February 9, 2016

Attending To the Whole Student: Higher Ed’s 2016 Trend | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

American higher education still struggles with low participation and graduation rates. Colleges and universities are experimenting with new student success efforts that look at the whole student. Academic librarians can support these holistic approaches.

A Win for All: With ESSA, Libraries Make Solid Gains | Editorial

RebeccaWebEdit2015

Librarians have MUCH to be proud of in the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The long-awaited rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA, most recently also known as No Child Left Behind) sailed though both the Senate and House to arrive in front of President Obama, making it one of the few signs of functional bipartisanship in a rough year for getting stuff done on the hill. As the president signed ESSA into law on December 10, he referred to its arrival as “a Christmas miracle.”

Feedback: Letters to LJ, December 2015 Issue

Educate about guns, don’t forget the not-yet employed, short fiction for libraries, and more letters to the December 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Idealism Reawakened: A former student rejuvenates an old editor | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

One of the joys of teaching is reconnecting with students years later as they pursue their careers. I recently had lunch and a long discussion with Patti Foerster, who had been a student a decade ago in my class at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library & Information Science, River Forest, IL.

Three Questions to Ask and Answer Every Day | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

Finding fulfillment in the workplace is no easy task. Leaders and library workers should routinely ask three questions to create the library environment they and their colleagues will want to come to every day.

Linux Privacy Essentials | Field Reports

Linux Penguin Logo

Providing Internet access to the public has come to be an important service, but it can be quite a challenge to do so in a secure, cost-effective way. Maintaining patron privacy on a shared, public computer is one of the problems that librarians face every day. My solution was to switch to an open source (OS) platform for our patron computing.

Bringing Boston In | Design4Impact

Bright colors transform BPL’s Brutalist Johnson Building.
Photo ©Robert Benson Photography

The average age of users in the newly renovated second floor of Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Johnson Building has come down at least a decade, and it’s easy to see why. Philip Johnson’s massive addition to BPL’s iconic Beaux-Arts style McKim Building opened in 1972. According to the BPL website, the requests for the exterior were that the building should “observe the existing roof line of the McKim Building, and to use material (Milford granite) that would harmonize with the exterior of the existing Central Library building.” The result was a Brutalist monolith, experimental in structure and stark in aesthetic.

Markers of Quality: The Role of Librarians in Everyday Life Information Literacy | Peer to Peer Review

Leslie Stebbins

This all started when my teenage son reported that Adam Sandler has Ebola. He saw it trending on Facebook. I sighed inwardly and asked if he had looked at the source of the information. Being the son of a librarian he quickly said: “Yes! CNN.COM.”

Bookstore or College Store: Building a Relationship | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

College bookstores are evolving for a future that is based less on textbooks and more on supporting the course material ecosystem, campus services, and merchandise. When it comes to textbook issues, academic librarians and the campus bookstore should work together to give students affordable solutions.

From Patchwork to Network: Taking a wide view on infrastructure | Editorial

RebeccaWebEdit2015

I’ve been thinking a lot about libraries as infrastructure and why we—as voters and taxpayers—don’t demand that our dollars be used for their upkeep and refurbishment to meet changing needs and help spur community growth. Libraries usually do well at the polls, and this year is no exception, with the majority of bonds passing. The local nature of libraries obscures the larger view: a varied patchwork of support for a national treasure. Several things have me thinking there may be a way to reshape the local conversation against the national backdrop.