image © Newtown graffitiSixty-six presidents and provosts of US universities and colleges sent a letter to Congress urging passage of public access legislation, Fair Access to Science and Technology Research, or FASTR. This legislation promotes the acceleration of scientific discovery by making articles reporting on publicly funded scientific research freely accessible online. The presidents and provosts stated, “we believe that this legislation represents a watershed and provides an opportunity for the entire U.S. higher education and research community to draw upon their traditional partnerships and collaboratively realize the unquestionably good intentions of the bill’s framers—broadening access to publicly funded research in order to accelerate the advancement of knowledge and maximize the related public good. By ensuring broad and diverse access to taxpayer-funded research the bill also supports the intuitive and democratic principle that, with reasonable exceptions for issues of national security, the public ought to have access to the results of activities it funds.”
image © University of CaliforniaIn partnership with the University of California’s (UC) television station, the UC San Diego (UCSD) Library has launched a Library Channel on UCTV. The new channel offers content on a wide range of UCSD Library and campus activities, including special events, faculty and author lectures, innovative programs, special and digital collections, and other library and university initiatives. The initial Library Channel lineup features videos of: the library’s recent Dinner in the Library event, with author Jay Parini discussing 13 books that changed America; UC San Diego psychiatrist Joel Dimsdale, who presented findings on the Rorschach tests administered to Nazi leadership at a Holocaust Living History Workshop; and the library’s efforts to build an archive documenting San Diego’s dynamic technology history. Programming from the Library Channel will be accessible from a portal on the library’s home page, from UCTV’s home page, on UCTV, and on iTunes and YouTube. For more details, see the October 29 UCSD news release, “UC San Diego Library Launches New Channel on UCTV.”
image © François ProulxThe continuous release of information concerning the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance practices has led to increased scrutiny by Congress. Two bills have been introduced that seek to address some of the NSA surveillance practices and address serious privacy concerns. First, Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the FISA Improvement Act of 2013 (PDF) that was approved by the Select Committee on Intelligence on October 31. The bill was not made publicly available until after the committee’s approval. The second, a bicameral and bipartisan bill, the USA Freedom Act of 2013 (PDF), was introduced by Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Sen. Leahy (D-VT) on October 29. This bill seeks to rein in the NSA’s bulk collection, analysis, and storage of Americans’ electronic communications. ARL with others in the public and private sectors support the USA Freedom Act of 2013.
The new Library Publishing Directory provides a snapshot of the publishing activities of 115 academic and research libraries (primarily in North America), including information about the number and types of publications they produce, the services they offer authors, how they are staffed and funded, and the future plans of institutions that are engaged in this growing sector of scholarly publishing. In documenting the breadth and depth of activities in this field, this resource aims to articulate the unique value of library publishing; establish it as a significant and growing community of practice; and raise its visibility within a number of stakeholder communities, including administrators, funding agencies, other scholarly publishers, librarians, and content creators. For more information and to download or order print copies of the directory, visit the Library Publishing Coalition website.
SCOAP3The SCOAP3 model is built on redirecting funds currently used to pay for subscriptions to participating journals to support their conversion to open access, as well as to cover article-processing fees in existing open access journals. Launch of SCOAP3 is scheduled for January 1, 2014, and confirmation of participation is requested by November 15, 2013. SCOAP3 costs institutions no more than they are paying now for the subscriptions and has, due to unprecedented global negotiations, driven reductions in publisher article-processing fees when SCOAP3 goes live and will ensure the granting of CC-BY licenses for the articles. For US libraries that have not yet confirmed their participation, information can be found on the LYRASIS website or by contacting
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ARL Salary SurveyThe video of the webcast “Using ARL Salary Data to Establish and Maintain an Equitable Salary Structure for Faculty Librarians,” presented on September 10, 2013, is now available on ARL's YouTube channel. In this webcast, Brian Keith of the University of Florida Libraries explains how his institution used data from the ARL Salary Survey to implement an internally and externally equitable salary structure for faculty librarians. He is introduced by Judy Ruttenberg of ARL, who provides an overview of ARL's Transforming Research Libraries program. Webcast slides (PDF) are also available for download.
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Carol Pitts Diedrichs
image © Ohio State UniversityCarol Pitts Diedrichs, vice provost and director of university libraries, the Ohio State University, began a one-year term as president of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) on Thursday, October 10, during the ARL Membership Meeting in Arlington, Virginia. She succeeds Wendy Pradt Lougee, university librarian and McKnight presidential professor, University of Minnesota. Lougee continues to serve as a member of both the ARL Board of Directors and the ARL Executive Committee as past president.
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image © Kevin DooleyARL is now accepting applications for the ARL/Music Library Association (MLA) Diversity and Inclusion Initiative (DII). This scholarship program, funded by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and by ARL and MLA, offers minority candidates an opportunity to pursue the master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS) while gaining valuable “hands-on” experience in a large academic music library environment. The initiative’s goal is to increase the number of underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities within academic music librarianship by providing support for master’s-level LIS education and the practical experience critical for successful entrance into the profession.
image © Terry MadeleyOn October 22, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau announced that the FCC needs more time to review a petition requesting a waiver for certain e-reader devices to be exempt from the FCC’s advanced communications accessibility requirements. The petition was filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau issued an order (PDF) granting a temporary waiver from the accessibility requirements for certain e-readers until January 28, 2014. During this temporary waiver period, the FCC will evaluate the merits of the petition and decide whether to grant or deny the waiver request. For more background, read about the reply comments ARL submitted to the FCC in September 2013 opposing the waiver.
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The three award recipients of the Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP) were announced October 21 in Washington, DC, at the Open Access Week kick-off event hosted by SPARC and the World Bank. ASAP recognizes the use of scientific research, published through open access, that has led to innovations benefiting society. Major sponsors include the Wellcome Trust, Public Library of Science (PLOS), and Google; ARL and SPARC are also among the program sponsors.