In fall 2012, the Harvard Labrary—a temporary “pop-up” space in an empty storefront in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA—was opened as a public gallery for design student projects from the semester-long Library Test Kitchen (LTK) seminar at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
I’ve come to believe that translations from print to sound enhance access to a work. For library users and librarians, the movement of old works into new media presents new opportunities for bringing easy access to entertainment and education to people old and young. This is another tool to improve and expand library service.
Many efforts to diversify the ranks of librarians focus on well-intentioned but expensive projects to recruit a small number of aspiring students who may, or may not, become long-term members of the profession. For example, in April the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) gave a grant of $487,652 to support a joint diversity [...]
Two library service prototyping spaces, in two very different places, have a remarkable amount in common. Nate Hill runs and operates the 4th Floor in Chattanooga, a large public library loft space operating as a flexible community makerspace and event space. Jeff Goldenson co-ran and operated Labrary, a 37-day design experiment occupying a vacant storefront in Cambridge.
To make the most of BEA, here are the offerings that are best for librarians—not all of them are particularly aimed at our profession, but eavesdropping on “the other side” can be illuminating. Though ebook questions feature heavily, we’re moving on from library availability concerns to debates surrounding secondhand ebooks, the effects on authors, and e-publishing of out-of-print titles.
An LIS student’s letter to the editor of LJ gave me pause. Krystal Taylor, studying at IUPUI (Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis), detailed the move her program is making from classroom-based instruction to almost 100 percent online delivery. A big-picture concern is evident: “What cost will this be to the library and information science field?” Her word for those completing an online MLS: lackluster.
If you’re an academic librarian, you’re probably already awash, at least peripherally, in news about MOOCs—massive open online courses have been touted as the next big thing in higher ed since they burst on the scene about a year ago. If you’re a public librarian, on the other hand, you may not even have heard of them. Yet MOOCs are bringing unprecedented challenges and opportunities to both kinds of libraries already, and they’re only going to grow.
Right now, the biggest trend in website design is responsive web design (RWD). In a responsive design, a website elegantly displays on any size device. The popularity of RWD is, in part, a response to the proliferation of mobile devices. In hopes of increasing usability, organizations want to ensure that people can use their sites no matter how they’re accessing the web. But RWD isn’t itself a solution to library website woes. As I see it, there are two problems: RWD can only accomplish so much, and it doesn’t address the root issue of providing library services in a mobile context.