November 18, 2017

Professional Media

By LJ Staff

Digital Inclusion: Measuring the Impact of Information and Community Technology. Information Today. 2009. 200p. ed. by Michael Crandall & Karen E. Fisher. illus. index. ISBN 978-1-57387-373-4. $59.50. PRO MEDIA

This book describes the spread of technological resources to underserved populations, as exemplified by the impact of community technology centers in the state of Washington, where they were subsidized by $500,000 in state funds. (There is some focus on Washington State University’s community technology centers as well.) Crandall and Fisher (iSchool, Univ. of Washington) have assembled a collection of essays that report on the local implementations of these centers, which help with skills building as well as job applications and after-school computer study. The essays grapple with how to measure the centers’ impact; how has technology improved communities, individuals, and families? VERDICT Highly recommended for practitioners seeking research methods for assessing technology centers.—Jim Hahn, Univ. of Illinois Lib., Urbana

Dowd, Nancy & others. Bite-Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian. American Library Assn. 2009. c.140p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-8389-1000-9. pap. $48. PRO MEDIA

"Marketing goes beyond trying to get people to use your library; it is a concerted effort to articulate your value." So begins this brief escapade into word-of-mouth-marketing (WOMM) and other techniques, including public service announcements (PSAs), press releases, podcasting, and the use of Web 2.0. The text includes highlighted boxes of information, but there are no appendixes, no examples of good PSAs or press releases, and no examples of how one evaluates a marketing plan or its measurement of success (or lack thereof). There are many resources available for those seeking how-to or marketing advice, including web sites and colleagues who have run successful marketing campaigns at their libraries. Either option would cost less. VERDICT As a "bite-sized" offering, this may fill a need as an appetizer but not as an entrée. If your budget has room, nibble. If not, pass.—B. Susan Brown, Pamunkey Regional Lib., Hanover, VA

Massey, Tinker. Managing Change and People in Libraries. Chandos. 2009. c.89p. ISBN 978-1-84334-427-8. pap. $99.95. PRO MEDIA

Massey (serials librarian, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Daytona Beach, FL) has worked in libraries for over four decades. Her short book is primarily autobiographical and cathartic in nature, using as its foundation some negative experiences she had in a previous position at an authoritarian university library—and they were indeed pretty bad. The first chapter is devoted to basic theories of management, with each technique summed up briefly in a paragraph. A case is then made for changing negatives to positives, relieving employee stress in the workplace by improving physical and emotional conditions, and establishing good working relationships. Unfortunately, each chapter is limited in scope and is not detailed enough to be of help to managers. VERDICT Note the exorbitant price. Professionals wanting to study management techniques would do much better to consult G. Edward Evans and Patricia Layzell Ward’s Beyond the Basics: The Management Guide for Library and Information Professionals and Marcia Trotta’s Supervising Staff: A How-to-Do-It Manual for Librarians. Not recommended.—Marie Bruni, Huntington Memorial Lib., Oneonta, NY

Mistakes in Academic Library Management: Grievous Errors and How To Avoid Them. Scarecrow. Jan. 2010. c.140p. ed. by Jack E. Fritts Jr. index. ISBN 978-0-7591-1908-6. $39.95. PRO MEDIA

On the surface, this book looks great. Editor Fritts (library director, Benedictine Univ.) and the contributors are all library directors or managers who represent a wealth of knowledge and experience. The text covers a broad range of managerial topics, including campus politics, communication, project management, knowledge management, power and influence, change management, program planning and evaluation, and leadership. Each chapter addresses a mistake a library manager could make in one of these areas, followed by advice on how to avoid making that mistake. Even the title sounds promising, as it is usually less painful to learn from others’ mistakes than one’s own. VERDICT Though library managers would be well served by a collection of case studies in managerial failure, this book does not quite live up to its promise. Some chapters, e.g., one on transitioning to a leadership position, are very good. A few, however, are too vague or disjointed, and many would have benefited from a livelier writing style. All in all, an optional purchase.—Janet A. Crum, Oregon Health & Science Univ. Lib., Portland

Serchay, David S. The Librarian’s Guide to Graphic Novels for Adults. Neal-Schuman. 2009. c.250p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-1-55570-662-3. $65. PRO MEDIA

This book will inspire librarians—and others—with little knowledge of graphic novels (GNs) for adults to pick one up and see what all the buzz is about. Serchay puts forth a complete guide that will enable any librarian, whether a GN novice or seasoned fan, to establish a brand-new collection, fully understanding what GNs are, where to purchase them, how to catalog them, and how to review, promote, and maintain the new collection. And to this reviewer’s surprise, the author includes a chapter on why GNs deserve a place in academic libraries. Complete with an annotated bibliography, recommended readings, and indexes, this book is comprehensive, well written, and appealing. VERDICT Especially helpful to the GN newcomer, this book will also appeal to those familiar with Serchay’s first book, The Librarian’s Guide to Graphic Novels for Children and Tweens. Highly recommended.—Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ

Teaching Generation M: A Handbook for Librarians and Educators. Neal-Schuman. 2009. c.400p. illus. index. ISBN 978-1-55570-667-8. $85. PRO MEDIA

This collection of essays by 28 contributors aims to help educators better serve the current generation of students, who have grown up with social media, text messaging, and the ubiquity of the Internet as an information source. The authors focus not only on the information-seeking behaviors of these students (born between the early 1980s and mid-to-late 1990s) but also on teaching strategies for librarians and educators who may not yet have learned to incorporate newer media in their regular instruction. Part 1 defines Generation M, emphasizing that this tech-savvy group isn’t as adept at making the best use of technology as many might assume. Part 2 covers social-networking sites, YouTube, Google and Wikipedia, gaming, and webcomics, discussing the impact of these media on the ways students are accustomed to learning. Part 3 expands upon the pedagogical implications of these media for the future. VERDICT School and academic librarians—particularly those who feel lost in or unsure about the rapidly changing landscape of social media and interactive technology—will find this an elucidating and even comforting book that provides practical strategies and a philosophical basis for embracing the world of "generation M."—Rachel Q. Davis, Thomas Memorial Lib., Cape Elizabeth, ME