August 20, 2017

Asking for More: Four New Approaches to Community Engagement | Editorial

Ask not what you can do but what your community members can—when they’re effectively engaged. That was one of the messages I heard at the recent Next Library conference in Aarhus, Denmark. This small and intense global convening brought me many new ideas, among them the insight that we may be selling short the people our libraries serve by not asking enough of them. Think of it as volunteerism, flipped and multiplied.

One of the Toughest Leadership Jobs: The College Presidency | Leading from the Library

An uptick in a number of college presidents leaving their positions early on, along with two new reports on the skills necessary to be an effective college leader, shed some light on what it takes to lead a complex organization.

The Chatty Librarians: Podcasting | Field Reports

Library staff are the folks who love to talk about books. The more people we reach and can inspire, the happier we are. We also love to talk about libraries and their place in our society and share ideas about how to make libraries a better place for our users.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, June 1, 2017 Issue

Speaking up in Evanston, a crash course in library politics, and more letters to the editor from the June 1, 2017 issue of Library Journal.

Formula for Success | Office Hours

How do we “build a librarian” for 21st-century information work? It’s an ongoing discussion in libraries and LIS programs that has many sides and a range of opinion. Some argue that while library school offers the foundations, theories, and service concepts of the profession, on-the-job experience seasons the information professional for doing the work. I would argue it is a mix of all of these things and more.

What Academic Librarians Can Learn from Retail’s Meltdown | From the Bell Tower

For many years the newspaper industry served as the cautionary tale for libraries. But as even the biggest brick-and-mortar stores fall, retail may be an even better example for libraries looking for new ways to provide a better experience for community members.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, May 15, 2017 Issue

Risking the status quo, building a family library tradition, and more letters to the editor from the May 15, 2017 issue of Library Journal.

The Empathy Builders: A More Compassionate World Through Stories | Editorial

When was the last time you read beyond your comfort zone—whether in point of view, genre, or format? Graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang has focused on doing just that from his platform as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, a position to which he was named in early 2016. It’s a cause that’s natural for libraries to promote to patrons but also for each of us to consider in our own approach to our personal and professional reading.

Listening to the Young: Be Open-Minded To the Next Generations | Blatant Berry

A late-night argument with my son Tom and a brief discussion with Christian Zabriskie, who wrote the letter “Condescending!” in this month’s Feedback, set me ruminating on the way our perspectives change as we age.

Bookmobile for a Day | Programs That Pop

The Lane Library at Armstrong State University (ASU) does not have a bookmobile, but on April 12, four librarians fashioned one out of a golf cart for National Bookmobile Day. The location was the entire ASU campus in Savannah. The weather was perfect, with a high of 79°.