October 7, 2015

Prospective Students and the Search For Meaningful Library Data | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

When students and their parents consider their college options they consider many variables, from tuition to aid to amenities. To what extent can access to information about the library have an impact on the decision?

Nurture or Nature? | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

Summer wanes, and it’s back to school for LIS students, their professors, and the folks who support them in so many ways. At graduation ceremonies, we always acknowledge the family members and significant others who help LIS students along the path toward their degrees. Let’s shine a light on the importance of current librarians, administrators, and those who work alongside soon-to-be librarians. Their impact might be just as strong as the support of family and friends.

The Nomophobes Prevail | Not Dead Yet

Cheryl LaGuardia

Thought I’d update you about the dinner I mentioned I was going to at the end of my last column. The occasion was a birthday dinner my friends were holding in a local restaurant for me. I love these folks and enjoy talking with them very much, so as a special birthday present I asked them to turn off their smartphones for the occasion so we could all talk easily.

Welcome to Entrepreneurship U., Part Two | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

It used to be that entrepreneurship was a program in the business school. Now the entire academic institution is adopting an entrepreneurial spirit. How is that reflected in the library’s physical space and development of new services?

The Need To Be Anonymous: Empowering and liberating free expression | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

I’m always surprised when librarians who read LJ complain because we allow anonymous comments to be published or posted. In a message on our Feedback page, Andrea Segall, a retired librarian who worked at the Berkeley Public Library, CA, and is involved in a protest against that library’s current weeding practices and program, takes LJ to task for allowing anonymous comment.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, September 1, 2015 Issue

Fighting invisibility with the rhetoric of education, taking issue with anonymity, critiquing a book review, and more from the September 1, 2015 issue of Library Journal

Positive Signs | The User Experience

Aaron Schmidt

Criticism is necessary when a library aims to evaluate and improve the experience it is providing its members. Before you can start making improvements, you have to know what needs to be improved. This, of course, is no excuse to be negative, mean, accusatory, or defeatist. Criticism can and should be done positively and with good intention. After all, more flies get caught with honey, right?

Library Superbosses Lead By Creating Careers | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

It makes sense. Great bosses create workplaces where staff want to be. Lousy bosses make staff miserable so they quit and go elsewhere and try to recover. What exactly does a superboss do?

Lessons from a Leader’s First Year | Backtalk

A colleague once told me that librarians get into management like penguins falling off an ice floe. While it’s not the most flattering image, it felt a little too apt during my first year as an assistant director. Moving into leadership has been the single most formative experience of my career. It’s also been one of my most difficult professional challenges, and sometimes I still relate all too well to a flailing, flightless bird dropping into icy water.

Rethought & Reincarnated: Grand Valley’s library, the core of campus life | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

It’s easy to see why students want to camp out at the new library at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. I had the opportunity to see it in person last month when I attended the Re-think It: Libraries for a New Age conference on campus. The space itself is incredible—as is the response to the critical questions that drove the design and programming of services delivered at what is now the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons.