Category Archives: Features

Notes from the Road: Member Visits in San Diego, California

Submitted by Gillian Harrison Cain, ATLA Director of Member Programs 

Early April found me in San Diego, California, enjoying the company of other librarians in yet another hotel ballroom at the CNI (Coalition for Networked Information) Spring 2018 Membership Meeting. It was a great meeting, lots of good sessions attended and connections made, but honestly one of the highlights for me was achieving escape velocity from the hotel and spending some time in the sunshine en route to visit with members at the University of San Diego and Bethel Seminary.

A Relational Database for the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal Archives of Dayr al-Zaʿfarān

Submitted by Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst

In April 2002, I had the opportunity to examine a collection of Arabic and Syriac manuscripts in the Library of the Syriac Orthodox Church of the Forty Martyrs in Mardin, the Library of the Syriac Orthodox Church of St. Mary in Diyarbakir, and the Library of the monastery of al-Za’faran in southeast Turkey. This was all due to permission from the late Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas and a grant provided for my research by the Italian Institute for the Philosophical Studies, Naples, Italy.

Digital Humanities and the Study of Asia, Part II

Submitted by Antonio Terrone, ATLA East Asia Metadata Analyst 

Librarianship continues to evolve and develop in terms of access, preservation, education, and technology. As research in information provision and digital technology advance swiftly, launching new products and ideas for the dissemination of knowledge, libraries are forced to continually adapt and innovate. As centers of information, libraries have the burden to both preserve and respond to their patrons’ request for more efficient, faster, and reliable forms of retrieval. And considering that libraries are now fully dependent on computerized searches, the rapid pace of technological evolution will continue to remain one of the major challenges.

Beyond the challenges that librarianship faces in the digital age, however, progress is being made in the field of preservation, management, and bibliographic description. In this second part of an essay dedicated to the Digital Humanities in Asian Studies, we will explore some of the recent advancements in the field of librarianship as described during the recent conference of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) convened in Washington D.C., last March 25-28, 2018.

The SCOOP: Searching for Open Access Content

Access
Submitted by Christine Fruin, ATLA Member Programs and Scholarly Communication Manager

Strategies for Locating Open Access Content

In an era of shrinking library budgets and increasing cost, as well as quantity, of content, libraries must make strategic decisions in how many books to buy and what subscriptions to maintain year to year. Some academic library systems have partnered to lower costs by sharing collection building and by implementing liberal and efficient means for faculty and students to borrow materials from other libraries within the system. Libraries also participate in consortial licensing programs as a means of negotiating more affordable access to licensed resources. Increasingly, however, libraries are employing a new strategy for locating affordable content for their faculty and students: searching for open access versions of materials.

As Seen on Twitter: May 2018

Twitter

The ATLA Twitter feed is filled with news on ATLA events and product updates as well as stories that have relevance to the work of libraries and librarians.

Here are some highlights from last month’s @YourATLA Twitter feed:

The SCOOP: The Metric System – Measuring Impact in Scholarly Communication

Metric
Submitted by Christine Fruin, ATLA Member Programs and Scholarly Communication Manager

A Brief History of Metrics: From the Journal Impact Factor to Altmetrics

Ask an author why he or she has published their work in an academic journal, and one of the common responses you will hear is that they want to establish themselves as an expert in their field. Their reputation as an expert, and by extension the value attributed to their published work, is usually tied to where that article was published, or more critically what rank that journal holds among other journals in the field. Journal ranking calculated according to a journal’s impact factor has historically been the predominant metric for measuring the impact and quality of scholarship. However, reliance upon this flawed means of measuring the importance of one’s contribution to the field may have contributed to some of the problems with the current system of scholarly publishing.

As Seen on Twitter: April 2018

Twitter

The ATLA Twitter feed is filled with news on ATLA events and product updates as well as stories that have relevance to the work of libraries and librarians.

Here are some highlights from last month’s @YourATLA Twitter feed:

Conducting research that requires reading & deciphering old handwriting (aka #palaeography)? Here is a great compilation of online resources to help you explore and understand this fascinating skill and area of research. http://ow.ly/uA8h30jqYQe #handwriting #researchtools

Digital Humanities and the Study of Asia, Part I

Asian Studies
Submitted by Antonio Terrone, ATLA East Asia Metadata Analyst 

On March 22-25 this year Washington, DC, hosted the 34th annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), the largest association of scholars dedicated to the study of Asia. According to the organizers, this was the largest meeting in the history of the AAS with close to four thousand registered participants speaking for the continually growing relevance of the study of Asia. The more than 443 panels organized for the event offered a plethora of thematic issues for scholarly exchange, analysis, and discussion. The vibrancy of Asian studies could also be seen by simply visiting the colorful and creative publishers and vendors’ exhibit hall. More than ninety vendors from various parts of the world gathered in DC, to offer a sample of not only recent publications, but also of trends and innovations in the field of Asian studies, scholarly communications, and data preservation. While satisfying the intellect shopping for publications, databases, and publishers’ offers, the fortunate visitors at the AAS book expo could also have a chance to appreciate a touch of Japanese elegance and aesthetic beauty at the tea ceremony offered by the Kinokuniya Bookstores, and a taste of European food at Brill Publisher’s stand, which offered complimentary selection of the best Dutch cheese, bread, and wine!

The SCOOP: Librarians are Knowledge Creators, Not Just Knowledge Providers

Publishing
Submitted by Christine Fruin, ATLA Member Programs and Scholarly Communication Manager

The SCOOP, Scholarly COmmunication and Open Publishing, is a monthly column published to inform ATLA members of recent developments, new resources, or interesting stories from the realm of scholarly communication and open access publishing.

Librarians as Knowledge Creators

Historically, libraries and the persons who staff them have been perceived as the primary conduits for accessing knowledge. Librarians provide knowledge to those who seek it through classification schema, bibliographic instruction, and the purchase or license of scholarly materials. However, librarians frequently are also engaged in traditional subject-based research, innovative technological projects, and development of new processes or services at their libraries that would be great contributions, in written or other form, to the broader knowledge base.

As Seen on Twitter: March 2018

Twitter

The ATLA Twitter feed is filled with news on ATLA events and product updates as well as stories that have relevance to the work of libraries and librarians.

Here are some highlights from last month’s @YourATLA Twitter feed:

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