August 16, 2017

Managing Libraries

Albany Public Library Partners with Transportation Authority

New York’s Albany Public Library (APL) has formed an alliance with a city agency that isn’t often associated with the library—the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA)—on several innovative programs designed to bring library workers and patrons to its branches by bus and bike.

What Not to Do: Tips for New Library Leaders | Leading from the Library

A new role leading in any capacity, but particularly as a library director, can be stressful. New leaders usually get lots of tips on what to do. A good honeymoon period strategy can also benefit from a few what-not-to-do tips.

Patrick Roewe, Spokane County Library District’s New Director

While many incoming library administrators find their jobs by way of a national search, Patrick Roewe, the new director at Spokane County Library District (SCLD), WA, did it the old-fashioned way—by working his way up through the ranks.

Nashville, Salt Lake City, Columbus Eliminate Fines

Starting the first week of July 2017, the Nashville Public Library (NPL) and the Salt Lake City Public Library system (SLCPL) have joined the increasing number of public libraries in the United States that no longer collect overdue fines from patrons. These changes will also wipe out fines that users have already accrued. For both systems, this shift reflects their missions to remove a barrier to library borrowing—blocked card privileges due to fines and to provide equitable access to as many patrons as possible.

Teach Library Politics: Missing and Neglected Content in LIS Programs | Blatant Berry

My alma mater, Boston’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, just asked me to complete a survey on what ought to be in its LIS curriculum. The survey’s hierarchy descended in priority from “core,” the things every graduate should have studied. There were five or six levels offered, but I only used the top three: “core,” “very important,” and “important.” The questions covered nearly everything I would have tried to fit into the crowded LIS curriculum.

The Politics of Being a Trustee

November’s presidential election led to a surprising result for many. Even among those who voted for the current president-elect, a lot of people did not actually expect him to prevail over a former senator and secretary of state. And almost immediately, everyone from regular people to media pundits were chiming in on what the election will mean for the country.

Knight Foundation Issues Innovation Report, Grants

On March 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the award of nearly $1 million to support five innovative library projects. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), NC; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; Peer 2 Peer University, Chicago; Richland Library, Columbia, SC; and Southwest Harbor Public Library, ME, each received between $35,000 and $250,000 to help realize a range of creative concepts addressing the digital information needs of their communities. Simultaneously, KF released a report, “Developing Clarity: Innovating in Library Systems,” examining opportunities and challenges within the lifecycle of library innovation.

Doing Fine(s)? | Fines & Fees

Fees and fines have traditionally been a fact of life for public libraries in America, even though a nonnegligible proportion of librarians and patrons have long considered fines at best an unpleasant hassle and at worst a serious barrier to access to resources for those unable to pay them. As many libraries continue to assess and overhaul their fine and fee structures, sponsored by Comprise Technologies, LJ surveyed a random selection of public librarians in January 2017 to learn about their libraries’ approaches to fines and fees. LJ received 454 responses.

Kevin Young: Director of NYPL’s Schomburg Center, New Yorker Poetry Editor

Kevin Young stepped into his role as director of New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in September 2016, succeeding former director Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Young most recently served at Emory University, Atlanta, as curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and curator of literary collections at the Rose Library, at the same time holding the Charles Howard Candler Professorship of Creative Writing and English. If it were not enough that Young now helms Harlem’s Schomburg Center, on March 15 he was also appointed poetry editor of the New Yorker, to succeed Paul Muldoon.

Harvard Business Alumni Offer SFPL Pro Bono Consulting

While many public libraries could benefit from business counsel from a team of experts, professional consulting services are not always in the budget, even for larger systems. But recently San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) had the opportunity to do just that, after it was selected to receive pro bono consultation from a team of Harvard Business School alumni.