by Dick Kaser
It doesn’t take a monumental leap to innovate—it just takes a little thinking outside the box. It just takes a little getting out of the day-to-day routine and rising above the workload to see the potential, as the authors in this month’s issue so clearly demonstrate.
For Robert Waldstein, the challenge was to digitize his organization’s publications archive. The optical character recognition (OCR) was a mess, until he wrote a little bit of code to improve it. That’s innovation. And he’ll share the code with you for free—that’s innovative too.
For many scientists, their claim to fame has rested on how many times their works were formally cited by others. But in a rapidly changing world, that takes too long. In this issue, Marc Vinyard assesses whether altmetrics—innovative alternative forms of assessing research impact—are just as effective. And talk about innovation: This issue puts the spotlight on Texas A&M University–Commerce Libraries’ new virtual reality learning lab, where students can tinker with everything from gasoline engines to human brains, without getting their hands dirty. It’s the latest in learning spaces, and librarians saw the potential and made it happen.
Innovation happens in libraries every day, and this isn’t the only edition of the magazine that has focused on librarians doing innovative things. As the year 2016 comes to a close and we conclude the 36th volume of Computers in Libraries—that’s more than 360 issues under our belt—I want to thank everyone who has come forward to share what they have learned with our readers. If you want to share your story in 2017, we are all ears. Just submit a query at infotoday.com/cilmag, and I promise we’ll give your proposal all due consideration.
Looking forward to hearing from you and happy holidays,
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor