December 21, 2014

Feedback: Letters to LJ, November 15, 2014 Issue

We need more reviews of self-published books; a report for libraries whose local government doesn’t get it; the bittersweet feelings of retirement, and more letters to the November 15, 2014 issue of Library Journal.

The Off-Site Librarian | One Cool Thing

ON THE TOWN A security camera “captures” a young patron at play (l.); the 100-year-old building 
now stands for library service

When one of the bookmobiles at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library (FVRL), WA, wore out, spending a quarter of a million dollars to buy a new one was not an option. Yet patrons in remote, rural locations in Clark County still needed library service. The innovative solution was the Yacolt Library Express (YLE): a building that is open to the public nearly 70 hours a week, yet staff only spend about ten hours there during the same period.

Class Warfare over an Uncommon Carrier | Peer to Peer Review

Barbara Fister

The president surprised many people when he added his comments to the 4 million submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about whether and how the government should set rules that will shape the future of the Internet. What was surprising was that Obama came out with a short but quite pointed outline of what many of us feel would be exactly the right moves to take. Citizens of all political persuasions have strong feeling about the value of keeping the Internet open. How exactly to do that is what’s tricky. Because simplistic metaphors, such as asking whether Internet access is more like cable TV or like electricity, as a recent New York Times article put it, don’t really work, I thought I’d try and untangle what exactly is under debate.

MLD: Masters in Library Design, Not Science | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

How many LIS program graduates would identify as scientists, ready to conduct experiments and make new discoveries in information theory, practice, and behavior? Probably far fewer than those who get a library job where they practice design.

It’s About Time | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

“I Don’t Have The Time.” Have you said this in a meeting or a discussion with a colleague? Has this rolled off the tongue when confronted with an unexpected change, a new technology, or another initiative? Many of us are stretched to our limits. I applaud the folks I meet who have absorbed more and more duties as staffing patterns have changed. However, I bristle when I hear the “no time” response, because sometimes I think it’s an excuse.

Money Still Talks!: ALA’s endowment must support its values | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

A few weeks ago several events converged to drive home to me the realization that problems of climate change, global warming, carbon emissions, and a fouled environment, already urgent and dangerous, were accelerating so fast that it’s already too late to correct them.

Focus on Relevance: Tell politicians why libraries are vital | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

Not long after Republican Kim Wyman was elected secretary of state of Washington in 2012, she had a meeting with a legislator that set her on a new course. As they began to explore the possibility of rebooting an envisioned but later abandoned Heritage Center project, she was asked, “Are libraries necessary?” It’s a great question. Her response should be a prod to all of us to get out there and make sure our elected officials have the insight into libraries they need to help build and sustain strong funding.

Apples v. Oranges, Why Citations are Needed, and more Feedback

Why sports versus libraries and self versus traditional publishing are not simple comparison, the point of precision in citation, and more Letters to LJ’s November 1, 2014 Issue

NaNoWriMo at Your Library | Programs That Pop

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One popular program at the Corvallis–Benton County Public Library (C-BCPL) last year was our National Novel Writing Month (­NaNoWriMo) series of events, which offered a fun and creative challenge for community members: to write a novel in 30 days. The program was so popular that the library published a collection of writings from many of the participants.

Developing a Service Philosophy | The User Experience

Aaron Schmidt

It takes hard work to create a library that provides good user experience. As convenient as it would be, building an exemplary organization doesn’t happen by waving a wand. Instead, libraries must optimize all of their touch points, develop sane policies, design relevant services, and empower staff to provide members with top-notch ­function.