James H. Billington, who has served as the 13th Librarian of Congress since he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, announced on June 10 that he would retire effective January 1, 2016.
Librarians have always taught patrons how to use the tools that serve their information needs. We had to explain card catalogs, vertical files, microfilm/fiche, photocopiers, and OPACs. The fundamental difference about the tech needs of the 21st century is the ever-changing variety of personal devices that patrons use to access our services. Some libraries are lucky enough to have dedicated staff with special training to serve these patrons directly, but most of the time it’s a library generalist fielding question after question about something new every day. How do frontline staffers with self-taught or very basic knowledge of technology stay savvy about the latest and hottest gadgets? How do we train nontechnical staff to troubleshoot effectively and train our patrons to use their own gadgets?
Stacey Aldrich was named state librarian of Hawaii on February 18 by the Hawaii Board of Education, filling the position vacated by former state librarian Richard Burns when he retired in in December 2014. Aldrich, a 2003 LJ Mover & Shaker, is no stranger to state libraries: She served as state librarian for California from 2009–12 and as deputy secretary for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries of Pennsylvania from 2012 until this year.
Passion. Vision. Mission. These are just a few of the words that characterize the 50 individuals—and one organization—named 2015 Movers & Shakers. Chosen from more than 300 nominations, the Movers see the future and bring it to life.
This year’s Movers & Shakers are profiled in the March 15 issue of Library Journal, and those profiles will be posted in an online version, sponsored by OCLC and Boopsie, rolling out next week, one group at a time. However, so as not to prolong the suspense, the complete class of 2015 is listed below. Join us in congratulating them.
Barbara Stripling has served as assistant professor of practice at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies since 2012, and was recently promoted to senior associate dean. Stripling also served as president of the American Library Association (ALA) from 2013–14, where she initiated a number of programs that reflected her commitment to library advocacy. These included the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the proactive public awareness initiative Libraries Change Lives, which culminated in the “Declaration for the Right to Libraries”—a statement testifying to the power and value of libraries that was signed by advocates nationwide.
Paul Gazzolo joined library resource vendor Gale, part of Cengage Learning, as senior vice president and general manager this November. He will be leading Gale’s strategy, product development, sales, and marketing teams, working closely with Gale’s partner libraries. Before moving to Gale, Gazzolo was general manager of research and learning at Wolters Kluwer CCH tax and accounting service. Prior to that position he served as president of World Book, where he successfully transitioned the well-known encyclopedia into a digital presence.
Okay folks, it’s time to talk about one of those things they usually don’t cover in library school: job benefits. As any employer can tell you, the cost of your benefits is considerable (or at least, usually it is, if you have halfway decent benefits, and most libraries do provide at least that). Which means your employment provides you with stuff to which you may not pay a lot of attention…until you’re up against a problem and really need that safety net.
For many, salary discussion is the last taboo. But without knowing how their peers are compensated, it can be hard for librarians to make their case for better pay—and hard for library leaders to make the case to funders that higher salaries are necessary to attract and retain the best candidates. LJ has, for years, conducted its annual Placements & Salaries survey, which focuses on recent graduates, to dig into what beginning librarians earn in their first positions and what trends those salaries reveal. Now, with the help of more than 3,200 public, academic, school, special, government, and consortium librarians from all 50 states, LJ’s inaugural salary survey for U.S. librarians and paralibrarians takes a deeper look at the range of the field’s salary potential.