February 25, 2017

Introducing VR | Field Reports

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To support the changing needs of faculty and students researching mass media, popular culture, and video games, the University of North Texas (UNT) Media Library, Denton, began developing a game collection in 2009. This collection first included console games and in-house access to gaming PCs and then grew to include tabletop games in 2010. Because virtual reality (VR) headsets and devices are a natural fit, we included VR equipment on our wish list until 2015, when we finally had funding for an Oculus Rift DK2 ($350).

A Unified Voice: Confronting an Assault on Information | Editorial

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I wrote recently that the rate of media illiteracy is the information crisis of our time (“Faked Out,” School Library Journal, 1/17, p. 6), but now that very real issue has nonetheless been trumped by a full-on deliberate assault on the flow of information—from journalism and scientific research to dissemination via social media and traditional channels. There is no such thing as an alternate fact, but there is certainly an alternate reality: a chilling, censorial, obfuscating one being offered as a threatening new normal by the new federal administration in the first days and weeks of 2017.

ALA Goes Looking for a Leader | Leading From the Library

Steven Bell

There’s no debate that it will be hard to replace the American Library Association (ALA)’s current Executive Director (ED). But there’s plenty of debate over the next ED’s qualifications. Should the MLS be required? Or do we look for the best association leader we can find?

Feedback: Letters to LJ, January 2017 Issue

Numbers point toward an amazingly inclusive society, in praise of Millennial computer knowledge, considering the individuals, and more letters to editor from the January 1, 2017 issue of Library Journal.

Library Experts Weigh in On Next Register of Copyrights

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In the wake of the October 29 resignation of Maria Pallante, the former Register of Copyrights, the Library of Congress (LC) has put out a call to the public for input on the expertise needed by the next Register of Copyrights. (On January 17, Pallante will join the Association of American Publishers as president and CEO). The survey, posted on the LC website on December 16, invites the public to answer a series of questions about the knowledge, skills, abilities, and priorities that the incoming Register should possess.

Just One Student but He Sent a Message | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Higher education workers strongly believe in its value. So when people denigrate it, that creates some consternation. What does one student’s inappropriate gesture say about the state of higher education?

Love Literacy in Libraries | Programs That Pop

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Cassandra Black met her husband online, inspiring her and colleague Mary Frances Frayne to put on an online dating workshop in February 2016 at the Belmont Library, CA. At the time, Black served as teen services librarian and Frayne as community services librarian. The program was geared mostly to seniors, who dominate Belmont’s classes.

Adopt or Adapt? | Office Hours

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“I already feel behind. I’m not an early adopter and do not want to be. Is there a place for those not drawn to the newest and shiniest tech?” read an email from an LIS student expressing concern about finding her way through the discussions and applications of emerging technologies in the field. There is a place for you, I replied, but it requires shifting perspective a bit and looking beyond technology.

The Bourne Effect: Expanding Library Influence | Editorial

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San José’s Jill Bourne, LJ’s Librarian of the Year 2017, has accomplished so much in her career as her roles (and her innovation within them) grew, from time in Seattle through San Francisco and in 2013 to the San José Public Library (SJPL) as city librarian. There she has turned an anemic system into a vital, valued, and expanding city resource. If that were not remarkable enough, even more exciting is all that lies ahead for Bourne—and points the way for the rest of the profession.

Becoming an Open Library Leader | Leading from the Library

Steven Bell

Librarians are leaders when they advocate for a culture of openness in their organizations and communities. Whether it’s open source, open access, or open educational resources, we support the principles of openness. What does open leadership look like?