August 27, 2016

LJ in Print

On the Road: Inspired by life in Australia’s libraries | Editorial

RebeccaWebEdit2015

I wrote this in a small library in the town of Kyneton, Australia. As many library fans do, I visit libraries wherever I go—stopping in for a look-see, lingering to use the space and services, and sometimes getting a full tour. It’s always valuable—and often inspiring. This was the case when I recently visited Australia on a family trip, and I experienced a handful of libraries small and large along the way.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, August 2016 Issue

A call for academic RA research, the unchanging lack of inclusion, and more letters to editor from the August 2016 issue of Library Journal.

We Talked About Failure | Backtalk

Fife

The Utah Library Association (ULA) dove headfirst into failure on February 19–20. Along with the Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL), ULA hosted Strikethrough: The Utah Library Association Failure Workshop. Billed as an interdisciplinary discussion of failure for librarians, it brought together librarians, medical doctors, and performance artists.

Write Here | Programming

THE WRITE STUFF (Clockwise from top l.): Denver PL’s Hard Times Writing Workshop; SpeakEasy Book Authors Signing for the Community Novel Project at Topeka & Shawnee County PL, KS; Corvallis–Benton County PL, OR, National Novel Writing Month plot planning party; 
White Plains PL, NY, Families of Veterans Writing Workshop (FVWW) participants (l.–r.) Ekaterina Quinones, Julie Geisler, Amanda Cerreto, 
and Kareem Brown; (inset) FVWW book cover

Everyone has a book in them, it’s said. While Christopher Hitchens completed that phrase with “in most cases that’s where it should stay,” it doesn’t seem the public agrees. This is dramatically demonstrated by the expansion of U.S. publishing, as measured by Bowker, the U.S. issuer of ISBNs, the numbers that help track book sales. In 2002, Bowker issued 247,777. In 2012 (the most recent figures available), demand rose to 2,352,797—an increase of 2,105,020, or a whopping 849.5 percent.

Making Libraries Visible on the Web | The Digital Shift

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In Library: An Unquiet History, historian and curatorial fellow for Harvard’s metaLAB Matthew Battles describes Melvil Dewey’s impatience with inefficiency in library work in the 1870s. “To Dewey, local interests and special needs were less important than the efficient movement of books into the hands of readers,” he writes. That crisp statement of purpose should be an inspiration to the current discussions around making library collections and programs visible and available on the web.

The Research Journey | Office Hours

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Since 2014, academic librarians from across the United States have gathered at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles to be part of an immersive learning experience—the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL).

Life in the Bike Lane: Designing livable cities from the street up | Editorial

RebeccaWebEdit2015

On Leap Day this past February, I gave myself the gift of a Citi Bike membership. In New York City, where Library Journal’s office is located, this bike-sharing service hit the streets in 2013 and has continued to gain traction ever since. Like many, it has had growing pains, but it now touts over 100,000 annual members, and this summer it celebrated a record of 56,000 trips in one day. I ride for part of my commute, replacing what would be an underground subway leg with three-plus miles on the surface. This has given New York back to me, reinvigorating my relationship with the city and allowing me to witness its changeable beauty.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, July 2016 Issue

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.

Branching Out, July 2016

Alpine Library
Photo courtesy of San Diego County Library

The Alpine Library opened in San Diego; the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is back; work to begin on the Peterborough Public Library, Ont.; and more new construction and renovation news from the July, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Pure Escapism | Programs That Pop

IT’S A LOCK (Clockwise from top l.): Kids create the puzzles for the library escape room; Morton-James PL director Rasmus Thoegersen made up as a zombie; and all the zombies get ready for their moment

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).