Vision and determination are two of the qualities that various library leaders and architects around the country used to rebuild libraries demolished in a variety of natural disasters. A number of these libraries have emerged better connected to their communities and stronger than before.
LJ in Print
Letters to the editor from the September 15, 2014 issue of Library Journal.
Greta Southard named Director of Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN; Victoria Strickland-Cordial named Director of the Chesapeake Public Library System, VA; Jordana Vincent appointed Division Manager of Collection Development at Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs, and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the September 15, 2014 issue of LJ.
I’m writing from Limerick, Ireland, where I am speaking at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Information Literacy satellite conference before heading to Lyon, France, for IFLA proper. The conversations and presentations here are thought provoking, focused on the constantly evolving definition and approaches for teaching information literacy. Why aren’t students good writers? What prevents them from doing their best work? Are devices to blame? Short attention spans? Rock and roll?
At California’s Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD), we have discovered that 48 percent of patrons prefer finding information themselves rather than asking staff members for help. This led us to examine our user experience of signage, particularly for computer use. We wanted to place signage in the exact place where patrons need help and ensure it was meaningful in guiding them in their independent use of the library.
Organizations in every state in America, plus the District of Columbia, have hosted a communitywide reading program at one point or another, according to the Library of Congress. So-called One Book programs are everywhere. However, to engage the entire community, whether municipality, county, region, or state, successfully in a communitywide reading event takes planning as well as skill and enthusiasm. LJ spoke with reads veterans from around the country to learn what worked for them—and what could work for your library.
Digital archives contain a wealth of interesting images and documents that have been meticulously described by librarians, but databases are not always ideal for browsing. Tools such as time line and mapping software now enable libraries to present digital collections in new ways, facilitating serendipitous exploration for researchers.
When budgets are tight, it is easy to feel frustrated and disempowered. After all, having access to a deep pool of funds makes it easy to get things done. But when times are tough, it doesn’t mean librarians should toss their hands in the air and give up on making user experience (UX) improvements. Here are a few things you can do to improve your library’s UX that won’t require finding much of a budget.