February 13, 2016

Feedback: Letters to LJ, February 1, 2016 Issue

Libraries as public information utilities, the value in large scale conferences, EASA doesn’t go far enough, and more letters to the February 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal

SafetyLit: A Free Database It Might Be Useful to Know About | Not Dead Yet­­

Cheryl-LaGuardia

Someone from the SafetyLit Foundation recently sent me information about the SafetyLit Database via LinkedIn. I hadn’t heard of this resource before, but I took a look (though not an exhaustive one) and saw some interesting material in it.

Five Institutional Strategies for Textbook Affordability | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Whether you’re just getting started or want to take your program to the next level, thinking strategically about campus adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) can make a difference.

The Gadfly Alerts: They warn us of corrupted information | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

The first time I encountered the Progressive Librarians Guild (PLG) was nearly 30 years ago. Almost miraculously, PLG has survived from just after the Reagan era through the Clinton and Bush years until Obama. It is still small but manages to publish Progressive Librarian (PL), a journal that combines rigorous scholarship with a strong ideological sentiment.

Librarians, the Gathering: Designing and Publicizing a Personal Librarian Program | Peer to Peer Review

Alfred University Librarians in group drawing as fantasy characters

Beginning in December 2013, librarians at Alfred University, NY, began discussing the possibility of creating a Personal Librarian Program, inspired by the work of librarians at places like Drexel University and Yale University’s Medical Library. We have always encouraged students to seek out a librarian for research assistance; now we wanted to add a human touch, providing a name and face for students encountering the intimidating task of using a college library for the first time. The librarian trading card programs of other libraries–such as Penn State and the University of Rochester–gave us the idea of creating unique cards and personas for each librarian. We decided to take the trading card idea, give it a fantasy roleplaying spin, and use these new “Magic: the Gathering”-esque cards to help connect students to their librarians and publicize the program. With this, “Librarians, the Gathering” was born.

Between Pressure & Promise: Where hyperlocal meets the big picture | Editorial

RebeccaWebEdit2015

Trend watching is always fun, but it becomes an annual exercise when the New Year arrives and outfits large and small seize the moment to attempt to encapsulate the forces at work in their spheres. With the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting held so early this year, the 2016 trends deep dive dovetailed, for me, with the many conversations I had in Boston, which as usual ranged from essentially functional to highly aspirational, pinging between today’s pressures and tomorrow’s promise. It struck me that our collective work balances in that space, sometimes more precariously than others.

When You Can’t Lead Like Dan Price | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

Library jobs tend to be low paying. Leading in the non-profit education sector gives leaders little leeway or discretionary power to raise salaries. Learn what leaders should know about motivating staff.

Conducting Small-Scale Usability Studies | Field Reports

jason simon_400x400

We knew there were problems with our library website at Fitchburg State University (FSU). Users either couldn’t find what they wanted or were unaware of the site’s existence. This was particularly a problem owing to the limited number of librarians available to assist. While there was some consensus among librarians regarding these design problems, there was little agreement as to how these problems could be ­addressed. We decided that usability testing was needed before making changes, but we didn’t have the budget to develop an expensive usability lab with one-way mirrors, sophisticated eye-movement testing devices and the like. Despite this, with a little creativity, we were able to design a solid and reliable usability study with limited resources.

New Opportunities in Learning Experience Curation | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Academic librarians are campus experts when it comes to curation, from books to data. Is there a new opportunity on the rise in the field of learning experience curation?

Feedback: Letters to LJ, January 2016 Issue

A rallying call for sustainability, highlighting Texas libraries, and more letters to the editor from the January 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.