Saturday, March 19, 2011

A scholar from Spain finds the UNCG Ayn Rand Collections useful

By Sha Li Zhang, April 26, 2010

I met Dr. José Rodolfo Hernández Carrión in late March 2010 at a chili party at the Casa Chu hosted by Dr. Clara Chu, Professor and Chair of the LIS Department at UNCG. As a librarian, I naturally asked Dr. Hernández what he thought about the UNCG Libraries’ collections in helping his research needs at UNCG. Without hesitation, Dr. Hernández told me that he was very happy with the Ayn Rand Collections at the Libraries. It was one of reasons for him to visit UNCG in 2010.

Dr. Hernández is Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Valencia in Spain. As a visiting scholar, he came to UNCG on a three-month research journey in spring 2010. According to the announcement from the LIS Department which hosts the scholar at UNCG, Dr. Hernández conducts research on Economics Education for Change: Internet 2.0 and New Pedagogies in Teaching Economics. He studies social media, information and communication technologies (ICTs), and learns management systems and new pedagogies, with the purpose of acquiring excellence in new strategies to more effectively teach and enhance economics’ curriculum in the Schools of Law and Economics at his home university.

Since 2007, the UNCG Libraries established the Ayn Rand Collections located on the second floor of the main building at Jackson Library. The collections were purchased through a BB&T fund donated to the Libraries. Dr. Hernández commented, “I found the area, where the collections were placed, very familiar and enjoyable. In fact I am using some books for my teaching right now in Valencia and I think that your library very well provided the materials for Critical Thinking Literacy in the Economic field.”

Dr. Hernández spent a lot of time at the Jackson Library. As a matter of fact, he has a small study on the seventh floor in the Tower. Dr. Hernández notes that “about my favorite place in the library is the seventh floor where you can find similar books for Critical Thinking in Economics. I think that the titles are very good. I didn't check missing things so I am finding items here, what there is, more than looking for specific titles here.”

With more and more scholarly publications on digital formats and on open access modes, Dr. Hernández also expects the library materials related his fields are available online. During his visit at UNCG, when Dr. Hernández started checking out more print books, he sent questions to me and asked why the Libraries do not provide pdf files or digital format for this kind of material. He assumed that these materials “should be free access right now and perhaps it could be attractive and at low cost to digitalize the old ones.” From the aspect of preservation, Dr. Hernandez notes that “we have to contribute to preserve these old books that are getting valuable by themselves as rare and ancient.” I explained to Dr. Hernandez that we have increased acquisitions funds in purchasing materials in digital formats, especially for electronic databases, datasets, and electronic journals. For monographic publications, we also increased spending on electronic books in past two years. While some of the digital monographs (published prior to 1923) are freely available on internet via Google and other vendors’ mass digitization projects, access to electronic monographs published after 1923 still need to be purchased (vs. freely available via internet) by the Libraries. According to the current copyright laws, we may follow the same pattern for some years to come. This may be different from European countries. Nonetheless, we made several rush orders on the requests from Dr. Hernandez. The titles that he suggested will be added to the Libraries’ collections soon.

More photos on Dr. Hernandez's visit at UNCG are at

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