October 22, 2016

Usability and Desirability | The User Experience


Spend five minutes brainstorming—or looking around your library—and I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with a list of ten things that aren’t as easy as they could be. Common library pain points include the OPAC, computer access, printing, self-check interfaces, locating items, and wayfinding quirks. Ironing out these wrinkles is important because making our libraries easier for people to use improves their experiences.

A Non-Partisan Political Party | Programs that Pop

Debate Watch Party at Johnson County Public Library

The Johnson County Library, KS, hosted its first Debate Watch Party in 2012, but for the 2016 election the Library’s Civic Engagement Committee wanted to make sure the event was really memorable. On September 26, 2016, we watched the debate with 135 excited and engaged library patrons over pizza and popcorn. In order to make the event as robust as possible we created a more social feel: we had tables with table cloths set up cafe style to encourage interactions between patrons who might have differing views and interests. We provided live fact checking, debate bingo, and partnered with the League of Women Voters to help with on-site voter registration and information about the voting process.


Sustainability: Each Choice Tells Our Story | Designing the Future


I’ve been working hard to ­ensure libraries understand that sustainability involves far more than “going green.” Embracing the Triple Bottom Line definition of sustainability helps libraries think holistically about the environmental, economic, and social aspects of their library and community. Nonetheless, libraries have a lot of work to do on the “going green” side of things.

Maximum Marketing: Connecting the community, creating and conveying impact | Editorial


Libraries and LEGO have gone together for ages, but libraries made of LEGO bricks are much more rare. So when I received a box containing a little library constructed of LEGO bricks, it got my attention. That alone is a win for any marketing initiative—getting someone to tune in. Good marketing is hard to do, and harder for organizations such as libraries that do so much already with limited resources. When it’s done right, however, both the community and the library benefit.

Library Leaders Ignore Organizational Politics at Their Own Risk | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

Do we do ourselves a disservice when we believe that hard work and playing by the rules are enough to be a successful leader? As leaders, do we hurt the library when we fail at institutional politics?


Looking Forward | Office Hours


This year, 2016, marks my tenth year as an LIS professor. I’ve witnessed some big transitions in our field, with more to come. What will LIS education look like in another 20 or 30 years? How will we be teaching the core values of a 200-plus-year-old profession while also providing insights into information use in the year 2046?

Feedback: Letters to LJ, September 1, 2016 Issue

Fostering feedback, questions for senators, rerouting reference, and more letters to editor from the September 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Shakespeare Celebration: A Town-Gown Collaboration | Peer to Peer Review

Student docent in action at Missouri's Kansas City Public Library First Folio exhibit

Kansas City Public Library, the lone site in the state of Missouri to host a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio, worked with a local university on a for-credit course to prepare student docents.


Designing Our Future | Editorial


At 140, Library Journal looks ahead, at what’s coming for our communities, and at the sophisticated ways today’s leaders are sculpting more nimble organizations to manage the challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

Take Out the Books | The User Experience


The Inter-Faith Council (IFC) in Chapel Hill, NC, in fall 2015 opened the doors to its new residential men’s shelter, the Community House. Included in the new building was a room designated as the shelter’s library. Seemingly within minutes of its existence, generous book donations had filled the small space, but the residents didn’t use it. When Stephani Kilpatrick, residential director of IFC, asked if the Chapel Hill Public Library (CHPL) would help turn this space into something more useful, we jumped at the chance.