September 3, 2015

Positive Signs | The User Experience

Aaron Schmidt

Criticism is necessary when a library aims to evaluate and improve the experience it is providing its members. Before you can start making improvements, you have to know what needs to be improved. This, of course, is no excuse to be negative, mean, accusatory, or defeatist. Criticism can and should be done positively and with good intention. After all, more flies get caught with honey, right?

Library Superbosses Lead By Creating Careers | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

It makes sense. Great bosses create workplaces where staff want to be. Lousy bosses make staff miserable so they quit and go elsewhere and try to recover. What exactly does a superboss do?

Lessons from a Leader’s First Year | Backtalk

A colleague once told me that librarians get into management like penguins falling off an ice floe. While it’s not the most flattering image, it felt a little too apt during my first year as an assistant director. Moving into leadership has been the single most formative experience of my career. It’s also been one of my most difficult professional challenges, and sometimes I still relate all too well to a flailing, flightless bird dropping into icy water.

Rethought & Reincarnated: Grand Valley’s library, the core of campus life | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

It’s easy to see why students want to camp out at the new library at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. I had the opportunity to see it in person last month when I attended the Re-think It: Libraries for a New Age conference on campus. The space itself is incredible—as is the response to the critical questions that drove the design and programming of services delivered at what is now the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, August 2015 Issue

Letters to the August 2015 issue of Library Journal, including CA towns’ weeding shifting too fast to digital, keeping the Copyright Office at the Library of Congress, and setting the record straight on residency requirements

Are You a Nomophobe? | Not Dead Yet

Cheryl LaGuardia

Cheryl LaGuardia discusses the effects of smartphone addiction in libraries and society.

Welcome to Entrepreneurship U, Part One | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

It used to be that a focus on entrepreneurship was limited to the business school. Now, for graduate students from any discipline who demonstrate innovation, higher ed is going “all in” on entrepreneurship. Academic librarians should be looking for new opportunities to help.

College Graduates, Critical Thinking, and Information Strategies

Cheryl LaGuardia

Recently I was so fortunate as to attend a presentation by Alison Head, founder and director of Project Information Literacy, at the Monroe C. Gutman Library over at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. There I heard some pretty exciting preliminary results from two Project Information Literacy (PIL) Lifelong Learning Studies: “Phase One: Interviews with […]

Advice for Academic Librarianship: Think Like Ford | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Even if things are going well at your library, it may be a good exercise to question what would happen if things change even more radically then they already have and what we’ve always done is no longer what people want or need.

A Win for Sustainability: ALA’s resolution is an important start | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

The American Library Association (ALA) took a crucial step when it passed the Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries at the association’s annual meeting in San Francisco. Now we as a profession face the complex work ahead to make the goals of the resolution real. We have this collective articulation to lean on to make it a priority in a holistic sense—across strategic planning, space design, community engagement, and educational outreach. It is critical that we redouble our efforts.