July 1, 2015

Ian Chant

About Ian Chant

Ian Chant is a former editor at LJ and a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Scientific American and Popular Mechanics and on NPR.

Lee Van Orsdel Re-Thinks Library Design

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When Michigan’s Grand Valley State University (GSVU) built a new library a few years ago, Dean of Libraries Lee Van Orsdel wanted staff and stakeholders alike to throw out the rulebook on library design. The result was an acclaimed space that has been a hit with GVSU students, driving more traffic to the library and changing how students use it—changes that in turn have even influenced other industries.

The Art of Weeding | Collection Management

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Getting rid of books can feel uncomfortable and look bad to community members, but careful weeding is key to the health of a collection.

Serving Two Masters | Library by Design, Spring 2015

A NATURAL PARTNERSHIP The Tidewater Community College/City of Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library balances unique design against the retention ponds created to absorb rainwater. Photo ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Joint-use libraries, especially partnerships between public libraries and colleges, are rare but not unheard of. In an era of belt-tightening, pooling resources with a partner that shares many of your institution’s goals can be a tempting proposition for schools and cities alike. It’s complex, but as seen at the Tidewater Community College/City of ­Virginia Beach Joint-Use Library, opened in 2013, it can also be extremely rewarding.

Library Linguistics

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More and more, libraries strive not only to be spaces for researching subjects of interest to their patrons but to offer options that let users learn new skills, whether they’re physically in the library or not. One area in which mobile learning through the library is making headway is language learning. Many online lesson providers offer programs through libraries that patrons can use in the building, at home, or even while waiting in line for a cup of coffee.

Miami-Dade Commissioners Raise Property Tax To Pay For Libraries

The continuing struggle to fund library service in Miami, Florida, and surrounding Dade County took a happy turn for a librarians and advocates in this month. On Tuesday, July 16, Miami-Dade County commissioners voted to increase the property tax in the county slightly, increasing the funding available to the Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS).

The hike would leave libraries with a budget of approximately $52 million for the coming year. That figure is short of the $64 million that advocates were aiming for, but represents a major step up from the $30 million earmarked earlier this year in a budget proposed by Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Academic Movers 2014: In Depth with Stephanie Davis-Kahl

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In our latest In-Depth Interview with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we spoke to Stephanie Davis-Kahl, the scholarly communication librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University. In building an institutional repository for the college, Davis-Kahl and her colleagues wanted to showcase not only the work of the Illinois Wesleyan faculty, but also their students. She has helped to find several student-run journals homes at Illinois Wesleyan, and serves as faculty coeditor on the student led journal Undergraduate Economic Review. She spoke about the challenges of hosting student-led journals, the luxuries of doing so at a small school, and offered a few tips for librarians looking to enter this rapidly growing field.

EveryLibrary Launches Fund To Aid Libraries In Crisis

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Most libraries know what its’ like to struggle with finding funding. Getting a levy or tax hike passed is hard work. Living through lean times that freeze hiring and stifle collection development can be trying. But when the rug gets pulled out from under you suddenly, it can be even worse. In order to provide some assistance when eleventh hour budget cuts come knocking, EveryLibrary, the political action committee devoted to strengthening the place libraries have at the civic table, is working on a new program with just these sorts of dilemmas in mind—the Rapid Response Fund.

Edmonton Public Library Celebrates Library of the Year Honors

Edmonton Library staffers celebrate the LOTY honor with foam fingers and party favors.

When the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) in Alberta, Canada was named the Gale/Library Journal 2014 Library of the Year, the staff knew they’d made history, becoming the first library outside of the United States to take home that honor. Turns out, Edmontonians know how to party, and they sent us some images from the celebration, which featured party favors, foam fingers, and of course, story time for the kids. Because no matter how big the honor you have to accept, nothing gets in the way of story time.

Study: Journal Bundle Discounts Vary Widely Across Institutions

Most academic librarians are familiar with the ‘big deal’ bundles offered by large academic publishers, which grant access to a large number of journals from a particular publisher at a discounted rate. And many will also be familiar with the opacity surrounding those deals, which are often negotiated on a school-by-school basis with confidentiality clauses in place. A new study of the economics of these bundle deals suggests that variations in how these bundles are priced for different institutions mean that they are a better deal for some schools than others.

Borough President, New York Mayor Granted New Powers over Queens Public Library

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New legislation passed by the New York state House and Senate and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the Mayor of New York and Queens Borough President new authority to appoint and eliminate members of the Queens Public Library (QPL) Board of Trustees. The new law is sponsored by Queens State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry and authored in part by Borough President Melinda Katz. It is widely seen as a response to the fact that calls for more oversight and transparency from the board over questions about the compensation of QPL CEO Thomas Galante and his relationship with contractors doing construction work for the library have been largely ignored by the current board.