May 2, 2016

Word of Mouth | Language Learning

ENGAGING ENGLISH (Clockwise from top l.): New Americans Corner in Nashville Public Library’s (NPL) Southeast Branch;  Nashville patron shows off her new library card; ready to write at NPL; NPL adult literacy coordinator Megan Godbey (l.) offers computer help; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Let’s Speak English group

Programming that supports English-language learning (ELL) is not new in the world of public libraries. Kenneth English, associate director of adult learning centers at the New York Public Library (NYPL), has seen “photos and notices from around 1920 promoting classes in Manhattan’s Lower East Side immigrant neighborhoods.” While ELL programming has existed for nearly 100 years, modern libraries continue to update their offerings to fit the needs of their communities. Innovative and traditional projects that are responsive to demographic shifts and capitalize on local people power are key to best serving library customers working on their English-language skills.

Fracking the Ecosystem | Periodicals Price Survey 2016

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What does fracking have to do with scholarly publishing and journal pricing? While the library financial landscape has improved since the depth of the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, it still cannot be considered robust. As articles such as this one chronicle annual serials price increases, libraries, publishers, and vendors search for innovative ways to fulfill information needs within the finite, predefined budget environment. New business and access models ranging from the initial e-journal big deal packages, article pay per view, open access, mega-journals, and publisher e-journal database pricing have evolved in response to the environment; libraries, publishers, and vendors have merged, consolidated, or disappeared along the way. Just as fracking keeps the oil and gas flowing, these strategies enable the current scholarly publishing ecosystem to extract the necessary resources—intellectual and financial—to survive.

To Float or Not To Float | Collection Management

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Most libraries that adopt floating collections expect circulation to rise because collections will be better distributed to meet patron demand. Yet how many have analyzed whether collections perform better after implementing floating than they did before materials were relocated? The Nashville Public Library undertook an experiment in floating with optimism. Did the results pay off? Here is how it all began.

All Systems Go | Library Systems Landscape 2016

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The year saw an evolving process of innovation, integration, and iteration, as companies and products morph into next-level services.

Open Invitation | Library Systems Landscape 2016

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The development and launch of Koha by New Zealand’s Horowhenua Library Trust and Katipo Communications 16 years ago and the creation of Evergreen by the Georgia Public Library Service (GPLS) in 2006 were greeted with a lot of enthusiasm by the library field. Whether generated in-house, or purchased from a commercial vendor, integrated library systems (ILS) have always been costly, and, in theory, the prospect of libraries collaboratively working on open source systems held a lot of promise. In some ways, these solutions are still living down the early hype.

Library Systems Landscape 2016: Company Profiles

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Company profiles of Auto-Graphics, Inc., Axiell Group, BiblioCommons, Biblionix, ByWater Solutions, EBSCO Information Services, Equinox Software, Follett Software Company, Infor Library & Information Solutions, Innovative Interfaces, Inc., LibLime, a division of PTFS, The Library Corporation (TLC), Mandarin Library Automation, Inc., OCLC, ProQuest, and SirsiDynix.

Wish List | Library Systems Landscape 2016

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According to a recent LJ survey, a majority of librarians are happy with their current integrated library system (ILS) or library services platform (LSP), with 72% of those using a commercial system saying they are satisfied (44%) or very satisfied (28%). Some 28% describe themselves as somewhat (23%) or completely (5%) dissatisfied. Similarly, 81% of open source ILS users say they are satisfied (43%) or very satisfied (38%).

Firing on All Cylinders | 2016 LibraryAware Community Award

A FULL HOUSE (Clockwise from top l.): The Main Library entrance; the “Jaws”-droppingly cool shark backpack, the prize for reading a minimum 
of ten books during Summer Reading; Louisville mayor Greg Fischer (rear ctr.), with future voters, kicked off his Cultural Pass program at the Shawnee branch; and the folks at the top: Jim Blanton and Julie Scoskie. Top and bottom left photos ©2016 Bryan Moberly Photography; all other photos courtesy of Lousville Free Public Library

Louisville Free Public Library’s (LFPL) leadership—along with its collaboration with the ­Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and many other local institutions in efforts to improve literacy, support lifelong learning, and teach new skills needed in the local workforce—has won for LFPL the 2016 LibraryAware Community Award. The award recognizes LFPL’s engagement with the community, its needs, and the priorities of its civic institutions, as well as the library’s ability to make Louisville fully cognizant of what LFPL does and can do. The award is presented by Library Journal and funded by LibraryAware, a product of EBSCO Publishing’s NoveList Division. It carries a prize of $10,000.

Movers & Shakers 2016

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Fifteen years old and now over 750 leaders strong, Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers (M&S) proudly introduces the Class of 2016—54 individuals profiled in 50 stories, who are changing the face of libraries of all types and sizes. When LJ launched the inaugural M&S issue on March 15, 2002, we had no idea how much enthusiasm it would draw, how the models of service reflected in the Movers’ stories would ripple throughout the field, how the Movers would become a connected cadre of supporters, cheerleaders, and go-to folks for one another and for the profession, or how the careers of those selected would flourish. The list goes on, as the Movers strive to transform public, school, academic, and special libraries across the United States and around the world. Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

The Evolution of Library Work | Careers 2016

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As this quartet of essays attest, from today’s groundbreaking titles to tomorrow’s essential skills, what it means to be a working librarian is expanding. This can drive changing job descriptions—sometimes a ticklish process to negotiate with unions but successful if embarked upon with a collaborative attitude. To get those new, improved positions, learn to navigate one of the trickiest aspects of the hunt: the group interview.