Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Engineers Rule | Forbes Magazine Article

"At American auto companies, finance guys and marketers rise to the top. Not at Honda.

Of all the bizarre subsidiaries that big companies can find themselves with, Harmony Agricultural Products, founded and owned by Honda Motor, is one of the strangest. This small company near Marysville, Ohio produces soybeans for tofu. Soybeans? Honda couldn't brook the sight of the shipping containers that brought parts from Japan to its nearby auto factories returning empty. So Harmony now ships 33,000 pounds of soybeans to Japan."
Read on for more...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Libraries are still a critical resource

I just read this in the new issue of the November ASEE Prism magazine, p. 10.

Lyle D. Feisel, Dean Emeritus, Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, State University of New York at Binghamton, former president of ASEE wrote:
"Library Still a Critical Resource"
(ASEE members will need to login with your ID/password combo.)

"As usual, Henry Petroski provides serious food for thought, this time in his article expressing concern about the passage of the print library. As one who has long enjoyed the pleasures of unexpected discoveries while wandering the stacks of a great – or even a minor – library, I share his concern. It is not clear to me, however, that this will significantly change the nature of scholarship or of engineering problem solving."

[A buncho stuff deleted so I don't get trouble with the copyright police...]

"While that means they must give up some space, I’m sure they will continue to be a critical resource for engineers and the rest of the campus community, aided now by the increasingly ubiquitous computer."
For the most part, I think it is a good article, but he ignores the librarians who work in that space. Access to electronic resources is not provided in a vacuum. We figure out what books, journals, ejournals, databases, publishers, platforms, vendors and other resources are available with the money that is provided. We teach the students (and faculty) how to find, use and evaluate all of that data and information. In short, it is the people (librarians) who help the students and faculty turn all that stuff into knowledge.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

LibQUAL Survey Responses for Science Libraries

This is a particularly interesting report that was presented at the ARL/CNI Fall Forum, "Reinventing Science Librarianship: Models for the Future," October 16-17, 2008. In short, all science library patrons think they are short on electronic resources, it isn't just us.

LibQUAL+® in the Sciences

Highlights LibQUAL+® survey responses from faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates in science/math, engineering/computer science, and health sciences across 302 libraries (including 53 ARL libraries). Reports library users’ perceptions and expectations of service quality and information literacy outcomes, such as contribution of the library to advancing in a discipline. Also reports use of the library premises, Web site, and non-library information gateways. Notably, ratings of information literacy outcomes have risen since 2004 across all user groups.