November 27, 2015

Feedback: Letters to LJ, November 15, 2015 Issue

Sticking up for desk service, long live the MLIS, continuing the Downers Grove conversation, and more letters to the editor from the November 15, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Make Your Own | Field Reports


Can I take this home? is a question I would hear every day while in the Hotspot at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s (FLP) Village of Arts and Humanities. The “thing” in question was a MaKey MaKey, and the answer was always, “No, but you can take home what you are plugging it into!” Working with youth aged seven to 18 years old we were creating computer-connected mazes with Play-Doh, homemade Dance Dance Revolution dance-pads using copper tape, and novel game controllers operated by licking ice cream.

Agents of Change | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

I must admit my eyebrows raised when one of my students in the Hyperlinked Library class shared a job description in our discussion devoted to emerging ideas and trends. Trenton Public Library (TPL), NJ, was looking for an “Innovation Catalyst Librarian.” The interest grew as my students dissected the duties and requirements, comparing their own experiences and suitability for such a position. I have seen a lot of cutting-edge job descriptions before, but this one was different.

Pizza, Pillows, and Ponies: Finals Week Programming | From the Bell Tower

FinalsWeek 7

Academic librarians are investing more heavily in finals week programming, all for a good cause—to help college students better cope with the most stressful weeks of the semester.

Transformation Time: Sari Feldman hits the right tone | Editorial


The ALA’s new public awareness initiative is a savvy approach to the broad challenge libraries face as they continue to evolve and must communicate what they actually contribute to their communities. Much more than talk, Libraries Transform is an actionable toolkit you should put to work now to help your constituency understand the real life of libraries.

STMUA or Strategies to Manage Unknown Acronyms | Peer to Peer Review

Library acronym word cloud

In the information age, we are exposed to a vast number of terms, abbreviations, and acronyms too numerous to understand and learn. Some are relevant to our personal and professional lives, while others are not. The challenge is figuring out which ones are. This paper describes one individual’s experience in a new position in developing strategies to manage the overwhelming number of acronyms he was exposed to in his first year.

Slow Libraries in a Fast-Paced World | Backtalk

Pauline Dewan

In our turbo-charged world, we are expected to work at a fast pace, move in the fast lane, and not fall off the fast track. If life is speeding up, we need to go faster or, better yet, perform multiple activities simultaneously. We hold speed in high regard, paying premium rates for quick delivery and instant gratification. Best-selling business books equate speed with efficiency, accomplishment, and success. But there is a hidden cost to such an existence.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, November 1, 2015 Issue

Bibliotech skepticism; in praise of Susan Wilson, cell phones and the need to be right, and more letters to the editor from the November 1, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

More Than Information | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

I was surprised when the news came that the School of Information and Library Science at New York’s Pratt Institute had changed its name to the School of Information. I’ve been an adjunct professor there for more than three decades, and I was saddened at first that this old, venerable school, the second such school in the nation, was dropping “library science” from its name. After reading letters from Dean Tula Giannini and Pratt’s provost Kirk E. Pillow, I was somewhat reassured. I realize that this is now the direction of things and marks real progress in staying abreast of this digital age and the growing discipline once called information science. That field now carries a version of that name or informatics or just plain information studies. It is professed in every college and university these days, a kind of darling in higher ed. So it is understandable for Pratt to take that step.

Setting UX Priorities | The User Experience

Aaron Schmidt

In my last column (LJ 10/1/15), I did my best to convince you that improving library UX must be a librarywide endeavor—all parts of the library impact the user experience, so everyone needs to be on board. Here, I want to look at the topic from a slightly different angle: Where do you begin with library UX? There’s so much to think about when it comes to improving libraries!