February 23, 2017

The Devalued MLIS: ALA’s Leader Must Be a Librarian | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

For nearly all 140 years of the existence of the American Library Association (ALA), its Executive Director (ED) has been a professional librarian. Today, the credential required to ensure that the ED is a librarian is the Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree. However, a group of ALA councilors and Executive Board members apparently wanted to change that.

Arming the Ramparts | Sustainability

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The sustainability of our world depends on a strong social fabric in local communities where people know and respect one another. This social fabric is key for resilient communities in the face of environmental, economic, and social disruption. That fabric is now torn in many places thanks to the vitriol and viciousness of the presidential election and fears about what will happen next.

Losing a Library: A Community That Gives Up its Library Gives Up On Itself | Editorial

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On April 1, the people of Oregon’s Douglas County will see ten of their 11 libraries close. The last, the main, will soon follow. This decision by the county Board of Commissioners, announced January 9, is a sad outcome to a long battle to keep the system open. For those who live there, it will mean a devastating loss of a key cultural hub along with the access to information, expertise, technology, stories, voices from around the world, a book-rich environment, and all the skill development, inspiration, and aspiration these resources offer. It’s a loss the community at large should not take lightly.

Measured Success | Budgets & Funding

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At EveryLibrary and LJ, we tracked 184 library elections in 2016. Nationwide, over 3.7 million voters cast a ballot in what turned out to be the most contentious election cycle of a generation. Libraries won and lost in blue cities and red counties alike.

Introducing VR | Field Reports

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To support the changing needs of faculty and students researching mass media, popular culture, and video games, the University of North Texas (UNT) Media Library, Denton, began developing a game collection in 2009. This collection first included console games and in-house access to gaming PCs and then grew to include tabletop games in 2010. Because virtual reality (VR) headsets and devices are a natural fit, we included VR equipment on our wish list until 2015, when we finally had funding for an Oculus Rift DK2 ($350).

Keeping Up | Budgets & Funding

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The financial news for libraries in 2016 was for the most part positive—overall, budgets are up modestly—but many, still rebounding from the recession and working to keep pace with needed capital improvements and technology requirements, still feel that they’re just getting by. Libraries, particularly smaller systems, continue to meet the challenge of working with what funds are available. But unexpected or one-time expenses for a library of any size can still result in tightened purse strings. Also, the rising costs of benefits for employees, as well as the uncertainties of the health-care marketplace, are an increasingly common concern.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, January 2017 Issue

Numbers point toward an amazingly inclusive society, in praise of Millennial computer knowledge, considering the individuals, and more letters to editor from the January 1, 2017 issue of Library Journal.

Love Literacy in Libraries | Programs That Pop

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Cassandra Black met her husband online, inspiring her and colleague Mary Frances Frayne to put on an online dating workshop in February 2016 at the Belmont Library, CA. At the time, Black served as teen services librarian and Frayne as community services librarian. The program was geared mostly to seniors, who dominate Belmont’s classes.

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

Jamar Rahming named Director of the Jackson County Library System, OR; Kornelia Tancheva to become the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman University Librarian and Director of the University Library System; National Museum and Library Services board swears in six members; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the January 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Choosing Change in Charleston | Design Institute Design Challenges

BRING YOUR OWN Attendees brought their own tricky design dilemmas—and sometimes their own plans and props—to engage a variety of architects and vendors during the speed sessions. Top row, l.-r.: Joe Frueh from 3branch; and Bill Overton from Overton and Associates. Bottom row, l.-r.: VMDO’s Jim Kovach; and HBM’s Peter Bolek with Beth Steiner (ctr.) and Jenny Eyink, both from Auglaize County Public Library, OH. Photos by Kevin Henegan

At LJ’s Design Institute (DI): Charleston, held on Friday, October 21, at South Carolina’s Charleston County Public Library, attendees from around the United States delved into how best to transform their libraries to rise to their communities’ new challenges.