March 6, 2015

Coffee Cup Stories | Programs That Pop

ljx150101webProgramsPop

Espresso culture arrived a bit late in Parkes, New South Wales (NSW), as urban trends often do in Australian country towns. Yet sometimes it’s possible for a small community to outpace the zeitgeist. In ours, we decided to connect the community to libraries and literacy through coffee.

Top 10 Academic Library Issues for 2015 | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

The beginning of the year brings many “top” lists for what to look for in 2015. So far there’s not much predicting for what looks big for the academic library world. Here’s a shot at it.

What’s Your Pitch? | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

Speaking here and there, I’ve logged a few airline miles over the years and visited some pretty cool places. A short while ago, I was coming back from the New York Library Association conference, flying from Albany to Chicago, and I was seated next to a friendly young man who asked me what I did for a living.

The Long Good Fight: Libraries at the heart of intellectual freedoms | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

Librarians and libraries are essential to discourse about intellectual freedoms. Now we have more work to do in light of violent efforts to curtail such rights, perhaps most notably the January 7 attack on the offices of Paris’s weekly Charlie Hebdo. For me, these events brought our work to date into high relief but also intensified a sense of urgency about what librarians can do to defend a richer understanding of the value of freedom of inquiry and expression.

Can We Strengthen our Fragile Public Domain? | Peer to Peer Review

Kevin L. Smith

Each year the copyright community celebrates January 1 as “Public Domain Day.” That is because a convenient fiction included in most nations’ copyright laws says that if a work’s term of protection expired during the previous year, it officially enters the public domain on the following January 1st. Instead of having to figure out the exact day of an author’s death, and having different works enter the public domain each day, we just save them all up, so that all the works whose term expired in 2014 (i.e., all works whose authors died 70 years earlier, in 1944) entered the public domain on New Year’s Day 2015. At least, they did in most other countries, but not in the U.S.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, February 1, 2015 Issue

A French librarian’s response to the Charlie Hebdo shooting, transactional versus transformational, and more letters to the editor from the February 1, 2015, issue of Library Journal

MARC, Linked Data, and Human-Computer Asymmetry | Peer to Peer Review

Dorothea Salo

I had to put together the introductory lecture for my “XML and Linked Data” course early this time around, because I’ll be out of town for the first class meeting owing to a service obligation. Since I’m starting with linked data instead of XML this time, I found myself having to think harder about the question nearly every student carries into nearly every first-class meeting: “why should I be here?” Why, among all the umpty-billion things a library school could be teaching, teach linked data? Why does it matter?

Change for Researchers’ Sake | Not Dead Yet

Cheryl LaGuardia

If there’s one word I’d choose as the single most repeated term in libraries over the course of my career (thus far) it would be “change.” And that word has usually had a good connotation for me, since I’ve always figured that if you’re going to change something, you’re going to change it for the better. But now… I’m not so sure.

Trying Too Hard For Relevance | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Academic librarians would agree that keeping themselves front and center in the minds of their community members is a high priority. Staying relevant is a good thing. But is it possible to go too far?

Worth the Price: Reflecting on the Problem of “Free” | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

“When a library goes out for a vote, the librarians shift from being partners in education, skills building, personal enrichment, and community identity. We turn into the Tax Man,” write political action committee EveryLibrary’s John Chrastka and Rachel Korman in their take on 2014 referenda. This predicament is true for all libraries, but it is especially pointed for libraries that struggle at the polls.