September 18, 2014

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.

Santiago Retires, Marcus-Bey To Direct E. Cleveland, and More Library People News

Raymond Santiago retired as Director of the Miami–Dade County Public Library System, Sheba Marcus-Bey was named Executive Director of the East Cleveland Public Library, and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the July 2014 issue of Library Journal.

It Is My Library! The public can change your mind | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

Although it is often perceived as interference, or “meddling,” the presumption of ownership by people who live in the jurisdiction of a local public library and their resulting strong opinions about how the place should operate are assets to be nurtured and treasured. Yes, the phenomenon regularly causes disputes about library policies and purposes and makes for controversial community debate. Indeed, library professionals and managers are frequently forced by public opinion, bolstered by media coverage, to operate libraries in ways quite different from their preferred practices.

Flipping the LIS Classroom | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

In 2012, I wrote about the San Jose State University (SJSU) School of Library & Information Science’s (SLIS) evaluation of its core courses. We’re currently putting the finishing touches on a reimagined LIBR 200 class called “Information Communities.” While colleagues reworked other core courses, I’ve partnered with Debra Hansen, one of our senior faculty and a library historian, to create an evolving, modern course that presents students with our foundations as well as an overview of information users and the social, cultural, economic, technological, and political forces that shape their information access.

Penguin Targets Nonnative Readers | PubCrawl

Francine Fialkoff

Say you’re a professional or businessperson who relocated to the United States. Or you’re a student who came to the this country to study. Or you live outside the United States but deal with Americans. You’re reasonably fluent in English, but you want to improve your skills. A new tool, PenguinStacks, is for you. Launched in beta this spring in the United States and Brazil, it takes aim at nonnative readers of English. The 120 titles on the site were assessed by New York University (NYU) PhD linguistics’ candidates and grouped into three levels.

Payday | LJ Salary Survey 2014

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For many, salary discussion is the last taboo. But without knowing how their peers are compensated, it can be hard for librarians to make their case for better pay—and hard for library leaders to make the case to funders that higher salaries are necessary to attract and retain the best candidates. LJ has, for years, conducted its annual Placements & Salaries survey, which focuses on recent graduates, to dig into what beginning librarians earn in their first positions and what trends those salaries reveal. Now, with the help of more than 3,200 public, academic, school, special, government, and consortium librarians from all 50 states, LJ’s inaugural salary survey for U.S. ­librarians and paralibrarians takes a deeper look at the range of the field’s salary potential.