March 5, 2015

LJ in Print

Ingenuity Unleashed: The spur of the Knight Challenge | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

There was much excitement when the James L. Knight Foundation opened a News Challenge for Libraries last September—for good reason. Libraries were getting a highly visible shout-out from this national foundation, and library enthusiasts were being asked to share ideas in a setting that encouraged collaboration to deepen the impact of library work. The process surfaced mission-focused ingenuity across the library landscape, highlighted the smarts in our field, and should serve as motivation for leadership to find new ways to enable latent capacity in our libraries to serve our communities better.

Paralibrarian of the Year 2015: Tamara Faulkner Kraus

Photo by Mitchell Kearney

In two decades (plus one year) she has moved from work with the very young, through young adults, to dynamically serving seniors at the Hickory Public Library (HPL), NC. Tamara Faulkner Kraus’s passion for providing library service to people in need more than sustains her energy and creativity. That unsinkable spirit is now being acknowledged with the 2015 LJ Paralibrarian of the Year Award, sponsored by DEMCO.

Ending the Invisible Library | Linked Data

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To explain the utility of ­semantic search and linked data, Jeff Penka, director of channel and product development for information management solutions provider Zepheira, uses a simple exercise. Type “Chevy Chase” into Google’s search box, and in addition to a list of links, a panel appears on the right of the screen, displaying photos of the actor, a short bio, date of birth, height, full name, spouses and children, and a short list of movies and TV shows in which he has starred. Continue typing the letters “ma” into the search box, and the panel instantly changes, showing images, maps, current weather, and other basic information regarding the town of Chevy Chase, MD.

LAPL, SELF-e, Surprising Stats | Self-Publishing & Libraries

Indie Author day poster and T-shirts

For at least a generation, libraries have focused their collection development efforts on the Big Six (now Big Five) publishers. But that domination of library purchases and circulation may be about to change.

Coffee Cup Stories | Programs That Pop

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Espresso culture arrived a bit late in Parkes, New South Wales (NSW), as urban trends often do in Australian country towns. Yet sometimes it’s possible for a small community to outpace the zeitgeist. In ours, we decided to connect the community to libraries and literacy through coffee.

What’s Your Pitch? | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

Speaking here and there, I’ve logged a few airline miles over the years and visited some pretty cool places. A short while ago, I was coming back from the New York Library Association conference, flying from Albany to Chicago, and I was seated next to a friendly young man who asked me what I did for a living.

The Long Good Fight: Libraries at the heart of intellectual freedoms | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

Librarians and libraries are essential to discourse about intellectual freedoms. Now we have more work to do in light of violent efforts to curtail such rights, perhaps most notably the January 7 attack on the offices of Paris’s weekly Charlie Hebdo. For me, these events brought our work to date into high relief but also intensified a sense of urgency about what librarians can do to defend a richer understanding of the value of freedom of inquiry and expression.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, February 1, 2015 Issue

A French librarian’s response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting, transactional versus transformational, and more letters to the editor from the February 1, 2015, issue of Library Journal

Library People News: Hires, Promotions, Retirements, and Obituaries

Dolamore named Assistant Director for San José PL; Niese to direct Chippewa Falls PL, and more People news from the February 1, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Paying for People | Budgets & Funding

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If last year’s budget theme was cautious optimism, LJ’s 2015 library budget survey of U.S. public libraries, distributed geographically by size and type, continues the general upward trend. Libraries of all sizes, across the board, showed an increase in operating and salary budgets, and most, though not all, saw materials budgets rise as well. Of the 416 libraries that responded, 73% reported an increase in their total operating budgets from 2013 to 2014, up from 68% last year and 60% the year before. The overall change in total budgets was a healthy 4.3% increase. Compared to last year’s more modest 1.3% gains, these numbers indicate that libraries nationwide are beginning to find their fiscal footing after some lean years.