February 1, 2015

All or Nothing | Peer to Peer Review

Wayne Biven-Tatum

After three columns in a row about the ebook situation for libraries, I thought I was finished with the discussion, but then I got an email from an ebook vendor. He pointed out that his ebook publishing platform did all the things I had said I wanted from library ebooks, and asked, very politely, why, then, hadn’t my library bought any of them? Here is my answer. It probably doesn’t apply to every library, but it applies to some of them, especially some of the larger ones.

Are You “The Man” or “The Mobilizer?” | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

Leaders have the power: To make changes. To set direction. To accomplish things. The nature of power is changing. Smart leaders will learn how to make the most of it.

Do Libraries Change the World? Should They? Short Answer: Yes | Peer to Peer Review

Rick Anderson

For the sake of argument, let’s all agree that the answer to this question is yes: libraries have a central mission to change the world—to make it a better, more intelligent, more tolerant, more open-minded place, one that is (thanks in part to our professional efforts) increasingly filled with well-informed critical thinkers who will, themselves, take the tools and skills with which the library has provided them and go on to make the world even better. This is what the library exists to do.

Design Thinking for Flexible Solutions | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

As academic librarians become more design influenced there are some lessons to be learned from what’s happening in the world of digital gadgetry. Success is less about easy fixes or fancy features and more about flexibility.

Recognizing My Library Heroes of 2014 | Peer to Peer Review

Barbara Fister

It’s been a rough year for the planet. It’s been a rough year for the country. It’s been a rough year for libraries. We face a lot of problems that are complex and scary and it’s easier to name them than to figure out what to do next. But when I look back on 2014 I see some amazing people doing the things that we librarians profess as our core values. Since there’s something about years coming to an end that leads to lists and resolutions, I thought I’d look back and give a shout out to a few of the librarians who have taken difficult situations and made courageous, difficult, affirming choices. These are just some of the many librarians who make me proud to be in this profession.

America’s College Promise: Potential Impacts for Community College Librarians | Opinion

LJms2014LandingKaufman

Last week, President Obama announced his proposal for America’s College Promise, an initiative aimed at making community college free for all students who maintain a grade point average of 2.5 and make steady progress toward completion. The proposal also requires community colleges to offer academic programs that would transfer fully to public colleges and universities or provide occupational training in areas of high demand by employers.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, January 2015 Issue

Share relevance with electorate as well as elected officials; the revised cost of divestment; objecting to DRM; and more letters to LJ’s January 2015 issue

Charlie Hebdo | Opinion

RDavidLankes

This morning [January 8] in a Tweet Bredebieb asked me “what should public libraries do,” about the Charlie Hebdo attack. It was frankly a bit of a humbling and scary question. After all, I am not in Paris, and I cannot claim to know everything that French libraries do now. However, it would be an obvious act of cowardice to simply claim ignorance or to respond with some high level non-answer like “help the communities have a conversation.” So I provided some ideas. Still, Twitter is not exactly a place to have a deep discussion of where these ideas come from, nor truly share what I think public libraries should do. So in this post I’d like to give a deeper answer to how I feel public libraries should respond to horrific acts like the attacks on Charlie Hebdo.

Actions and Answers | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

Happy New Year to all! It’s that time of the year when we look forward and back. “Top Ten”–style lists appear in our feed readers, revisiting the highs and lows of 2014 and pointing us toward what 2015 will bring.

Making Creative Copyright Law | Peer to Peer Review

Kevin L. Smith

One of the most troubling attitudes I encounter when talking with librarians about copyright is a sort of fatalism. The general idea is that copyright is simply a monolithic, unintelligible barricade that prevents libraries from realizing their full potential.