Tuesday, June 23, 2020

REALM Project Update: Round 1 Test Results Now Available

The text below is directly from the website and was published on June 22, 2020:

As part of the REALM Project’s Phase 1 research, Battelle has conducted a natural attenuation study to provide information on how long some commonly circulated library materials would need to be quarantined prior to being returned to public circulation. Testing was conducted by applying the virulent SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) on five materials held at standard room temperature and humidity conditions. The materials tested included the following items, which were provided by Columbus Metropolitan Library:
(1) Hardback book cover (buckram cloth)
(2) Softback book cover
(3) Plain paper pages inside a closed book
(4) Plastic book covering (biaxially oriented polyester film)
(5) DVD case.
Results show that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not detectable on the materials after three days of quarantine. The evaluation demonstrates that standard office temperature and relative humidity conditions typically achievable by any air-conditioned office space provide an environment that allows for the natural attenuation of SARS-CoV-2 present on these common materials after three days of quarantine.

Read about the Round 1 Test Results.


Thursday, June 18, 2020

REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums Project: Systematic Literature Review

From their website:
The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project has produced a systematic literature review to help inform the scope of the project’s research and the information needs of libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs). Battelle researchers completed the review, which includes findings from available scientific literature. This review focused on studies of virus attenuation on commonly found materials, such as paper, plastic, cloth, and metal; methods of virus transmission; and effectiveness of prevention and decontamination measures.
On the literature review webpage, they note:
As you read this systematic literature review, keep in mind a few key points:
  1. The research and information captured in the findings include both peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed studies. In the interest to publish emerging research related to the COVID-19 pandemic as quickly as possible, publication has been expedited rather than waiting for time-intensive peer review.
  2. The studies included in the review have been conducted by different researchers, under different conditions, likely using different concentrations—and possibly sources—of the virus. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a reviewer to make a straight comparison across studies; and, interpreting the results may be challenging for readers without a science background. Part of the REALM Project’s future efforts will be more interpretation of these results for a lay audience.
  3. The review includes findings for industries, such as health care, that operate under considerably different constraints and risk factors than do libraries, archives, and museums, (abbreviated LAMs). However, in this preliminary search, it was important to consider a broad range of available research to determine what may be applicable to LAM operations and identify what research gaps exist. The research captured in the review does not represent recommendations or guidance for LAMs; but, commonalities with other fields and industries may be found as the research proceeds, and the project will continue to monitor the science literature for emerging science-based information that relates to LAM operations.
That page includes a link to the literature review and related data.  More information will be released as it becomes available from their testing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Resources about Racism

Racism is a pandemic
I decided to take a moment and compile some of the resource lists on racism and becoming anti-racist that have been developed. These might be resources that interest you, that you want for your library, or that you want to share with a colleague (or love one). Yes, there is some duplication between lists, but there are also items that are not duplicative, so if you have the energy, look at several lists (or all of them!).  And if you find this useful, please share it with others.

Are there more lists than this? Yes! Please leave a comment if you know of one that should be added.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Registration is open: U.S. Copyright Law in the Library: A Beginner's Guide eCourse

Copyright symbol by Horia VarlanI want you know that I will be teaching an online course on U.S. Copyright Law in the Library this August. I’ll cover the basics of U.S. copyright law, including how it informs what libraries, staff, and patrons can do with their materials, as well as how to stay up-to-date as copyright law evolves.

This online course will start on August 3 and run for 6 weeks. You can find more information and register at the ALA Store. Bulk and institutional pricing is available. If you have any questions, you can contact me or the folks at ALA Publishing at elsmarketing@ala.org.

This spring, when schools asked students to continue their education at home and libraries shifted from in-person to totally online services, many people realized that copyright knowledge was important. This six-week course will help you develop copyright knowledge so you can productively engage in the conversations occurring in your institution, as it continues to work through how it wants to deliver services in our changed world.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wayback Wednesday: Upping Your Library Intelligence

Thinking statues
In 2017, I wrote a series on upping your library intelligence. The first post began with this text:
Late in the spring, I had a short conversation with Rachel Clarke about MSLIS students and in which areas we thought they (the generic "they") needed to grow.  A number of people are attracted to M.S. in Library and Information Science programs who do not have deep library experience.  For them, their lack of library experience may inhibit these students from learning and applying new concepts quickly. Rachel and I realized that these students would be helped by engaging in activities that would allow them to increase ("up") their library intelligence. While we promised to continue the conversation later, I've decided to develop a series of blog posts as a way for me to explore the topic and - hopefully - create content which will help current and future MSLIS students, and LIS professionals.
This is still an need for those considering entering the library profession. You will gain more from your education - the MSLIS degree - if you have some background knowledge.  Even now, with the world seeming a bit precarious, you can build that background knowledge. If you decide to work in a library for a while, before obtaining your MSLIS degree, this knowledge will serve you well because you will not be starting from ground zero, which your boss will appreciate.  Finally, if you are finishing your MSLIS degree and waiting to land your first position, now is a great time to continue learning.  Besides what is below, consider thinking about the reopening of libraries and COVID-19. Again, your thoughts, questions, and knowledge will be appreciated by your future employer.

By the way, I know people are worried about job hunting in the wake of COVID-19. Yes, jobs are still available. Organizations are still hiring. You, though, may need to be a bit more flexible, including a willingness to move geographically. You may need to take a position for 1-2 years that is not your ideal, but will help you gain in experience. Remember that you are developing a career, which is more than just your first position.

The Series