February 5, 2016

Culture Convener | Best Small Library in America 2016

Photo ©2016 William Neumann

Once quaint, the Albert Wisner Public Library galvanized support for a new library that narrows the digital divide and powers a roster of nonstop programs

Nicolle Ingui Davies: LJ’s 2016 Librarian of the Year

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There is more than enough evidence to confirm the choice of Nicolle Ingui Davies as the 2016 LJ Librarian of the Year, our award sponsored by Baker & Taylor. Take her special skills at communicating with community members in and outside of the library. Then there is her leadership in building and developing a committed and passionate staff dedicated to patron service. That is complemented by her unequivocal belief that libraries are essential services, not just “nice” assets, and the best medium to achieve an informed citizenry. The results of Davies’s leadership convinced voters in 2015 that they ought to tax themselves to the tune of $30 million a year, increasing the Arapahoe Library District (ALD) budget by $6 million.

Better Together: The Cohort Model of Professional Development

CONVENING A COHORT: (top) A subset of the cohort at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) hired through the Pathways program; (bottom) San Francisco Public Library’s internal cohort, Gen PL. Left photo by Stephen Greenberg; right photo courtesy of SFPL

Higher ed is changing fast right now, and so is librarianship. Traditional in-person library and information science (LIS) education provided students with a robust network of peers for support. Over the last couple of decades, however, trends in higher education have reduced that automatic peer group—not only asynchronous online courses but also “unbundling,” in which students take classes at their own pace and from a variety of institutions. Postgraduate professional development opportunities, ranging from one-day conferences to workshops to certificate programs, were already more isolated, and these, too, have felt the further distancing impact of the digital shift. In addition, the proliferation of new competencies in librarianship can mean that a given librarian’s coworkers may have few if any points of overlap with what they do every day or need to learn—especially if they’re the sole representative on staff of a new library function.

Patricia K. Galloway | LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award Winner 2015

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Rarely can one find a professor with such a wide and profound knowledge of the fields and disciplines that relate to applying digital technology to development of cultural archives. Professor Patricia K. Galloway, of the iSchool at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, takes these achievements several levels higher with her record of original and broad scholarship; her many contributions to research and new knowledge in her practice and belief system of cultural archives and historiography; and the roster of current and former students she has led, instructed, and greatly inspired. Together, these achievements moved the judges to name her the winner of the 2015 Library Journal/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by Rowman & Littlefield.

Year in Architecture 2015: Working in Harmony

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The 123 triumphant academic and public library construction projects that we’re highlighting are large and small, dear and frugal, cautiously attentive to historic character and wildly beyond what some consider “typical” library design. Yet all feature what is at the core of today’s library, the cohesion between service and the community.Among these facilities, completed between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, are eight buildings judged to be the best examples of replicable public library models, Library Journal’s New Landmark Libraries and Honorable Mentions. They are noted on the tables that follow and received a lot of ink in our fall Library by Design supplement, mailed with the September 15 issue. Check them out.

America’s Star Libraries, 2015: Top-Rated Libraries

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We are pleased to announce the results of the eighth edition of the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service, sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s Bibliostat. The LJ Index is a measurement tool that compares U.S. public libraries with their spending peers based on four per capita output measures: circulation, library visits, program attendance, and public Internet computer use. Scores on the LJ Index are produced by measuring the relationships between each library’s statistics and the averages for its expenditure category. This year, there are 261 Star Libraries, 54 of which were not Star Libraries last year.

Placements & Salaries 2015: The Expanding Info Sphere

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Library and information science (LIS) graduates are finding their place in a market that demands creativity, flexibility, and a solid set of LIS skills that represent the profession’s foundations and future. This year’s list of job titles reflects ones we know well from the bedrock of our field (children’s librarian, reference librarian) and those that are less familiar from the frontiers ahead (content strategy consultant, data steward). However, familiarity can be an illusion. In many cases, jobs with the same title list very different sets of job responsibilities. Answering this challenge requires job seekers to identify desired skill sets very carefully and to consider jobs with unfamiliar titles. Future job seekers may want to consider this competency-based approach when conducting their job search.

On Demand | Academic Streaming Media

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Whether the topic of discussion is electronic resources, collection development policies, or patron-driven acquisition, academic librarians have a history of giving media and video short shrift, argues deg farrelly, media librarian and streaming video administrator for Arizona State University Libraries (ASU).

The Personal Touch | Readers’ Advisory

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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.

Altmetrics Ambassadors | Academic Libraries

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“Altmetrics: A manifesto,” published five years ago this month, described an academic publishing landscape in which the volume of literature was exploding, and the three traditional filters used to help researchers gauge the relative importance of individual papers in their fields—peer review, citation counting, and a journal’s average citations per article—were failing to keep up. Scholars were moving their work onto the web, and alternative, article-level metrics drawn from online reference managers Zotero and Mendeley, scholarly social bookmarking services such as CiteULike, or even page-views of blogs and “likes” or comments on mainstream social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter could be used to track the impact of new research in real time, wrote ­Impactstory ­cofounder Jason Priem; Wikimedia Foundation head of research Dario ­Taraborelli; Paul Groth, then-researcher VU University Amsterdam; and Cameron Neylon, then–senior scientist at the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Could these new metrics be just as relevant as peer review and citations when judging the impact and influence of new research?