Contents of LIBRI: international journal of libraries and information services, 54 (2) June 2004


Profile of LIS Applicants Selecting Different Specialisations
CHRISTOPHER S.G. KHOO and CHENNUPATI K. RAMAIAH

A Study of Israeli Library and Information Science Students’ Perceptions of Their Profession
SHIFRA BARUCHSON-ARBIB and SHERRY MENDELOVITZ

Universal access through time: archiving strategies for digital publications
WIM VAN DRIMMELEN

Commercial Libraries in an Indian City: an Ethnographic Sketch
LISA KLOPFER

Academic Authors and Open Archives: A Survey in the Social Science Field
EUGENIO PELIZZARI

Content on Agricultural Research Organisation Web Sites: A Study of International Trends
JUSTIN CHISENGA

Measuring University Library Efficiency Using Data Envelopment Analysis
GERHARD REICHMANN


ABSTRACTS FOLLOW BELOW

Profile of LIS Applicants Selecting Different Specialisations
CHRISTOPHER S.G. KHOO and CHENNUPATI K. RAMAIAH

The Division of Information Studies at the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, revised its curriculum in 2000 and defined eight areas of specialisation. Applicants to the MSc (Information Studies) programme were asked to fill out a questionnaire and indicate the specialisation and the subjects in which they were interested. A cluster analysis of students based on the subjects they selected identified four clusters of students corresponding to the following areas: library service, digital library, information technology, and knowledge management. A statistical analysis was then performed to identify the characteristics and background of applicants selecting the various specialisations and belonging to the different clusters. Applicants selecting different specialisations were found to have different profiles, educational and employment backgrounds. Age and gender differences were also found.  Applicants tend to select the specialisation that is related to their educational and employment background. Teachers tend to select the school libraries specialisation; people with finance, business and accountancy background tend to select corporate information services and knowledge management; and IT workers tend to select information systems. The library specialisations tend to be selected by arts & social sciences graduates, whereas science and technology graduates prefer information systems and the Internet specialisations. However, the Internet specialisation appears to cut across all sectors, with applicants from every industry selecting it. Gender and age differences were also found. The public library and school library specialisations tend to attract female applicants. The library specialisations also attract older applicants than the information systems and Internet specialisations. Men and younger applicants are more interested in IT subjects, and the knowledge management area tends to be selected by slightly older applicants and male business/accountancy graduates.

A Study of Israeli Library and Information Science Students’ Perceptions of Their Profession
SHIFRA BARUCHSON-ARBIB and SHERRY MENDELOVITZ

As the librarian’s traditional roles undergo significant changes reflecting the transition from the world of print to the digital world, we focus on Israeli LIS students’ responses to these changes. Our study examined the attitudes and perceptions of 180 Israeli students regarding the relationship between librarianship and information science as professions, the roles of librarians and information scientists, potential places of employment for librarians and information scientists, comparative status and prestige of librarians and information scientists and finally, students own individual career preferences. Although most students believed that both professions are related, they attributed higher status and prestige to information science. Information science was also perceived as more highly associated with computer technologies. In general, students aspired to be information scientists. As future representatives of their professions in both private and public work settings, their attitudes and preferences will undoubtedly affect the nature of the profession. The present study is significant in a period of transition as schools of librarianship and information science modify their curricula and cope with the technological innovations impacting the traditional nature of librarianship.

Universal access through time: archiving strategies for digital publications
WIM VAN DRIMMELEN

The author’s definition of a permanent archive or electronic deposit distinguishes between its aim of long term preservation and the goals of Open Access, contrasts its probably limited search and retrieval system with the functionality of a publisher’s site, and indicates that while it should be compliant with the Open Archives Information System (OAIS) it need not offer the unrestricted access sought by the Open Archives Initiative (OAI).  Libraries maintain paper-based archives of publications, often duplicating collections, without publishers taking an active part, but a single copy of a digital object can be accessed globally.  Digital objects can be changed easily, may have a technically short lifespan, and their volume and variety is growing rapidly.  The key concepts in the preservation of electronic media are refreshing, migration, and emulation.  All make regular demands on the archiving institution’s resources, and require a long-term commitment.  The LOCKSS strategy and institutional repositories do not address the issues of long-term preservation.  Very few individual libraries or large library cooperatives have the resources to accept this global responsibility.  Publishers need to support these permanent archives because their customers expect them to do so, and because it would help if long-term preservation needs were recognised when new developments were being planned.  The costs of permanent archiving must also be shared amongst the user community. 

Commercial Libraries in an Indian City: an Ethnographic Sketch
LISA KLOPFER

In this report of research currently underway on libraries in the city of Pune, Maharashtra (India), the focus is on commercial, street-corner libraries. Using an ethnographic approach, this research explores the way these libraries function, and the values placed on reading by Pune’s middle class library users. Commercial libraries seem to have occupied a niche not filled by the public libraries in Pune, that of providing current popular fiction and glossy magazines in convenient locations. The libraries have a variety of origins and motivations, but are typically run with only the most rudimentary of cataloging and shelving systems, and no reference functions at all. Patrons describe their reading activity as leisure, and name television viewing as the main alternative or competing activity.


Academic Authors and Open Archives: A Survey in the Social Science Field
EUGENIO PELIZZARI

The paper reports on a survey of the academic staff of the Faculties of Economics and Law of the University of Brescia, Italy.  The survey sought to determine knowledge and use of Open-Access archives, and to verify the conditions stated by the staff for their participation in an Institutional Open-Access initiative.  The response to the questionnaire was 57.9% (62 authors).  Results show that 44% (25/57) of the authors knew about the existence of Open-Access initiatives and archives.  Of the persons who are aware of the existence of Open-Access archives, only 4% (1/25) affirmed they had already used them to deposit papers, while 33% (16/48), among those who declared to use materials free available on the web, affirmed to have used an Open-Access disciplinary archive.  Sixty-one percent (41/62) of the respondents answered they were prepared to archive personally their own scientific or educational material on an institutional repository, once the conditions that they request have been fulfilled.  The study illustrates the crucial role that authors play in the process of diffusion of Open-Access initiatives. 

Content on Agricultural Research Organisation Web Sites: A Study of International Trends
JUSTIN CHISENGA

Web sites have become essential tools in the dissemination of content in digital format, especially in organisations where the generation, management and distribution of information and knowledge are among the major activities. This should also be true in agricultural research organisations, where information and knowledge are the major by-products of agricultural research. This point is supported by the results of a content survey of 28 Web sites of international agricultural organisations, eight Web sites of regional-based agricultural research organisations in Africa and 21 Web sites of organisations involved in agricultural research in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). Overall, international agricultural organisations are way above agricultural research organisations in Africa and the SADC region in the use of Web sites in providing access to information and knowledge resources in digital formats. Agricultural organisations in Africa and the SADC region are generally behind in implementing innovative use of the Web. They need to be guided in the development and provision of digital information services using the Internet and Web technologies.

Measuring University Library Efficiency Using Data Envelopment Analysis
GERHARD REICHMANN

In this paper we analyse the technical efficiency of 118 randomly selected university libraries from German-speaking countries (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) and English-speaking countries (the United States, Australia and Canada) using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). DEA efficiency scores are calculated using library staff, measured in full-time equivalents, and book materials held as inputs, and the number of serial subscriptions, total circulations, regular opening hours per week, and book materials added as outputs. Among the 118 university libraries analysed 10 are rated fully efficient. However, comparing group-specific efficiency scores we found that there are no significant differences between libraries from English-speaking and German-speaking countries or between small and large university libraries.