Cats are frequently a part of the library landscape. Just as they find a nook in shops, cats find a shelf at many libraries and add their feline charm to the service.
I have a gift for picking despised professional niches. I used to run institutional repositories, and if there’s a niche in academic librarianship more despised than that, I’m honestly not sure what it might be. From the frying pan into the fire—now I teach library school. If nothing else, I’ve greatly expanded the universe of librarians and archivists who despise my work!
Having access to national studies helps academic librarians stay informed about their community members. Finding the time to read and analyze them—and make sense of possibly conflicting information—is a new “keeping up” challenge. Four studies in particular are most worthy of our ongoing analysis and reflection.
An LIS student’s letter to the editor of LJ gave me pause. Krystal Taylor, studying at IUPUI (Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis), detailed the move her program is making from classroom-based instruction to almost 100 percent online delivery. A big-picture concern is evident: “What cost will this be to the library and information science field?” Her word for those completing an online MLS: lackluster.
Here’s a question for anyone who’s willing to share their library’s practice for sharing what you learn “on their dime.” How do you bring back to your library, and share with your colleagues, the information you gain at library-supported professional development activities (conferences, workshops, training, etc.)? I’ve read plenty about libraries’ missions and strategic plans, and so on, but I haven’t been able to find many specific descriptions, or examples, of what librarians are doing to share their knowledge learned at professional events.
For those who don’t know, the Big Deal is an arrangement with ejournal publishers to bundle their entire content into a large package of ejournals, while charging less than the full content would cost a library through individual subscriptions. An example is Elsevier, which provides something called the “Freedom Package” to academic libraries. For a relatively small percentage of what a library pays for Elsevier subscriptions, the library get access to everything Elsevier publishes. That’s the upside. The downside is that, once locked into multiyear licenses for these Big Deals, libraries are unable to reduce their number of subscriptions or lower their ejournal costs if they need to.
Educators are struggling with distracted students. It’s a competition for their attention. It’s time to experiment with different strategies for getting them re-connected. Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University and an expert on the psychology of technology, believes the solution lies with helping students to focus their attention, as opposed to simply trying to get them to do without their distractions. The recommended technique is actually quite simple. It revolves around that fifteen-minute time period in which students will check Facebook or for new texts at least once.
Right now, the biggest trend in website design is responsive web design (RWD). In a responsive design, a website elegantly displays on any size device. The popularity of RWD is, in part, a response to the proliferation of mobile devices. In hopes of increasing usability, organizations want to ensure that people can use their sites no matter how they’re accessing the web. But RWD isn’t itself a solution to library website woes. As I see it, there are two problems: RWD can only accomplish so much, and it doesn’t address the root issue of providing library services in a mobile context.