionals
235. Other teaching professionals
24. Other professionals
241. Business professionals
242. Legal professionals
243. Archivists, librarians and related information professionals
244. Social science and related professionals
245. Writers and creative or performing artists
246. Religious professionals
3. United States Department of Labor

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics describes Nature of Work, Qualifications required, Job Outlook etc of LIBRARIANSHIP, which is classified as a Professional occupation. Below is quoted from this US Department of Labor's "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition".
......Librarian positions focus on one of three aspects of library work: user services, technical services, and administrative services. Librarians in user services, such as reference and children's librarians, work with patrons to help them find the information they need. The job involves analyzing users' needs to determine what information is appropriate and searching for, acquiring, and providing the information. The job also includes an instructional role, such as showing users how to find and evaluate information. For example, librarians commonly help users navigate the Internet so they can search for and evaluate information efficiently. Librarians in technical services, such as acquisitions and cataloguing, acquire, prepare, and classify materials so patrons can find it easily. Some write abstracts and summaries. Often, these librarians do not deal directly with the public. Librarians in administrative services oversee the management and planning of libraries: they negotiate contracts for services, materials, and equipment; supervise library employees; perform public-relations and fundraising duties; prepare budgets; and direct activities to ensure that everything functions properly.....

......A master's degree in library science (MLS) is necessary for librarian positions in most public, academic, and special libraries. School librarians may not need an MLS but must meet State teaching license requirements........

4. Human Resources and Skills Development of Canada

National Occupational Classification (NOC) of Canada also classifies LIBRARIAN as a professional occupation with Master of Library Science as a basic requirement with below described duties.

Librarians perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Recommend acquisition of books, periodicals and audio-visual, interactive media and other materials for inclusion in library collection
  • Provide reference services
  • Select, classify, catalogue and weed library materials
  • Prepare bibliographies, indexes, reading lists, guides and other finding aids
  • Develop systems to access library collections
  • Perform manual, on-line and interactive media reference searches to assist users in accessing library materials and arrange for interlibrary loans
  • Develop taxonomies using various information and data sources
  • Provide specialized programs for children, seniors and other groups
  • Conduct library information and orientation training programs and tours
  • Perform related administrative duties and supervise library technicians, assistants and clerks.

Employment requirements

  • A master's degree in library science is required.
5. American Library Association

ALA is the famous professional association widely respected all over the world, and their standards are especially followed in library recruitment. They provides a clear description of “type of library professional jobs

  • Library Assistants or Technicians generally perform clerical duties, and are often mistaken for librarians as they are the first face people see, since most libraries' checkout desks are near the entrance. Library assistants often check materials out and in, collect fines and fees, answer general phone questions, issue library cards, process new library materials, and assist with items on reserve. Library assistant jobs may be part- or full-time and can range from $8 to $15 per hour.
  • Librarians help people with homework and research questions, decide what items to purchase and to discard, offer programs and training, help people use the internet, build websites, and more. Specialized librarians may run computer systems, work with seniors and non-English speaking populations, become specialists in a specific subject area, or maintain the records for the online catalog. Librarian jobs are often full-time, although most libraries also rely on a core of part-time and "substitute" librarians to help cover all of the hours many libraries are open. The average starting salary for a full-time new librarian was $37,975 in 2003, with the average for all librarians at $43,090 for 2002.
  • Library Managers such as department heads, branch managers, and assistant/deputy/associate directors, and are typically middle managers responsible for the operation of departments or other functional areas such as "all library branches." As managers they may be responsible for work schedules, employee evaluations, training, and managing budgets. Branch managers, in particular, can have additional director-like responsibilities, such as overseeing the condition of the facility or involvement in local neighborhood groups and projects.
  • Library Directors have the main leadership role in the library. Typical duties include preparing and overseeing the budget, developing employment and service policies, strategic planning, public and governmental relations, reporting to the governing board or official, ensuring compliance with laws, fundraising, hiring, motivating and firing staff, and more. Directors' duties and compensation can vary greatly depending on the size of the library. The director of a small rural library can literally be the only regularly scheduled employee with a salary of $20,000 to the director of a large urban library with hundreds of employees and a salary of $175,000.
6. Professional Degree for Librarians.

If we look at library education sector, there are hundreds of universities run professional library science courses (MLIS, MLS, MSILS, MSIS etc), which enable people to become librarians. A country wise list can be seen from here (not sure about its currency). Just like in any other professional courses, curriculum of these schools are also updated time to time. Established professions are not getting thrown away with the technological advancements, rather embrace them and let the profession grow on to much higher and varied dimensions. New generation libraries also follow the same old objective – collect, organise and disseminate knowledge/information – but may be through new (variety of) formats and technologies. Other convenient interpretations will proved to be wrong, by the time.

7. Conclusions

We can cite such official or government documents from any country. These are the facts and practices, followed by organisations, especially during professional recruitments, promotions and establishing institutions worldwide. Conveniently or ignorantly persons and institutions alter these practices and codes in several cases. These actions may be interpreted as violations of international practices/codes and professional ethics.