The Free E-Library Project


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Presentation given at the 2010 Adult Services Forum in Monmouth County, NJ

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  • The issue(s) Response to FY2010 proposed budget One of the many major effects that would have resulted from the budget cuts would have been the loss of many, if not all, of the state funded databases. However, even with a one year respite, library budgets are being challenged in trying to meat qualitative information needs with ever shrinking local and state level funding for subscribing to database content Future funding considerations / a new paradigm? While we cannot, as individual institutions, replicate the variety, depth and breadth of information in these databases, we still must do what is within our constrained budgets and manpower to provide quality information resources to our patrons While we all know the value of the web, we also know the inherent pitfalls in the accuracy and reliability of much of the content on the web. Furthermore, in supporting the information needs of lifelong learners, students, and others, there is still the need for citable published research to support educational and informational needs. Sometimes, a website or a book is not enough. So I thought about is there was a way to find and provide free periodical journal database style resources that could in any way fill the possible gap caused by the loss of the state funded databases. While the thought was never to be able to fully replicate what these resources provide, was there a way to find at least similar resources that could fulfill this particular niche of information need? The question How to provide similar or comparable quality journal/periodical articles without the budget?
  • Provide “free” periodical/journal resources in an aggregated location via the web So the idea : Find a way to provide these free resources in a central location, website – create a web-based pathfinder Focus on published material – there are already so many resources that aggregate websites for education and information use such as the Internet Public Library, many of our own websites (useful websites), as well as directories offers by many of the major search engines. The idea here was to focus on “published” materials, specifically journal material. I was not necessarily interested in whether the material was born digital or digitized. The idea was to provide links to resources where research or studies had been conducted. The idea was to provide access to free ‘digital literature’. The idea here being that I wanted to have a resource list that was specific in purpose Ability for collaberative collection development I wanted the ability for this resource to continually grow and for other’s interested in the project to be able to add resources and work on the project as well
  • Heavy reliance on Open Access journals and periodicals - attribution, peer review or editorial quality control, publish for a specific community Defined by the Directory of Open Access Journals : “We define open access as journals that use a funding model that does not charge readers or their institutions for access” Defined by the Budapest Open Access Initiative : “By ‘open access’ to this literature, we mean its freely available on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy distribute, print, search, or link to the full-texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the Internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.” Librarian recommendations Invitation to be part of the process and development I also used the Infolink listserv to ask other colleagues and librarians for recommendations of free journal and electronic database resources they used Part of this solicitation was an open invitation for librarians to be a part of the project as contributors if they wished I also decided to include abstract and index search tools since, as we know from our database subscriptions, can lead to articles being obtained through other institutions I also decided to include digital libraries as a source of pre-digital primary source materials which are a natural part of the research gathering process for various disciplines. Inclusion of newspapers
  • To allow for ease in content aggregation, editing, and contribution, I chose to host the list on a wiki site Easy to add editors Easy to update and add content Free to maintain
  • DOAJ Journal Seek JURN Lexus Nexus Free Journal TOCs Database of Award Winning Children’s Literature Open J-Gate Library of Congress Country Studies
  • Categorization Federated search (Google CSE) Integration of social networking Improved functionality (Delicious, RSS) Your thoughts??
  • Discussion Points – Other ideas for providing information resources to patrons on a limited budget (How are your institutions responding to sinking budgets and growing information needs?) Are there other ways for libraries to collaborate for resource sharing – what resource sharing tools and services are already out there that we should know about Are there any resources you would like to add to this list What will be other information challenges we will face with shrinking budgets and are there any ideas in how to respond to them
  • The Free E-Library Project

    1. 1. The Free E-Library Project Doug Baldwin Systems Administrator Cranbury Public Library Adult Services Forum 2010
    2. 2. The Impetus
    3. 3. The Idea
    4. 4. Development
    5. 5. The Product
    6. 6. Highlights
    7. 7. The Future?
    8. 8. Discussion
    9. 9. Doug Baldwin [email_address] Twitter - @cranburypl Facebook –
    10. 10.