Let libraries be “libraries,” the Tyranny of Positivity, “double reading,” and more letters to editor from the April 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
LJ in Print
It’s easy to find advice on how to mentor a Millennial, but what if you are a Millennial, and you are the mentor? It’s bound to start happening. As of 2015, Millennials make up the largest proportion of the workforce. The oldest members of that generation are turning 34 and moving into management positions. Those of us who have moved into management have had help, and we should send the ladder back down.
Children are naturally curious about the world around them. Science programs and activities are a great way to capture their interest and encourage the development of early literacy skills. Many science activities and materials are easy to incorporate into library programs; you may find that you’re already including elements that increase STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) knowledge, for example, talking about color mixing or identifying and playing with shapes.
North Carolina’s adoption of the so-called “bathroom bill” (House Bill 2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act) on March 23 has been rightly denounced for building bias and discrimination into state law and barring cities from extending protections for transgender individuals. It should go without saying that wholesale bigotry against members of a group is unacceptable and unconstitutional. This legislation is a travesty and an assault on our civil liberties.
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.
After seven years in New York, BookExpo America (BEA) heads to Chicago’s McCormick Place, where it will run from Wednesday though Friday, May 11–13. With a focus on BEA’s new partnership with the American Library Association (ALA), the Library Insights track will feature sessions by Libraries Transform: ALA@BEA, which is sponsored by Libraries Transform, ALA’s national public awareness campaign, and digital provider OverDrive. Also added to the 2016 schedule are tracks on children’s publishing and self-publishing, two of the hottest segments in the industry today. And, of course, there will be plenty of books to pick up and author signings to attend.
Cheryl LaGuardia awarded the 2016 Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award; Bridget Quinn-Carey appointed CEO of Hartford Public Library, CT; Jacqueline Solis now Director of Research and Instructional Services at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Library; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the March 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
A common punch line in the librarian oeuvre pertains to the number of cats a particular librarian may own. We all know that librarians are dog people, too, as evidenced by the multiple Facebook photos I see of various canine biblio-companions. I am sure librarians also keep various other mammals, reptiles, and birds, but there is a natural fit between our love of four-legged friends and our calling to the profession.
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.