December 3, 2016

Feedback: Letters to LJ, November 15, 2016

Hearing only the good news?, taking business practices we can use, in praise of listening broadly, and more letters to editor from the November 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

From Good to Great, as a Leader | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

There’s a difference between being a good leader and a great leader, but it’s not what we might think. Greatness is not just being better than good. It’s about having force and channeling it for a purpose.

It’s Electric | One Cool Thing

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Bookmobiles have been a part of library service for decades, but they’re typically bus-sized vehicles that require large parking lots or streets in order to make a visit. Library book bikes have become a hot new thing in cities but are range-limited by the pedal power of staff.

Open to Change | Office Hours

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Changes aren’t permanent but change is. That’s a line from Rush’s “Tom Sawyer,” a song you might remember if you hung out with the cool kids in high school during the 1980s. What felt so philosophical in 1982 now describes the rapid transformation that has touched every profession, including ours. Constant change may invoke feelings ranging from worry to out-and-out alarm.

Calling All Change Agents: Let’s build a sustainability movement | Editorial

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It’s time to ignite a movement in libraries, one that faces head-on the pressing threat brought by climate change and addresses every way we can help to secure a better future, or, in more stark terms, a future for the generations to follow. This seems more imperative every day, but the functional response is limited.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, November 1, 2016 Issue

A new skill set for leaders, books still rule, ebook checkout options, and more letters to editor from the November 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Making a Rough Journey a Bit Smoother | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Among academic librarians there is strong support for the premise that their work contributes to student success. A new report confirms that too many undergraduates experience a rough road with dead ends. Can we help smooth their journey?

Gig City Music | Field Reports

US Ignite Gigabit Application Summit demo between Austin and Chattanooga 
Photo credit: Susannah Spellman

During Chattanooga’s StartUp Week, October 3–7, the Chattanooga Public Library (CPL) hosted a long-distance music collaboration between the visiting international OneBeat Fellows, the world’s foremost music diplomacy program, and the Miami, FL–based Fellows of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy. Using the ultra-high-speed connectivity of Internet 2 and low latency (LOLA) software inside the library, the long-distance live event was one of a kind, featuring young gifted musicians from all over the world in both locations performing together while more than 700 miles apart.

The Oldest Challenge: It comes from believers, parents, even librarians | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

Conflicts that pit our professional stance in favor of intellectual freedom against citizen pressure or our own impulses to suppress “inappropriate” expression is the oldest challenge librarianship faces. When the modern library movement was born, librarians thought they were gatekeepers. Early debates over whether fiction should be banned ultimately morphed into the profession’s current position: no one has the right to tell anyone else what they are allowed to read.

Staff as Innovation Leaders: From great ideas to great implementation | Editorial

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The community served by the Birmingham Public Library, AL, this October gained three new programs targeted to branch-level needs—Vintage Memory Making, with an eye to sewing and crafting; After School Writing, keyed to supporting penmanship, including cursive writing; and New Parenting, focused on helping caregivers through the first years. All three ideas stem from staff participation in the library’s recently launched Innovative Cool Award initiative, which interconnects the organization, including trustees, and helps the library be responsive to the community.