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Monday, December 19, 2011

Check Out Busca's New Look!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Highpoints at the 2011 Charleston Acquisitions Conference

Busca was well represented at this year's Conference and was especially pleased to participate in Julie Kliever's "Lively Lunch" presentation regarding her use of Busca in tandem with SkyRiver to set up automated delivery of bibliographic records and invoicing directly to her library's III ILS. Her presentation was entitled "Saving Time, Energy, Keystrokes and Sanity." Julie is the Collections Services Librarian at Providence College in Providence, RI. Also participating in the presentation by means of a Skype telephone connection was Busca's own Tech Team Leader Ken "Charlie" Hendges and SkyRiver's Lynne Branch Browne. We will be posting some of the Power Point slides from the Conference soon. If you are interested in exploring this free service from Busca please contact us at

Other high points were Michael Keller's keynote presentation regarding the Semantic Web:

and Robert Darnton's presentation on the Digital Public Library of America:

All of the plenary sessions are being posted on the Conference website:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Skit from the Charleston Acquisitions Conference 2011

Patron Driven Acquisitions Librarians Now Employed as Amish Server Farmers in the Cloud

Script by John Riley with Eleanor Cook and Susan Zappen

PPT Moderator: Corrie Marsh
2 Angels/Librarians:
Angel/Lib #1: Eleanor Cook
Angel/Lib #2: Susan Zappen
1 Sales person: John Riley
1 Amish Farmer: Stephen Clark
3 Patrons:
Patron #1: Athena Michael
Patron #2: Ginny Boyer
Patron #3: Lisa Spagnolo
1 Cop: Jennifer Clarke
Scene 1 (In the cloud…fog
machine generated) 3 Angels/Librarians (dressed in white sheets, halos, and
wings), a sales person (suit and briefcase), and one Amish farmer (hat and
beard) --hoeing and digging)
ECook Angel 1: Wow! How did we get here? I was just
getting ready to shelve some books and bang! Now I’m standing here in this
cloud with a shovel in my hands, mining data ... [holding plastic toy shovel and pail]

SZappen Angel 2: I was in the middle of a meeting. We were discussing whether to buy the new $100,000 upgrade to our 2 year old ILS. I wasjust about to suggest going back to card catalogs when I was ejected out of my seat and landed here.

JRiley Sales Person: I was getting ready to make another pitch to one more committee when I was vaporized into my iPad and ended up here in the Cloud. I guess I’ll just be an app on a screen from now on. [show emoticon on screen]

SClark Amish Farmer: Maybe it was the Rapture... It was supposed
to be next week -- Tuesday at 3:17pm, to be exact…maybe it came early.

JRiley Sales Person: No way! It couldn’t be the Rapture…I’m in

SClark Amish Farmer: Maybe we’ve gone to a … Better World.

ECook Angel 1: Yeah, we’re just discards and now we’re gonna get recycled for a dollar.

SZappenAngel 2: Maybe IT implemented that Cloud migration they’ve been talking about without telling us. That would be just like them.

ECook Angel 1: You’re right. We’re obviously in the cloud. [scoops up fog] Look! -- there goes that book I was going to shelve. [chases after invisible book]

SClark Amish Farmer: But you know, this cloud is kind of dirty…more like a pollution cloud. I thought clouds were all bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air, and feather canyons everywhere.

JRiley Sales Person: Sorry -- Now clouds block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone. You know the cloud is generated by coal plants powered by missing mountain tops in West Virginia. That’s where the cheap electricity comes from. That’s how we ended up on this server farm.

SZappenAngel 2: At least there won’t be any more meetings. We can all just mind meld in the Cloud. PDA can do everything from now on. [Angels act out mind melding]

SClark Amish Farmer: PDA? What’s that? And what’s it got to do with my server farm?

SZappen Angel 2: PDA…You mean Public Display of Affection?[
cozy up to farmer, farmer shocked, abruptly
moves to another part of the cloud to hoe and exits stage ]

ECook Angel 1: No, you silly thing!…Publisher Driven Acquisitions.

SZappen Angel 2: Publisher Driven Acquisitions? You know, that actually makes sense. I’d heard it called PATRON driven, and DEMAND driven, but this is way more realistic! We pay 3 times as much for an older edition of a book that we can’t loan out or copy or print, that we can’t return for any reason, and then the vendor controls the usage data. What’s not to love?

SClark Amish Farmer: Yeah, and how about that missing metadata? You can’t find anything anymore.

JRiley Sales Person: Ah, the revenge of the catalogers who were all let go. Remember when everyone said MARC was dead? MARC got pissed off… I’ll bet he and Dewey and LC are all having a good laugh.

SZappen Angel 2: Sometimes people say stupid things for so long that everyone
else goes along with it just to get them to shut up.

ECookAngel 1: Sounds like the Lemming effect.

SZappenAngel 2: What’s the Lemming effect?

ECookAngel 1: It’s like the Butterfly effect…but with rodents.

SZappen Angel 2: Yeah…I think we just let the administration drive the bus off a cliff! Now what are we supposed to do for work?

JRiley Sales Person: How about Espresso Book Machine repairman? Lots of work there.

SZappen Angel 2: Maybe iPad screen cleaner. Those things get pretty nasty
with finger prints and who knows what else.

ECook Angel 1: We could always sit around and repair broken URL’s. We’re
doing plenty of that already!

JRiley Sales Person: Maybe I can get a job as a spam filter. After all, 60% of all internet traffic is spam. [excitedly exits into cloud seeking new job]

ECook Angel 1: Sounds a little fattening…all that spam, I mean.

SZappen Angel 2: We could just change our titles to match this new Cloud
thing. How about information shepherds? We’re herding clouds of information
around now. [makes herding gesture in the fog]

ECook Angel 1: Or we could be “embedded information drones.” We bring the
information right to the patron. [ throws folded paper airplane into fog]

SZappen Angel 2: How about “information triage surgeons.” You gotta know
what to cut. [karate chop, chop gesture]And -- I’ve got the white outfit already!

ECook Angel 1: We could call ourselves “de-acquisitions” librarians, or “collection un-development librarians.” You know, we actually need a dis-approval plan!

SZappen Angel 2: Well, we did let the patrons start driving the bus….wait…I
think I hear something. It’s the patrons…they’re coming…in a bus!

[3 Patrons enter, with head wreaths, pointing at angels ]

ALL PATRONS: [in unison] Toga!
Toga! Toga!

ECook Angel 1: These are NOT togas, you little hellions!

ECook & SZappen Both Angels: [in unison] Oh my God…they’re
taking over!

[Patrons dance around the angels]

ECook Angel 1: They’re headed for the OPAC -- Hey! Don’t touch that!

A Micheals Patron 1: Why not?

SZappen Angel 2: If you touch it -- you buy it.

GBoyer Patron 2: My professor told me to come over and access his publications a lot. I don’t have to read them. He said he’ll give me an A in business ethics.

LSpagnolo Patron 3: I got a part time job with a publisher. They pay me to check-out their books. Easy money, ladies!

AMichaels Patron 1: Hey, my parents turned their house into an ATM so I could attend college. I should get stuff for free.

ECook Angel 1: So THESE are the patrons that drive the bus now?

CORRIE PPT Moderator: All Aboard!! [Show picture of Ken Kesey’s bus]

[Angels and Patrons line up in chairs as if on a bus. One patron is in the front as if driving]

ECook Angel 1: [Turning toward other angel]We had better get on the bus before they throw us under it. [Turning to Driver]Where are we headed, anyway?

AMichaels Patron 1(Driver): North. You’re supposed to always head

SZappen Angel 2: But what if we want to go South?

AMichaels Patron 1(Driver): If you always go North you’ll eventually go South…right?

ECook Angel 1: Kind of, sort of. Do you need any help from us….like directions maybe? How about a road map? GPS perhaps?

AMichaels Patron 1(Driver): Naw, that’s ok. It doesn’t really matter where we’re going as long we keep moving and spending money.

SZappen Angel 2: How about we follow an itinerary?

LSpagnolo Patron 3: That’s SO last millennium!

GBoyer Patron 2: Hey, look over there [points] -- there are some graphic novels.
How about pulling over? [leans over and motions to the driver patron]

[Cop enters, blue light flashing: waves bus over] –

JClarkeCop: [to the driver] Do you have a license to drive this bus?

AMichaels Patron 1(Driver): Er, no but they do [pointing towards the Angels/librarians, seated behind her.]

JClarke Cop: [To the Angel/Librarians] : Does anyone here have a license for this…..thing?

ECook Angel 1: Of course! That’s ALL we’ve got left... a license! [waves a sheaf of papers]

JClarke Cop: Well it appears that you don’t have the slightest idea where you’re headed.
GBoyerPatron 2: That’s the point. We don’t know, so we just plow ahead and hope to end up somewhere, anywhere.

AMichaels Patron1 (driver): I don’t even know what I need, but I’ll choose from this menu of stuff and see if I can use it.

ECook Angel 1: Before we go any further on this journey, how about we
stop here and figure out something better?

JClarke Cop: Yeah folks, otherwise I might have to take you all in for reckless driving or something!

AMichaels Patron 1 (driver): You mean you librarians can help me find what I need? Now that’s different! Sure, why not? I’m parking right now! [Cop nods approvingly]

SZappen Angel 2: Well, actually it’s an old concept. I think we all need to
work together to move forward. Why don’t we even take turns driving? We
wouldn’t want you to fall asleep at the wheel or anything.

LSpagnolo Patron 3: Wow, Collaboration, what a concept!

[Salesman and Amish Farmer return to stage to join in on the song: ]

(Beach Boys sing 1st verse)
“Fun Fun, Fun [Players groove to the music]
Well she got her daddy's car
And she cruised through the hamburger stand now
Seems she forgot all about the library
Like she told her old man now
And with the radio blasting
Goes cruising just as fast as she can now
[Players join in on the chorus]
*And she'll have fun, fun, fun
'Til her daddy takes the PDA away
(Fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the PDA away) [end here]

Friday, September 30, 2011

BUSCA on the Road in October and November

BUSCA will be at the upcoming New England Library Association Conference in Burlington, VT October 1-3. Enjoy your drive up to Burlington at prime foliage season and then stop by the Basch Subscriptions Booth where you will find us.

November 3-5 we will be at the annual Charleston Acquisitions Conference. Stop by and catch up on all our news, such our new partnership with SkyRiver.

Monday, August 22, 2011

BUSCA, Inc. attended the IDS/GIST Conference in Albany

BUSCA attended the the IDS/GIST Conference on August 2 & 3 this summer and we are happy to report that we are now in the vendor queue of the GIST System! Check out the following web sites to learn more about the GIST Community of libraries.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Busca Report from ALA in New Orleans

ALA 2011 New Orleans Personal impressions from the floor of the convention by John Riley, Eastern Regional Sales Manager, BUSCA, Inc. and editor The Library Marketplace in “Against the Grain”

It was heartening to return to The Big Easy and see all of the progress the city has made in its recovery from Hurricane Katrina. In his address to the Convention Mayor Mitch Landrieu attributed a large part of the city’s success at bringing life back to the city to the rebuilding of neighborhood libraries. Still, over half of the public schools remain closed.

New Orleans has lost nearly half its population and its neighbor Baton Rouge has grown by 150,000 people since Katrina. 15 billion dollars have been spent to completely rebuild the city’s system of levees, but it still could not survive a direct hit from a category 5 hurricane. The city is still awaiting billions more in funds that are being held up in bureaucratic limbo. Disputes on how to spend the money have delayed projects such as the reconstruction of the completely destroyed Lower 9th Ward.

Attendance figures for ALA in New Orleans totaled 20,186. Advance registration totaled 11,273 and on-site came to 3,696. Exhibit personnel totaled 5,217.

Last year’s conference in D.C. totaled 26,201, while Chicago attracted 28,941 in 2009.

The next two ALA conventions in Dallas for mid-winter and Anaheim for annual have been greeted with lukewarm responses so far.

Temperatures in New Orleans hovered in the mid 90’s all week, but the rain held off and we only had to deal with 90% humidity. Inside Morial Convention Center sweaters and coats were at a premium as the air conditioning was cranked up to the freezing point. Many of us got lots of exercise walking in the extremely long and narrow Convention Center that snakes along the Mississippi River. Buzzy Basch, who wears a pedometer, logged over 6 miles in one day just walking inside the Convention Center! Walking was probably a good idea after all of the great meals in the booming restaurants such as Mulate’s, NOLA and Cochon where librarians were happy to indulge in the local cuisine. The hot spot for jazz was Irwin Mayfield’s Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street. It hosts a very lively local music scene and by local I mean the top musicians in New Orleans. The other hot spot is a group of clubs that includes Snug Harbor (where the Marsalis family holds court) on Frenchmen Street just East of the French Quarter. Some, mainly younger, librarians were heard to be groaning at their 8 a.m. meetings after helping close down clubs that morning at 4 a.m.

Some of the hot topics at ALA reminded me of Book Expo America, the publishing and bookstore convention held in New York in May. There was renewed buzz on the floor about books, especially because of ebooks. Books are in the news all the time now and publishers are excited about their prospects with ebook readers taking off and the promise of more international sales. Many librarians, as well as booksellers at BEA, were looking to find their bearings in the digital revolution that is sweeping across publishing and libraries alike. Both contingents are trying to find a way to stay relevant in a world of electronic delivery of books and information.

Librarians seem to be headed for more of a teaching model and curriculum support role. They have always filled this link in the education system, but it is even more imperative now to maintaining the place of the library on campuses. Demand for public libraries is off the charts, but they have to learn how to do more with less. Independent bookstores are looking more for local support and many are even converting to co-op models. The local community is key to maintaining both libraries and bookstores.

There was quite a bit of talk about libraries taking on the role of publishers. One interesting model was the one at Purdue University where they have integrated the library, university press, and copyright clearance office. They also publish online journals with the sponsorship of several corporations. One such journal on the “Human- Animal Bond” has received over a million dollars in grant funding from sources such as Petco and Purina.
Cornell has partnered with Duke University to distribute their online journals and their open access books are published on Kindle and Google Books. Some public libraries are starting to publish patrons’ books on Kindle. The process is actually quite simple and can be accomplished within 24 hours using only a “Word” file that gets uploaded to Kindle for free. It creates great goodwill amongst the patrons.

“Sustainability” is a huge issue with online publishing and Institutional Repositories.

Hathi Trust (Hathi is the Hindi word for elephant, famed for its memory) is taking sustainability to be its major goal in storing and transmitting our cultural heritage. Their statistics are amazing and they are growing their collection by millions of titles a year.
8,881,920 total volumes
4,840,751 book titles
217,186 serial titles
3,108,672,000 pages
398 terabytes
105 miles
7,217 tons
2,416,262 volumes (~27% of total)
in the public domain

Currently 60 institutions plus Google are sharing their digitized information with Hathi Trust. There is a 38% overlap with ARL collections at this point and they anticipate reaching 50% by 2012.

There was also a lot of discussion about POD or print on demand. Librarians are wondering if it is just a way station until ebook readers gain full acceptance and functionality. In the meantime POD is spreading rapidly and is growing into the major form of print publishing for smaller print run books. Publishers are slowly moving to a simultaneous print and ebook version of their books. Could this be similar to the simultaneous publication of hardcover and paperbacks that only comparatively recently came about? Hewlett Packard has come out with a rival to the Espresso Book Machine that they call Raptor. It is much faster than EBM and also prints in color. What sets it apart is that it prints double sided off of rolls of paper just like the largest POD machines, while EBM prints on single sheets. With such large companies as Xerox backing the EBM and HP now producing the Raptor new distribution models for publishing can’t be far behind.

There was still a lot of talk about Patron Driven Acquisitions, but some were raising the possibility that it might be the next trend to fade much as “cooperative collection development” seems to have done.

When all was said and done there was definitely lots of buzz at ALA and librarians were excited to be at the center of the new “Information Revolution.” My impression was that librarians are getting in the driver’s seat now and not just watching as change approaches.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gregory Urwin reviews "The Guide to the American Revolutionary War in New York"

In 2009, Norman Desmarais, a librarian at Providence College and editor of the Brigade Dispatch, launched an ambitious effort to identify every spot of ground on which hostile shots were exchanged during the American War of Independence. After reading Desmarais’ first volume, The Guide to the American Revolutionary War in Canada and New England, this reviewer hailed the project as “what promises to be the closest thing we will ever see to a comprehensive catalog of the sites touched by the War of Independence.” In this second installment of the series, The Guide to the American Revolutionary War in New York, Desmarais lives up to those high expectations.

Desmarais describes this book as part of a “multi-volume geographic history of the American War for Independence.” Desmarais has done much more than merely compile a catalog of the locations and summaries of battles and skirmishes. He breaks new ground by revealing that the Revolutionary War was a much broader and sustained struggle than even accomplished scholars of that period realize. Howard Henry Peckham’s standard reference, The Toll of Independence: Engagements and Battle Casualties of the American Revolution (1974), numbers the conflict’s land engagements at 1,330 and those at sea at 220. Before Desmarais finishes with this series, he expects to more than double Peckham’s figures.
As can be seen in The Guide to the American Revolutionary War in New York many of those clashes occurred within the borders of what later became known as the Empire State. The war did not begin in New York, but several key factors turned it into a magnet for the opposing forces. This large state linked New England with the Middle Colonies. It shared a long border with Canada, which made it a threat to British holdings to the north and also a vulnerable target. Finally, New York possessed a major Atlantic port that offered the British strategic advantages if they could seize and hold it.
Desmarais adopts a regional approach to reconstructing the war that raged in New York between1775 and 1783. Separate chapters treat Upstate New York, Downstate New York and the Hudson River Valley, Eastern Long Island, Western Long Island, and finally Manhattan and Staten Island. The book amply covers General William Howe’s New York Campaign of 1776, Lieutenant General John Burgoyne’s Saratoga Campaign of 1777, Major General John Sullivan’s punitive expedition against the Iroquois in 1779, and the sharp actions that occurred at Forts Montgomery and Clinton, Stony Point, and other places. Desmarais devotes even more pages to the incessant raiding and skirmishing that filled and often ended the opposing soldiers’ lives between the bigger battles.
Twenty-first-century Americans who read Desmarais’ work cannot help but be struck by the insurgent nature of their ancestors’ struggle for independence. Both Continentals and militiamen often operated in small bodies, pecking away at their British, German, and Loyalist enemies. The fury that the King’s troops demonstrated in combat must have stemmed in large part from the fact that they could never feel completely safe in most parts of North America. The Crown’s forces also engaged in considerable raiding – along coastal waters and rivers, and perhaps even more terrifyingly, on the frontier, where they made free use of their Indian allies and vengeful Loyalists. It is clear that many supporters of the Patriot cause – civilians included – faced their share of perils before independence could be won.
In addition to regaling the reader with familiar and forgotten history, Desmarais also provides a useful travel guide, profiling the forts, museums, and other sites related to the Revolution in New York. The book provides the web sites to these establishments, which will allow interested readers to check on their hours of operation and other information.
The Guide to the American Revolutionary War in New York stands as a worthy companion to the first volume in Desmarais’ monumental series. It also demonstrates that the high quality that marked the launch of this series has not slackened. The Guide to the American Revolutionary War in New York is an important reference work. A copy of it should sit in every academic and public library in the Empire State, as well as the collection of any individual with a serious interest in the American War of Independence.

Gregory J. W. Urwin
Colonel’s Company
Royal Welch Fusiliers in America

Professor of History, Temple University
Vice President-Elect, Society for Military History
General Editor, Campaigns and Commanders, University of Oklahoma Press
2011 Earhart Foundation Fellow on American History, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
2011 Tyree Lamb Fellow, Society of the Cincinnati
Academic Fellow, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Fellow, Company of Military Historians

Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Geography, biography and history

Randy L. Abbott, Head Reference Librarian, University of Evansville Libraries, reviews Norman Desmarais's "The Guide to the American Revolutionary War in New York: Battles, Raids and Skirmishes" published by Busca, Inc.

"Norman Desmarais, a librarian at Providence College in Rhode Island, and an active American War of Independence re-enactor, has written a highly detailed guide to the American Revolutionary War in New York State. This title is the second in a projected series that aims to identify and describe all the battles, raids and skirmishes from each state during the eight-year conflict. The first volume, published in 2005 and co-authored with June Fritchman, was titled Battlegrounds of Freedom: A Historical Guide to the Battlefields of the War of American Independence, and it served as an introduction by outlining the most significant battles of the war.

This New York state guide is arranged by geographic location and includes maps and illustrations. Desmarais has written his guide in five parts: Upstate New York, Downstate/Hudson Valley, East Long Island, West Long Island and Manhattan/Staten Island. Presented chronologically within each geographic section, the places, towns and cities are accompanied by notes explaining their location in relation to other landmarks, places, towns or cities mentioned in the guide. The volume includes an extensive section of notes, a glossary of terms and an index.

For every place name that saw a battle, raid or skirmish, there is a complete listing of dates. Separate paragraphs denoted by stars distinguish the individual occurrences at that particular location. One feature Desmarais has excelled at is in providing birth and death dates for all named persons, and this is done the first time the person is mentioned in a paragraph detailing a battle, raid or skirmish. It will not be long before the reader has memorized the birth and death years for General George Washington, General William Howe, Major General Benedict Arnold and others of the most-often mentioned war leaders. However, the reader must remember that this is a guide, not an historical narrative. As such, it is an impressive volume due to its level of specificity and depth of description, often including the number of dead on each side of a conflict, the type and number of livestock stolen, the number of acres of grain destroyed, the type and severity of wounds suffered in battle, and often a discussion of the strategic importance of a place that made it worthy of attention.

The author brings the horror of war home to the reader, and the generations of soldiers removed from the American Revolutionary War might suffer wounds inflicted on the modern battlefield caused by explosive devices or grenade launchers, but the severity of the injuries, both mortal and non-life-threatening, remain the same. Descriptions of scalping, beheadings, and other mutilation brought about by crude weapons such as tomahawks and musket balls remind us of the eternal brutality of war.

The importance of New York State in the strategic defence plans of General George Washington during the American War of Independence was paramount. Washington's greatest concern was that Britain and its loyalist allies would drive a wedge through the colonies by way of the Hudson River, cutting off New England, dividing his forces into two or three distinct isolated factions. New York City was the headquarters of the British-led forces, and Washington spent much of his time during the war years within the state's boundaries. When Washington became president, he took the first presidential oath of office in New York City. Beyond its mere strategic importance, the state of New York was heavily populated by opposing loyalists. Opposing combat forces included the British, Hessian mercenaries, and Native Americans of the Six Nations (especially Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondoga and Seneca) fighting the Continental Army, state militia, and Native Americans of the Six Nations (especially Oneida and Tuscarora).

The vast fields of grain and abundant livestock in the New York countryside were vital in feeding the armies of all combatants. An army marches on its stomach, and farmers in upstate New York were desperate to hide their grains and livestock from marauders on both sides. What crops and livestock the armies could not eat or steal, they burned or slaughtered to prevent their enemies from doing the same.

New York State was the site of major battles, including the battle of Saratoga, one of the most important victories of the conflict and an early success for the colonists. In addition, New York was also the site of the battle for Fort Ticonderoga, the site of Nathan Hale's execution, the site of Benedict Arnold's treachery at West Point, the site of British major John Andre's execution, and the first instance of a submarine used in war (The Turtle).

From 1775-1783, the War for American Independence raged, and was finally halted by the signing of the Treaty of Paris. During these eight years, Desmarais notes, 21,417 men of the state of New York served in the war, including nearly 18,000 in the Continental Army. In addition, tens of thousands of New Yorkers, loyal to the British throne, either fought against the American forces or fled to Canada."

Randy L. Abbott
Head Reference Librarian, University of Evansville Libraries
Evansville, Indiana, USA
Reviewed in:
Emerald Journal: Reference Reviews
RR 2011/144
Review Subject: Geography, biography and history : The Guide to the American Revolutionary War in New York: Battles, Raids and Skirmishes
Review DOI 10.1108/09504121111119130
vol.25, no.3,pp.52-53,2011
Copyright: © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN: 0950-4125

The book:
The Guide to the American Revolutionary War in New York: Battles, Raids and Skirmishes
Publisher: Busca, Inc.
Place of Publication: Ithaca, NY
Publication Year: 2010
ISBN: 978 1 954934 02 9
Price: $22.95
Article type: Review
Pages: 285 pp.

Keywords: Eighteenth century, Guides and handbooks, United States of America, War

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Arts at ACRL New England Annual Conference

Busca was in attendance at this year's ACRL New England Annual Conference at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. We really enjoyed a presentation by Katherine M. Ruffin, Book Arts Program Director, Wellesley College. Katherine related how Amanda Nelsen, a book artist and now Director of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, along with a great support team of students and volunteers highlighted some very important sustainability issues concerning paper usage by creating a work of art from discarded copier paper. Read and be amazed by their creativity and commitment.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Thanks to All of the Visitors to Busca at ACRL in Philadelphia

What a great turnout for ACRL this year. We enjoyed seeing all of our current customers and many new ones too on the floor of the exhibits in Philadelphia. Please check out the following site for the papers that were presented at ACRL. The first one under "A" about the Library at Alexandria is especially interesting.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Busca is Coming to ACRL in Philadelphia March 30-April 1, 2011

Look for Busca in Booth T-160 where we will be sharing space with Basch Subscriptions. Feel free to stop by and discuss your current needs for scholarly publications, multimedia, and foreign publishers. Find out about some of Busca's new initiatives with ebooks, EDI ordering options, and batch loading with all integrated library systems. Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Who says kids don't like reading anymore?

You'll be singing along....

Monday, January 31, 2011

First Night Floor is Deck

“First Night Floor is Deck”, a poem from Victor W. Pearn's Devil Dogs and Jarheads is slated to be aired by Garrison Keillor, host of A Prairie Home Companion and of The Writer's Almanac on February 5, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

News and Views from ALA 2011 Midwinter in San Diego

San Diego is the 7th largest city in the US and the second largest in California.
This year's preregistration figure the day before the January 7 show opening was 5,180 (not including exhibitors), 14 percent lower than last year's Boston preregistration of 6,043; Denver drew 6,903 pre-registrants only a year earlier (L J)
The final numbers from the ALA office were.

7,549 Attendees
2,561 Exhibitors

The consensus was that the conference attendance was especially low because it was too close to the holidays, too far away from the rest of the US, and that travel budgets were too tight. However the ALA Executive Board White Paper on ALA Midwinter supports continuing it in the future.

There were approximately 1000 meetings at this year’s midwinter convention. Some of the hot topics were patron driven acquisitions, collaborative collection development, connecting with patrons through mobile devices, job inventories, discovery services, and the looming budget crises of 2012. The purchase of Ebrary by ProQuest was breaking news as the conference opened.

Patron driven acquisitions is still a hot topic, but opportunities to continue exercising selection expertise are still important. Bibliographic and collection development skills are still needed to vet PDA lists. PDA has been useful for departments that don’t spend all of their allocation. With more adjunct faculty there is less input from professors. Only 37% of faculty is tenured now.

There are problems with ILL and PDA in a networked catalogue environment. One solution is to mark PDA acquisitions as non-circulating and update their status later. UCLA has instituted a paper only PDA model by loading book records in their catalogue.

Selection skills are necessary to winnow PDA offerings. Duke cut Ebrary down to 23,000 books that they offered up for patron acquisition. Foreign publications and rare books still need selection skills. The library’s local depository is also an area for selection expertise. And in a reversal of roles selection is very important when it comes to de-selection, as many libraries are doing.

Libraries are comparing their holdings to Hathi Trust to see if there are archival copies in order to winnow their own collections.

The recent launch of Google ebooks has been deemed a flop. The 3 million titles are either in the public domain already or are older titles that have no demand. Sales are very low. I feel that this is a preview to problems that Google will have if they ever launch their larger Google Books Project. On top of these problems many prominent authors have withdrawn from the settlement. What remains unique in the database are orphan books which probably have little demand. Figures from the legal case have hinted at a $55,00.00 cost for initial hookup to the Google books database if it ever becomes available.

There was a good amount of talk about the Espresso Book Machine, but sales for this device have not even reached 100 worldwide. Opinions about the machine tend to focus on its high cost and operating expense compared to simply using a well equipped print shop. With Xerox taking over the machine’s distribution there may be some improvement in the functioning of the machine and fewer breakdowns.

There was buzz about sharing collection development staff across institutions such as Cornell and Columbia are doing.

Lots of talk about single article purchase for journals. Opinion was that libraries would like to keep access to the articles they purchase rather than pursue a “one sip” model.

Word that many faculty are being required to teach at least one online class.
Swank, Corp. clears copyright for libraries about $100.00 per video title per semester.

Libraries are embedding access into Blackboard to try to be more pro-active. Also feeding current titles to students based on their majors.

Doing more with less: job inventories and re-allocation of responsibilities.
Amazon is republishing titles based on used book sales ranks.

Staying in touch with students through mobile devices was a popular subject. Librarians that offer this service say that students search databases and email articles to themselves for later reading. Sales of mobile devices will surpass pc’s by 2012. JSTOR, EBSCO, IEEE, ArtStor, Cambridge Journals and Pub Med are among databases offering mobile access.

The Harvard Law Library has developed a novel way to view books in their repository. They have created a virtual book shelf based on their catalogue and the books are color coded based on their circulation numbers so users can easily see the most popular books.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Busca at ALA Midwinter 2011

Three members of the BUSCA Team plan to be at the American Library Association's MidWinter Conference this week in San Diego, California. Some of us will be on the exhibit hall show floor, working at THE REFERENCE SHELF booth. Please look for John D. Riley, Loren P. Hirsch, and Michael D. Cooper. We will also be attending several meetings.