by Dick Kaser
We live in a virtual landscape, but our experiences in this digital world are quite real. What can librarians do to help users understand the possibilities, cope with the obstacles, and find in the virtual realm what they need and want to achieve in real life?
Improve discovery—It may be as simple as making sure links are working and retrieving available items. In this issue, Benjamin Bradley (University of Maryland Libraries) shares scripts he wrote to automate his e-resources workflow and improve user experience.
Curate collections—The digital landscape is, in many respects, a jungle. Jeffrey Meyer (Mount Pleasant Public Library in Iowa) takes a safari to YouTube in search of academic treasures—and finds them. He shares his strategy for unearthing hidden, scholarly sources and curating them into useful research collections.
Educate users—As people engage with digital media in their everyday lives, they may not be aware of either what goes on behind the scenes to make the digital magic happen or how that very same magic may be deceiving them. In the EDTECH section, Joyce Johnston (George Mason University) discusses social media policies regarding intellectual property rights by asking the question, “Can Facebook steal my stuff?” The short answer is yes.
Help each other out—In a special double feature this month, a team of law librarians has collaborated to share their A–Z list of useful tips for easing the stress on library staffers in performing outreach activities, such as populating social media sites with content—and just about everything else.
Evolve—The only constant in our digital world is change. For at least a decade now, Terence Huwe (University of California–Berkeley) has been monitoring the changes via his Building Digital Libraries column. In this edition, he focuses on digital disruption and how it is causing the humanities to evolve, just as so many other disciplines have and so many libraries and librarians are.
In this issue, may you find some inspiration to move you up the digital curve.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor