Friday, November 9, 2012

Charleston Conference Day Three

     Another good day of library conference presentations. One from this morning was titled "What Provosts want Librarians to know", a panel discussion about how the university administration views the library and it's staff. Rule one: it works better if we do something beyond just showing up once a year asking for money. Who knew? We moved on to University Presses, big fun there, and a project which could be interesting - the Digital Public Library of America. Did not know about this one before today. Bears watching. 
     After lunch (eaten outside in Marion Square - never waste a sunny day when you can sit outside) went back at it with a presentation on integration of electronic book collections in three small college libraries. Interesting bit of anecdote, which I've heard before elsewhere: all other things being equal, students prefer the e-book version of a text when they have to read a chapter or section; a 'chunk' of the book, but ask for the print version if it is a work that has to be read all the way through. I had rather suspected that, but it was helpful to hear someone else make the observation.
     While we're on e-books, I sat in on a report from a library that compared circulation data on print books with usage data on the same titles as e-books. Conclusion?  Well, there really weren't any. The data didn't support any definitive statements, but the presenter did speculate that perhaps what the patrons were really interested in is the content rather than the format in which they got it. It reminds me of what a former library director used to say, "students want the tomatoes, not the can". Make of that what you will.

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