March 30, 2015

Academic Libraries

Sudden Sweet Briar Closure Leaves Library in Limbo

An architect's rendering of the newly renovated library at Sweet Briar College

Sweet Briar College, a 114-year-old women’s liberal arts school in Amherst County, VA, counts among its graduates author Elaine Dundy, class of 1943; film critic Molly Haskell, class of 1961; and U.S. ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell, class of 1989. No doubt members of the class of 2015 will go on to great things as well. But there may be no class of 2016. On March 3, interim president James F. Jones Jr. announced that the college would close after the summer session, a statement that shocked most of the Sweet Briar community.

Influencing Staff Creativity: How Good Leaders Get it Right | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

Productive change depends on staff members who are working creatively to develop new ideas for better library services. Leaders can play an important role in helping staff to achieve higher levels of workplace creativity.

Meet Jessica Generoux, Aboriginal Intern

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Jessica Generoux has secured an innovative internship while she pursues her Master of Information and Library Science at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Generoux, previously a library assistant at the Regina Public Library’s Albert Branch, is now the University of Saskatchewan’s (U of S) first Aboriginal library intern. The paid internship was established as part of the U of S’s Promise and Potential integrated plan, which includes Aboriginal Engagement as a top component. Over the next three years Generoux will rotate through each of the university library’s branches, gaining experience in academic librarianship and, in turn, offering U of S staff and students a window into her culture and heritage.

Negotiating Librarianship | Peer to Peer Review

Kevin L. Smith

Every year I do a short presentation about negotiation during the course I co-teach with my colleague Will Cross on legal issues for librarians at the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science. And every year, that presentation elicits a large number of questions and exposes considerable anxiety amongst these new librarians about negotiating, first on their own behalf as they seek employment, and then as negotiation becomes a regular part of their professional lives. I also recently had a conversation with seasoned librarians about license principles and how to use them in negotiations, and detected some of the same hesitations I later saw in students.

When Rankings Rule Our Thinking | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

No matter how much academics express displeasure about college rankings, the rankings continue to multiply. Each new one claims to offer some advantage over the competition. Will higher education ever be able to bring ranking madness to an end?

Boston College Oral History Project Faces Ongoing Legal Issues

Babst Library, Boston College

After years of ongoing legal issues, Boston College’s (BC) Belfast Project is again in the news. The Project, launched in 2001, is an oral history collection consisting of recorded interviews from participants in Northern Ireland’s 30-year civil conflict known as the Troubles.

We Are the Monuments Men | Peer to Peer Review

Hammad Rauf Khan

I recently watched the film “The Monuments Men,” which tells the story the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archive program that was established under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Allied armies. This program was tasked to rescue fine art pieces before the Nazis had a chance to destroy or steal them during World War II. Sadly, the program ended in 1946. It is very much needed today.

Taking the Long View | ACRL Preview 2015

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ACRL is celebrating its 75th anniversary, so it’s no surprise that many of the offerings look to the long-term health of the academic library landscape—reinforced by the conference’s theme, “Creating a Sustainable Community.”

Public Libraries, U. Wisconsin–Madison Team Up on Climate Change MOOC

Great Lakes Large

The University of Wisconsin–Madison (UWM) is offering a new four-week massive open online course (MOOC) on Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region. What’s different about this endeavor, besides the strong local interest angle, is that the university, in coordination with Wisconsin Library Services (WiLS), is partnering with 21 public libraries across the state. The collaborative venture will share scientific information about global warming via video, readings, an online discussion board, and quizzes, as well as in-person discussions at the libraries with scientists, staff, and graduate students from UWM, the National Weather Service, and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Library UX in Practice | The User Experience

Aaron Schmidt

The Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN) is diving deep into library user experience (UX), and the organization’s member libraries are reaping the benefits.