Agents of Change
by Dick Kaser
This issue of Computers in Libraries takes its cue from a column Terence Huwe wrote for the magazine’s June 2014 edition. In that piece, he spoke about the roles that today, as in the past, libraries play in the “intellectual ecology.”
In this issue, we touch on a few of those, including a project involving a site named Calling All Papers!, which helps researchers find the right place to publish their research results. Rachel Evans shows you, step-by-step, how she enhanced the user interface by presenting the bland data on interactive maps using Drupal.
We also have a case study on how to embed yourself in the curriculum. Margaux DelGuidice shares tips for turning students into savvy online researchers as she counts down the top digital tools for teaching research skills to high schoolers.
And talk about being embedded, Loren Turner relays the story of how the library and academic faculty combined resources at the University of Florida to put on a MOOC for a global audience of law students.
These three cases should give us cause to be excited about the possibilities for libraries to evolve as learning advocacy centers. But in this issue, we also pause to consider some challenges: Marshall Breeding discusses the pain points that could create friction when public and school libraries try to align. And Jessamyn West comments—with a healthy dose of cynicism—on the Open eBooks Initiative for low-income students, which is a public program launched with great fanfare earlier this year that may have a few kinks to iron out.
What Terry Huwe was saying back in June of last year is still true. Libraries have always been a place for scholarship and a resource for education; the only thing changing now is the ecology. As this issue illustrates, librarians are not only adapting and evolving, but they are also helping drive the change in education and learning.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor