September 30, 2014

The Degree We Need: Strong standards are just the start | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

Our professional credential is an embattled thing. It’s a rare day that the master’s in library and information science (MLIS) escapes a conversation unscathed and unquestioned. This is rightfully so. Nothing so time-consuming and expensive, and essential, should be taken for granted. It should be under constant scrutiny by the schools themselves, the candidates, those who hire graduates, and the broader profession that it serves.

Weinshall Joins NYPL as COO, Slyman To Direct Brookline, & More Library People News

Iris Weinshall was named Chief Operating Officer, New York Public Library; Sara F. Slymon was named Director, Public Library of Brookline, MA; Cheryl Morales was named Executive Director, Pinellas Public Library Cooperative, FL; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the August 2014 issue of Library Journal.

Is it an Industry?, Facts Are our Mission, Speak Up about Salaries!| Feedback

Readers comment on why libraries should not depend on the rich for support, whether librarianship is an industry, why librarians should provide info on laws they disagree with, and more letters to LJ’s August 2014 Issue

Author, Author! | Programs That Pop

BOOKS IN BLOOM Sachem PL’s garden was “home” to dozens of local authors, such as Ralph T. Gazzillo (l.) and Leeann Lavin (r.)

With the recent explosion of self-publishing and the relative ease with which one can become a published author, our library has been bombarded with requests by writers looking for us to host author talks and book events. The sad truth is, with rare exceptions, author visits can be a hard sell, requiring herculean PR efforts, even for established authors with respectable sales. Given the limited amount of program space at the library and the large number of high-demand programs, I can’t schedule events for every author who pitches me.

Library Linguistics

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More and more, libraries strive not only to be spaces for researching subjects of interest to their patrons but to offer options that let users learn new skills, whether they’re physically in the library or not. One area in which mobile learning through the library is making headway is language learning. Many online lesson providers offer programs through libraries that patrons can use in the building, at home, or even while waiting in line for a cup of coffee.

Library Unlimited: Amazon and the limits of the book brand | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

Libraries are about much more than books. This simple truth bears repeating in light of the response to Amazon’s July announcement of the Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service and the all too many reductive and ill-informed reactions that followed.

The Way Upward | Design4Impact

THINGS ARE LOOKING UP The underside of VCL’s five-story floating staircase provides patrons with strong wayfinding from the start

Wayfinding in libraries is too often an afterthought. But not in Vancouver, WA, where the newly constructed Vancouver Community Library (VCL) had signage planned into the design. The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District hired the Miller Hull Partnership architects as well as wayfinding specialists Mayer/Reed and AldrichPears for “interpretive installation.” The result is an intuitive setup that gives patrons the broad brushstrokes at a glance, while being future-proof enough to accommodate shifts in the collection in the years to come.

Dark Night: Library Burlesque | Backtalk

This is the true story of how the librarians of New Zealand’s largest city decided to show a little leg and unleash the power of burlesque on its ­community.

Back to the Future: When Visioning Pays Off | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

Empty moving boxes perch on filled ones all through LJ’s offices. One of them now contains a record I’ll look forward to referencing in another nine years. As our staff gear up to move to a new space, I focused on weeding paper documents that had migrated from one workspace to the next. Packing can be a process of discovery. Among the fossils excavated was a blue folder holding the agenda and notes from a think tank, “2020 Vision: Idaho Libraries Futures Conference,” held in Boise in August 2005.

Feedback: Defending the Title Librarian, Library as Refuge, and More Letters to LJ’s July 2014 Issue

LJ readers weigh in on on who can call themselves a librarian, designing for peace and quiet, ALA going to Orlando, and more in these letters to the July 2014 issue of Library Journal.