One of the joys of teaching is reconnecting with students years later as they pursue their careers. I recently had lunch and a long discussion with Patti Foerster, who had been a student a decade ago in my class at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library & Information Science, River Forest, IL.
In our latest 2015 In-Depth Interview with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we spoke with Colleen Theisen, special collections outreach and engagement librarian and social media manager at the University of Iowa (UI) Libraries in Iowa City. Theisen has worked to promote the university’s special collections since she arrived in 2012, taking advantage of the ubiquity of social media to reach a popular audience as well as academic colleagues. News, highlights, and information about the library’s special collections—including the university archives, map collection, Hevelin fanzine collection, and the Iowa Women’s Archives can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, and Vine (and archived on a retired Pinterest page); the special collections Tumblr channel alone has 44,000 followers worldwide.
Digital Inclusion Survey: Renovation Matters, Help Happens at Point of Need, and Staff Still Do (Almost) Everything
In October, the Information Policy & Access Center at University of Maryland (iPAC) and the American Library Association (ALA) released the results and initial analysis from the 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey. iPAC has gathered statistics on public libraries and the Internet for 20 years, and this report highlights the sea change over that time. Of particular note, this survey looked more closely at the relationship between recent renovations or construction (within the past five years) and the ability of libraries to support a full and robust online life for all of a community’s residents—regardless of age, education, and socioeconomic status—by providing free access to public access technologies (hardware, software, high-speed Internet connectivity); a range of digital content; digital literacy services that assist individuals in navigating, understanding, evaluating, and creating content using a range of information and communications technologies; and programs and services around key community need areas such as health and wellness, education, employment and workforce development, and civic engagement.
When the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) completed its recent 14-year Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP), the city Controller’s Office released an impact study detailing the economic benefits and returns on investment that the program stimulated throughout the city. The 68-page report, “Reinvesting and Renewing for the 21st Century: A Community and Economic Benefits Study of San Francisco’s Branch Library Improvement Program,” revealed that for every dollar invested in BLIP, San Francisco realized a return of between $5.19 and $9.11.
The ALA’s new public awareness initiative is a savvy approach to the broad challenge libraries face as they continue to evolve and must communicate what they actually contribute to their communities. Much more than talk, Libraries Transform is an actionable toolkit you should put to work now to help your constituency understand the real life of libraries.
On October 29 American Library Association (ALA) president Sari Feldman launched the Libraries Transform campaign, a three-year national public awareness initiative focusing on the ways public, academic, school, and special libraries and librarians across the nation transform their communities. Events kicked off in Washington, DC, as the Libraries Transform team visited a cross-section of transformative libraries, and will continue with contributions from libraries—and library lovers—everywhere.
The Library Freedom Project (LFP) is urging libraries and library vendors to ensure basic online privacy protections for patrons by implementing HTTPS for websites, catalogs, and all other online resources. The HTTPS protocol tells web browsers to encrypt data that is transferred between a browser and a server, preventing third-parties from eavesdropping or tampering with that data.
The goal of the My Librarian program at Multnomah County Library (MCL), Portland, OR, launched in April 2014, is to create a virtual space that ignites that same spark of connection and delight that patrons experience when they engage in person with library staff about books, thus building relationships and community and providing service at the patron’s point of need.
While it’s not always part of the job description, trustees should think of themselves as marketers for their library. Advocacy is about more than just a positive attitude. Creative Library Marketing and Publicity: Best Practices, (Rowman & Littlefield, September 18), coedited by Robert J. Lackie and M. Sandra Wood, offers successful marketing campaigns and promotional methods from libraries of all types and sizes.