April 15, 2014

It Can’t Hurt to Ask—or Can it? | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

What lessons can academic librarians take away from “W,” who negotiated for a tenure-track position thinking there’d be no harm in asking for more—but in fact it did a lot of harm?

The Battle over Library Spaces. Part 1: Saying Yes and Saying No | Peer to Peer Review

Rick Anderson

In academic libraries, there seems to be growing concern about the problem of space—not only a lack of it in our library buildings, though that is a problem for many of us, but also a concern that the spaces we do have are going to be (or already are) taken over by campus entities and programs that are related only tangentially, if at all, to library services. I’m convinced that this concern is valid, and that it should actually be more widespread than it currently is.

Open Access as Undergraduate Pedagogy | Backtalk

Open Access (OA) is usually associated with academic scholarship and its relationship to the “paywall” by proponents and critics alike. It is essential to consider the question of OA not only in terms of its impact on publishers and scholars, but in terms of its teaching and learning potential for students and educators.

Learning to Connect the Dots | Leading From the Library

Great leaders have some talents that can’t be quantified and may be more intuitive than learned. Among them, the great ones have an ability to connect separate pieces of information to form a useful pattern. But there may be ways to get better at that.

Leading the Change Home | Insights and Outcomes

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When librarian Elke Bruton from the State Library of Oregon (pictured) and four of her colleagues attended Lead the Change! Oregon at Portland’s Central Library in April 2013, they were told they should give a report when they got back. But, she tells LJ, “We said, we don’t want to do that. Out of context, it doesn’t mean anything.” Instead, the team met to digest their own takeaways and turn them into training for their ­coworkers.

Starting from Scratch | Design4Impact

Margaret Sullivan (l.) and Roberta Bibbins visit New York City’s Children’s Museum of the Arts, mining nontraditional sites for ideas for Richland Library (inset, top) and a new design framework (inset, bottom). Large photo by Rebecca T. Miller

Richland Library, COLUMBIA, SC, has been making steady, thoughtful progress toward transforming its library space for some time, even though the building is not yet designed. What it’s redesigning first is the design process itself. The goal: to activate the library anew.

A Genius Idea | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

The Librarian Shaming tumblr highlights anonymous “confessions” from our field. Some are humorous, some shocking. Some will make you think and maybe reconsider assumptions. This shameful confession perked me up when I discovered it: “I want to replace all librarians with tech people with great customer service skills and teaching ability. I want the library to have its own Genius Bar.” While a bit narrow in focus, this statement resonates on an instinctive level with me as an LIS educator.

All Together Now: These 50 Leaders Showcase the Profession | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

When LJ revealed the first group of Movers & Shakers back in 2002, we knew we were onto something special. This Class of 2014 brings the total cohort to 650. Reading about them together is like taking a whirlwind survey of the expansive potential and impact of library work. Together, they make an exciting case for the profession.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, March 15, 2014 Issue

Letters to the editor from Library Journal’s March 15, 2014, issue, including commentary on ALA and Reunifying Librarianship, The Weeding War, and more.

Professional Development: What’s it to You? | Not Dead Yet

Cheryl LaGuardia

The phrase, “professional development” is used liberally by librarians. It’s used so liberally and in so many different contexts that I’m not really sure just what it is anymore. Is it getting yet another degree? Publishing in the literature? Participating in the life of your community? Given that most performance evaluations involve assessing an individual’s success in developing professionally, I think it’s a concept we all want, and need, to understand.