November 24, 2015

Comparing Boomer and Next-Gen Library Leaders: More Common Ground Than Expected | Leading From the Library

Steven Bell

Millennials and Gen-X librarians are moving into leadership positions. In what ways are they different from their Baby Boomer predecessors? OCLC did some research and the results are insightful.

How to Innovate | Future Proof

Scott Steinberg

Even for forward-thinking libraries and librarians, who operate in one of today’s most fast-changing and dynamic fields, concepts like innovation and change management may sometimes seem esoteric. If so, don’t be alarmed: Even the world’s most progressive business schools typically offer precious little training in these increasingly vital subjects. Happily for those operating on the frontlines of leadership or administration though, mastering these concepts—the art of staying ahead of the curve—doesn’t have to be a difficult process. In fact, all it often takes to get ahead and continuously go from strength to strength in today’s hyper-kinetic business world is to stay alert, stay adaptable, and stay amenable to new ideas and strategies. Flexibility is, in short, the essence of future-proofing.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, October 15, 2015 Issue

Comics are not clean-cut, the value of peer mentorship across borders, assessment for liaisons, and more letters to the October 15, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Factors Beyond Our Control | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Layoffs at colleges and universities, once a fairly rare occurrence, are now becoming more commonplace. If you’ve yet to come across a story in your local news about an institution announcing layoffs and cuts, you probably will soon.

Making “Desk” a Four-Letter Word | Backtalk

Maxine Bleiweis

Is the idea of leaving the reference desk really so shocking? Maxine Bleiweis proposes an alternative that will be more satisfying to librarians and patrons.

Where are We Headed? An Unscientific Survey | Not Dead Yet

Word cloud for librarianship

I think we all have ideas about where library work is heading, and, like many others in our profession, I sometimes get asked questions about the field by people who are considering going to library school. After having just had one of those queries the other day, it occurred to me it was time for another of my wholly unscientific one-question surveys.

Linking the Needy to the Needed | Programs That Pop

It’s not unusual for public libraries to host fairs for patrons to find the things they want to know—most often revolving around authors and books. It is also not a rarity for libraries to conduct outreach to homeless and at-risk patrons. Yet Salt Lake City Public Library (­SLCPL) has taken the uncommon step of combining the two. On November 18, 2014, an estimated 400 homeless or at-risk individuals attended the first Project Uplift, a social services information and resource fair coordinated by SLCPL, Salt Lake City government, and Volunteers of America—Utah (VOA).

By the People: The library future resides in users’ perception | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

The history of the public library in America has just been rewritten, and the result provides crucial new tools to help guarantee its future. This new history comes from Wayne A. Wiegand’s new book, Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library (Oxford Univ., Oct. 2015).

Feedback: Letters to LJ, October 1, 2015 Issue

A librarian for LC, apathy a bigger threat, community needs in Berkeley, and more letters to the October 1, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Fewer Dollars, More Sense | Field Reports

SCLS’s Richard Loomis installs a Chromebox in the Bridgewater Library. Photo by Kevin Henegan

Managing library computers for staff and the public can be a daunting task. Keeping track of licenses and equipment and maintaining them can be difficult, especially in a ten-branch system with a couple of hundred machines. But smaller, less expensive computers have been coming on the market lately, and at the Somerset County Library System (SCLS), NJ, we have been using these solutions to assist our staff and patrons with daily functions. Whether it be a Raspberry PI for a digital sign, a Chromebook/Box/Base for the public or staff to use, or a ZBOX for checkout, they all cost less, run faster, and work just as well as their costly counterparts.