October 5, 2015

The Outside, In: A reading courtyard warms the heart of GVSU’s busy library

INTERIOR LANDSCAPE Re-think It attendees (r.), guided by architect Tod Stevens (in white shirt), bask in the beauty of a sculptural interior space that brings light and serenity to the library’s top floors

There is a lot of wow at the new library at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI, which boasts over 150,000 square feet—but the building holds a secret surprise that exemplifies the creativity of the overall project in just over 1,000 square feet. Tucked in the heart of the building on the third floor and reaching to the sky is a gem of an open-air courtyard that takes the breath away even as it must soothe a study-stressed brain.

Welcome to Entrepreneurship U., Part Two | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

It used to be that entrepreneurship was a program in the business school. Now the entire academic institution is adopting an entrepreneurial spirit. How is that reflected in the library’s physical space and development of new services?

Open-Source Email Archiving Software Expands with IMLS Grant

ePADD logo

The ePADD open-source email archiving and processing platform developed by Stanford University Libraries was awarded a $685,000 National Leadership Grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which will fund the project for an additional three years, enabling the developers to enhance ePADD’s usability, scalability, and feature set, in partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Harvard University, University of California, Irvine, and the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO).

Lessons from a Leader’s First Year | Backtalk

A colleague once told me that librarians get into management like penguins falling off an ice floe. While it’s not the most flattering image, it felt a little too apt during my first year as an assistant director. Moving into leadership has been the single most formative experience of my career. It’s also been one of my most difficult professional challenges, and sometimes I still relate all too well to a flailing, flightless bird dropping into icy water.

Closing the Gap in Librarian, Faculty Views of Academic Libraries| Research


In this age of outcomes measurement, many academic librarians are focused—and rightly so—on making sure they best serve students. Yet students are not the only population of end users on an academic campus. Faculty, too, are conduits not only to students but to library users in their own right. As well, studies of faculty attitudes such as Ithaka’s often show that, even as faculty increasingly depend on library-brokered online access to expensive databases and electronic journals, the off-site availability of modern resources may leave many faculty members less aware of the crucial role of the library in their and their students’ workflow.

Crossed Signals for University of Akron Press


When the University of Akron (UA), OH, revealed plans on July 27 to restructure the University of Akron Press (UAP) and terminate its three full-time employees, the decision was met with a mixture of dismay and confusion. As part of a campus-wide effort to trim the university’s $367 million FY15 budget by $40 million before the beginning of the fall semester—which included cutting more than 200 other jobs as well as the school’s baseball program—UAP editorial and design coordinator Amy Freels and print manufacturing and digital production coordinator Carol Slatter were given two weeks’ notice. Press director Thomas Bacher was told to take two weeks’ paid leave, after which he would serve out the remainder of his contract through January 2016. Associate professor of English Jon Miller was named transitional director of the press.

Welcome to Entrepreneurship U, Part One | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

It used to be that a focus on entrepreneurship was limited to the business school. Now, for graduate students from any discipline who demonstrate innovation, higher ed is going “all in” on entrepreneurship. Academic librarians should be looking for new opportunities to help.

Academic Movers 2015: In Depth with Patrick Sullivan


In our latest 2015 In-Depth Interview with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we spoke with Patrick Sullivan. Now retired from his position as instruction coordinator and business reference librarian at San Diego State University, Sullivan is one of the three cochairs, along with Lucía Gonzalez and Oralia Garza de Cortes, of the REFORMA Children In Crisis Project (CCP). REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latino and the Spanish Speaking) formed CCP in 2014 to help unaccompanied minors traveling from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, across the Texas and California border into the United States. CCP provides these children with backpacks containing age-appropriate Spanish-language books, a journal, and writing supplies that they can use in the shelters and group homes where they are detained, and afterward as they travel to their final destinations. According to CCP’s website, its mission is “to get books into the hands of these children, ensure that they have access to storytime materials, and to make all the recent arrivals aware of the wealth of library resources that are available to them here in the United States.”

Advice for Academic Librarianship: Think Like Ford | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Even if things are going well at your library, it may be a good exercise to question what would happen if things change even more radically then they already have and what we’ve always done is no longer what people want or need.

Rick Osen, Bellingham Public Library’s Newest Trustee


Rick Osen is the newest member of the five-person board of trustees at Bellingham Public Library (BPL), WA, but he is no stranger to the library world. Osen served as interim dean of libraries and assistant dean for library administration and planning at Western Washington University for 35 years, retiring in 2014. In February he joined chairman J. Robert Gordon, Rachel Myers, Marilyn Mastor, and Tom Barrett to serve a five-year term on the BPL board, and LJ caught up with him to find out more about his transition from academic librarian to public library trustee.