5 New Works of Library Tech Scholarship You Should Read 

Indigenous rights, controlled lending, instruction, and more!

It can be hard to keep abreast of current library scholarship. Thankfully, I’ve got you covered this week with five great pieces of new scholarship on libraries, technology, and education. Because we’ve been harping pretty hard on ChatGPT and generative AI recently, I selected pieces that don’t center on these tools. The result is a smorgasbord of different topics—from Indigenous data sovereignty to disinformation and instruction tools. I hope you love them.

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🧑‍💻 “Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Data: a contribution toward Indigenous Research Sovereignty,” Maui Hudson, et al. (Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics

You may have heard of the sovereignty projects Indigenous groups have organized to claim control over food and energy. This article looks at a similar project that seeks to extend Indigenous rights and self-determination to data, research, and information. This article provides a history of this movement, the different organizations involved, and a précis on why Indigenous groups are seeking “the collection, ownership, and application of their own data.” This movement offers a stark rejoinder to the notion that data—who has it, whom and what it’s about, who can share it—is neutral. It provides a provocative way of rethinking information science. 

🔖 “A study on copyright issues of different controlled digital lending (CDL) modes,” Ying Wang and Tomas A. Lipinski (Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

Controlled digital lending (CDL) programs allow libraries to lend copies of digital materials to patrons. Such programs sound simple in theory: a mere extension of the lending practices libraries already engage in when it comes to physical materials. However, they can run into nasty copyright problems. We covered the legal challenge Internet Archive faced to its CDL program earlier this year. The authors of this piece distinguish the CDL programs of libraries from the one in the Internet Archive suit. They discuss the copyright issues libraries will need to confront to create sustainable CDL programs. 

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🦠 “The Impact and Management of Mis/Disinformation at University Libraries in Australia,” Nicole Johnston (Journal of the Australian Library and Information Association) 

Understandably, we can get locked into a US focus on LibTech Insights, but many problems facing librarians and librarianship cut across national contexts. Johnston examines how university libraries in Australia are managing the threat of mis/disinformation. Using surveys and interviews with library staff and managers, Johnston uncovers the institutional disjunction between librarians, who often believe that they have a duty to combat mis/disinformation, and university administrators, who see mis/disinformation as less of a priority. Johnston’s reflections on resolving this disjunction offer much for all librarians to consider. 

🧑‍🏫 “PubNavigator as an undergraduate teaching tool,” Rosario A. Marroquín-Flores, et al. (bioRxiv

PubNavigator is a platform that helps undergraduates explore scientific literature in accessible language and provides helpful context about the research itself as well as the researcher. The authors of this study experimented with using PubNavigator in an elementary biology course to teach undergraduates how to engage in and use scientific reasoning. Ultimately, they found that students who applied themselves to the assignments using PubNavigator demonstrated a higher degree of scientific reasoning. Equally important in my view is that PubNavigator offers a useful way of communicating academic research to students, one that other disciplines should consider replicating. 

🌃 “Personal Librarian Philosophies: Discovering Meaning in What We Do,” Justin Fuhr (portal: Libraries and the Academy) [paywalled] 

A “teaching philosophy,” outlining pedagogical theories, classroom practices, and memorable student interactions, is a staple document in the job portfolios of professors. Fuhr recommends that librarians take up a similar practice by writing their own librarian philosophies. Such documents offer an important opportunity to consider why you do the work you do and why it matters to you. Fuhr’s article discusses how to write a personal librarian philosophy and the meaning it can bring to your job.

Though it isn’t particularly concerned with technology, I wanted to end with this article, because I think that library technology risks inducing feelings of burnout. Meredith Farkas’s article on slow librarianship and tech provided a beautiful corrective to the values underpinning technology use and innovation. I think the personal librarian philosophy is a good invitation to similarly reflect on your own practices, values, and aims in your work and the tools you use along the way. 

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