Review of Journal of Academic Librarianship- K. Springmier
By definition, The Journal of Academic Librarianship focuses on the issues facing college and university libraries. Authors accepted into the journal’s publication present peer-reviewed papers that analyze polices, practices, issues, and trends of academic librarianship while speculating the future of the profession. Because the journal covers a broad spectrum, the previous two-year run is widely varied. Journal articles have international authors, technical reports, and discussions on social media. However, broad the intellectual conversation, The Journal of Academic Librarianship has one goal: to disseminate information that benefits a college or university library’s service to its patrons. The academic library is focused on how it can best provide for the faculty, students, and community. The articles in the Journal of Academic Librarianship focus on increasing service and are organized into three categories: service at the library, service in the digital environment, and the theory of library service.
Articles concerning on-site library service focus on the state of brick-and-mortar locations and ways to create a user-friendly environment thereby bettering the user experience. The Journal of Academic Librarianship contains a multitude of studies, reviews and opinions concerning how academic library environment can best serve its on-site patrons. These articles range from a study on the reference librarian’s approachability, to the question of where new acquisitions are placed when the library has no more room for shelves, to how an academic library can better develop a video game collection. Each of these articles relates to the patron experience in the academic library environment. Most notably is a study from Susan Gordon-Hickey and Trey Lemley titled “Background Noise Acceptance and Personality Factors Involved in Library Environment Choices by College Students”. Gordon-Hickey and Lemley recognize that the academic library makes efforts accommodate student study habits by creating a variety of study environments differing in acoustics. They then evaluated how productive students’ studies were in these differing environments in order to analyze the library’s accommodations. Gordon-Hickey and Lemley determined that “academic libraries should continue to offer multiple acoustic study environments for college students.” Such presents an integral study in the creation of the ideal academic library and the preservation of the peak service libraries desire. The range of articles focused on how the academic library functions as an on-site service displays The Journal of Academic Librarianship’s concern with service to its patrons on a base level.
On-site service is not the academic library’s only service concern, however. Because of the ever-increasing amount of digital information and new fashions in which students and faculty access information, The Journal of Academic Librarianship also focuses on articles that analyze how to best present digital services for the academic library’s patrons. Many articles analyze digital options, to deduce whether they are viable library resources. These articles range from an analysis of the academic database Elsevier Compendex in comparison to Google Scholar, a study of undergraduate research practices, and a study of the use of mobile services in a Chinese institution. Most popular in the discussion of an academic library’s digital resources, however, is the analysis of the use of e-books in a library setting. Two articles focus on how e-books affect the academic library’s service for undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. One, by Erin Dorris Cassidy, Michelle Martinez and Lisa Shen, “Not in Love, or Not in the Know? Graduate Student and Faulty Use (and Non-Use) of E-books” focuses on the usage of e-books among advanced researchers. The findings provide academic libraries with timely and practical applications to increase library e-book usage with focused marketing plans. Therefore, this article sees a benefit in the usage of e-books, and hopes that the academic library adapts to this new technology. “The Case for e-Book Literacy: Undergraduate Students’ Experience with e-books for Course Work” by Laura Muir and Graeme Hawes investigates how e-books are used for scholarly activity. The article concludes with suggestions how library or academic instruction can effectively use e-books, meaning the Muir and Hawes agree with Cassidy, Martinez, and Shen in the belief that e-books will benefit library development. It is seen that throughout the past 2 years of The Journal of Academic Librarianship, the journal embraces new technology and seeks for ways to incorporate it into daily academic librarian life in order to increase service orientated to the new ‘digital’ generation.
The editorial board of the Journal of Academic Librarianship is also concerned with the theoretical concept of the distribution of information. It tackles debates on how to best present information to students, faculty and community. The debates focus on topical issues such as the integrity of peer-review, the benefit of librarians publishing in non-library oriented journals, and the impact of the digital distribution of academic journals. One of the most important theoretical debates on the distribution of information is Open Access. The Journal of Academic Librarianship found this topic so integral to the current conversation on academic librarianship that the editors devoted a special issue to the discussion. In the “Commentary on Open Access from the JAL Editors,” Wyoma vanDuinkerken and Wendi Arant Kaspar state that they believe “OA is a noble goal for scholarship, one based upon free information for all and on furthering research and scholarship through collaboration and dissemination of information.” Theoretically, OA is what every library would be. The debate on how to best provide the best information to patrons of the academic library again resides in the conversation on how to best serve the patron.
In these ways, the Journal of Academic Librarianship presents a wide range of issues pertaining to the academic librarian. However, each subject is rooted in the basics of all librarianship: the service of presenting information in the most convenient and accessible fashion.
 Jennifer L. Bonnet and Benjamin McAlexander, “First Impressions and the Reference Encounter: The Influence of Affect and Clothing on Librarian Approachability,” 39 (2013): 335-346
 Geoffrey Little, “The Space Race,” 39: 351-353
 Diane Robson and Patrick Durkee, “New Directions for Academic Video Game Collections: Strategies for Acquiring, Supporting, and Managing Online Materials,” 38 (2012): 79-84
 38: 365-369
 Jeremy Cusker,“Elsevier Compendex and Google Scholar: A Quantitative Comparison of Two Resources for Engineering Research and an Update to Prior Comparisons,” 39: 241-243
 Loyd Gitari Mbabu, Albert Bertram, Ken Varnum, “Patterns of Undergraduates’ Use of Scholarly Databases in a Large Research University,” 39: 189-193
 Aiguo Li, “Mobile Library Service in Key Chinese Academic Libraries,” 39: 223-226
 38: 365-369
 39: 260-274
 Wendi Arant Kaspar, Wyoma Van Duinkerken, “The Integrity of Editing, Peer Reviewing and Authoring,” 39: 215-216
 Robert Tomaszewski, Karen I. MacDonald, Sonia Poulin ,“Publishing in Discipline-Specific Non-Library Journals for Promoting Information Literacy,” 39: 321-329
David J. Solomon, “Digital Distribution of Academic Journals and its Impact on Scholarly Communication: Looking Back After 20 Years,” 39: 23-28.
 39: 20-22