November 16, 2017

Rebecca T. Miller

About Rebecca T. Miller

Rebecca T. Miller (miller@mediasourceinc.com) is Editorial Director, Library Journal and School Library Journal.

The Pipeline Problem: It’s Up To Us To Close the Persistent Gender Gap | Editorial

I traveled to Indianapolis last month to speak to a group of women leaders about fake news and information literacy. I was invited by Jackie Nytes, the CEO of the Indianapolis Public Library, who is pretty impressive herself. Beyond addressing information literacy with possible change agents, the event presented an opportunity for me to reflect on how far women have come in the journey toward equality in the workplace and how important mentorship and modeling is in that long march.

The Job Outlook: In 2030, Librarians Will Be in Demand | Editorial

A fascinating new report takes a fresh look at what the workforce is going to look like in the future and which skills will be highly sought after. According to “The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030”, there will be an increased call for librarians, curators, and archivists, among other occupations.

Meet Me in Manhattan: A $55 Million Gift That Will Keep Giving | Editorial

The New York Public Library is having a moment—a very good one. September saw the debut of Ex Libris: The New York Public Library, a long-anticipated documentary by renowned director Frederick Wiseman that is sure to expand the appreciation of the impact of this great institution and libraries as a whole. As if that weren’t enough, there was also the announcement of a gift of $55 million from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to help bring the radically reenvisioned Mid-Manhattan Library into being.

No Time To Waste: Facing the Reality of Climate Breakdown | Editorial

The people of Texas and Louisiana are beginning to rebuild after Harvey, and the library community has stepped up to help. As we have seen in the aftermath of all too many disasters, the library infrastructure and network is critical. Not only do libraries provide refuge and expertise to put to work on relief efforts, but librarians consistently offer compassion and are ready to serve anyone in need.

Natural Phenomenon: Making Moments Momentous | Editorial

Libraries are about learning but also about inspiring and enabling awe. Every once in a while, this gets multiplied by an event that shows just how cool libraries are when they enable everyone to access a rare experience. The enthusiastic response to the solar eclipse on August 21 evidenced this on a grand scale, and libraries were right in the center, building excitement and engagement for many, speaking directly to the role they play in shaping a more egalitarian society.

360° Advocacy: Engage Stakeholders in What Libraries Really Deliver | Editorial

Do your stakeholders know what your library does for them? In the United States, libraries are under unprecedented threat, and the response from advocates has been tremendous. As the 2018 federal budget, with its dark promise to shut down the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as well as other key federal bodies, makes its way through the House and Senate, advocates have been moving the needle, with waves of activity intended to compel the right decision-makers at the right time.

International, Interactive Innovation | Next Library 2017

Engagement was the name of the game at the Next Library conference held in Aarhus, Denmark, June 11–14. Some 350 librarians from 36 countries gathered at the city’s Dokk1 library to learn and continue to build a global network. Via high intensity, participatory programming such as that offered by creativity expert Christian Byrge and in breakout sessions, attendees were very much part of the program.

Asking for More: Four New Approaches to Community Engagement | Editorial

Ask not what you can do but what your community members can—when they’re effectively engaged. That was one of the messages I heard at the recent Next Library conference in Aarhus, Denmark. This small and intense global convening brought me many new ideas, among them the insight that we may be selling short the people our libraries serve by not asking enough of them. Think of it as volunteerism, flipped and multiplied.

The Empathy Builders: A More Compassionate World Through Stories | Editorial

When was the last time you read beyond your comfort zone—whether in point of view, genre, or format? Graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang has focused on doing just that from his platform as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a position to which he was named in early 2016. It’s a cause that’s natural for libraries to promote to patrons but also for each of us to consider in our own approach to our personal and professional reading.

People First: Making the Commons Real | Editorial

The movement toward more people-centric civic design has a new tool to put to work. Last month, the Gehl Institute released “A Mayor’s Guide to Public Life”—an inspirational document that showcases breakthrough projects large and small and offers perspective on how to drive such development at the local level. Anyone interested in how we all experience the spaces we move through will find this valuable. Libraries are natural partners in this endeavor, and there are many ideas here to consider applying in the places our libraries touch—whether literally or through partnerships.