Information Outlook

Official magazine of the Special Libraries Association. Includes articles on the administration, organization, and operation of special libraries and information centers; research reports in librarianship, documentation, education.

Articles from Vol. 15, No. 1, January-February

10 Questions: Dru Frykberg: Her Career as a Reporter Led Dru Frykberg to Become Better Acquainted with Libraries and the Valuable Services They Provide
Libraries generally aren't viewed as economic engines, but as the economic recession deepened during 2009 and 2010, many libraries became de facto employment centers. Job seekers crowded into public libraries to take advantage of free computer and...
Access to Information Improving in Africa, but Challenges Remain
A study of four universities in eastern and southern Africa found that librarians at these institutions have secured access to a growing number of journals and other information resources in the past several years, but many of these materials are underused...
A Resurgence in Our Relevance: By Meeting Clients' Demands for Mobile Access, Libraries and Information Centers Can Position Themselves in the Forefront of Innovation and Value
Innovation is a key feature of today's information professionals and of our information centers and libraries. The ability to provide new and innovative services to our customers, when and where they want or need them, is one of our most significant...
Ensuring the Visibility of Librarians: Librarians Could Become Invisible on Smartphones Unless They Reach out to Patrons through Existing Applications or Persuade Vendors to Customize Their Applications
In August 2009, Thomson-Reuters upset many law librarians by e-mailing a promotion that asked attorneys, "Are you on a first-name basis with the librarian? If so, chances are you're spending too much time at the library." The advertisement, promoting...
Future Ready Begins Today: By Focusing on Our 'Bright Spots' and Setting Big Goals, We Can Begin Preparing Ourselves Now for Our Desired Future
As I start my year as SLA president, I'd like to pose a challenge to you, your clients and our association. The challenge is to become "future ready"--that is, to prepare yourself for your desired future. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Future Ready is...
Handheld Mobile Device Support and Training: Physicians Rely Heavily on Mobile Technology, and One Medical Library Has Found That It Can Provide a Valuable Service by Training Physicians How to Configure Their Devices and Install and Use Applications
The era of the handheld mobile device began in earnest around 15 years ago with the introduction of the Palm Pilot. Commonly referred to as personal digital assistants or PDAs, they quickly developed a strong following in many areas of business and...
In the Middle of the Market: Librarians and Information Professionals Need to Harness Mobile Devices and Applications to Deliver Content When and Where Our Clients Want It
At the Thursday breakfast during the SLA Leadership Summit, three of us at a table talked about the mobile devices sitting in front of us: two iPhones, an Android and an iPad. We talked about our communication needs, the usefulness and functionality...
Library Mobile Applications: What Counts as Success? Evaluating the Performance of Mobile Technologies Is Challenging, but Librarians Need to Commit to Setting Expectations and Counting Transactions and Interactions
What's really Important right now Is to get the mobile architecture right. Mobile will ultimately be the way you provision most of your services. The way I like to put it is, the answer should always be mobile first. --Eric Schmidt, in Ha (2010)...
Library Services in Correctional Settings: Although the Work Environment Is Challenging, Correctional Settings Offer Librarians an Opportunity to Make a Profound Difference in People's Lives
Although the United States is home to fewer than 5 percent of the world's people, it houses almost 25 percent of the world's prisoners. In 2008, for example, the United States had a total prison population of 2,304,115, whereas China, the country with...
SLA Board Approves Ethics Guidelines
SLA members are expected to develop and maintain professional competencies, add value to the information and knowledge they provide, and inform their clients or employers of potential legal violations under a set of ethical guidelines approved by the...
Strategies and Tactics for Workplace Research: Understanding Simple Research Strategies Can Help You Provide Clear and Compelling Evidence to Demonstrate the Value of Your Services
Information professionals perform many tasks and activities related to designing or presenting research. For example, have you ever done any of the following things: * Requested feedback on a training session; * Received statistics on the use...
Understanding Consumer Search Results: Firms That Create Online Content and Use It to Drive Web Traffic to Advertisers Are Proliferating, and Librarians and Their Clients Need to Explore Other Options
Many of you have noticed an increasing decline in the quality of Google search results lately. I know quite a few people who are switching to Bing as their default search engine, but that is unlikely to fix the longer-term problem of content pollution...
U.S. Leads in Research on Key Science Topics
Researchers in the United States publish anywhere from one-third to one-half of all papers on four "hot" topics--climate change, nanotechnology, stem cells, and plant biology--according to an analysis by Elsevier, a publisher of health and science...