Boosting Orlando, art large and small, an elephant in the (library) room, and more letters to editor from the July, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
LJ in Print
What do you do with an old storage room? With the help of a grant, around 40 kids, four months, and a lot of hard work and creativity, the Morton-James Public Library was able to transform a nondescript storage area into a real-life immersive puzzle game—Nebraska City’s first escape room (and the first escape room in the world built by kids, as far as we can tell).
Michael Doylen named Interim Associate Vice Provost and Director of Libraries at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Andrea Ingmire appointed director of Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI; Nandita S. Mani to become Director of Health Sciences Library and Associate University Librarian for the Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the July 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
Recently, I was teaching a privacy class for librarians, and the topic turned to the privacy versus convenience trade-off—the occasional annoyances of using privacy-enhancing technologies online. An audience member laid out what she felt I was asking of the group. “You’re telling us to start selling granola when everyone else is running a candy store.”
With so many Americans sitting for hours at work, and so many studies showing that inactivity is problematic to health outcomes, incorporating furniture and fixtures that encourage fitness and physical activity into the library is a way to help patrons in the here and now and let them try out options for future home use.
Empower. Engage. Energize. These three words describe the relationship between a sustainable library and its users. It’s a two-way street: a library can empower patrons to do good things by engaging with them to understand their aspirations. A community can feel the authentic interest a library has in being a part of that community’s conversations, whether by being at the table or convening “the table” to find community-based solutions.
With a slew of superheroes getting the big screen treatment in recent years, comic books are gaining even more cachet as a cultural touchstone. Big-budget blockbusters and critically acclaimed TV spin-offs have helped to spawn a new generation of comic book fans and reignited the spark in former readers, while alternative titles bring in fans who aren’t the superhero type (see “Picture the Possibilities,” LJ 6/15/16, p. 30ff.). Meanwhile, sf has long since gained mainstream acceptance without losing its ability to stir deep devotion (witness the plethora of Doctor Who merchandise), and anime and manga are reaching ever-larger portions of the American populace, particularly among teens and new adults. Board and card games, too, are seeing a dramatic resurgence in popularity alongside their high-tech counterparts, and once under-the-radar fanfiction and fan art are now far more widely known and accepted.
The struggle to improve the affinity between library schools and applied librarianship has just gained a powerful ally. In June, the University of Washington’s Information School (iSchool) announced the appointment of its first Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Susan Hildreth. She is one of the most experienced and visionary librarians in our ranks, having served stints as a library director, state librarian, head of consortia, and, most notably, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).