June 28, 2017

Teach Library Politics: Missing and Neglected Content in LIS Programs | Blatant Berry

My alma mater, Boston’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, just asked me to complete a survey on what ought to be in its LIS curriculum. The survey’s hierarchy descended in priority from “core,” the things every graduate should have studied. There were five or six levels offered, but I only used the top three: “core,” “very important,” and “important.” The questions covered nearly everything I would have tried to fit into the crowded LIS curriculum.

Tolerance Is Not Good Enough | BackTalk

In early 2017, a call for chapter proposals began circulating on library Listservs for a forthcoming book titled Tolerance: Social Justice and Activism in Libraries, Moving Beyond Diversity to Action. The aim of the book is to discuss how librarians can take diversity, social justice, and social change to the next level and promote tolerance in libraries. As a librarian, scholar, and educator who specializes in issues of diversity and social justice, and how to integrate them into LIS pedagogy and education, I was instantly taken aback by the use of the word tolerance. Tolerance and diversity are not words I regularly put together; in fact, I view them in opposition to each other.

Fire in the Belly: Powering Advocacy with Passion | Editorial

The Urban Librarians Unite (ULU) conference in Brooklyn last month clarified the need for library advocates to engage in new ways, expand the network of library support, and focus on tactics for further establishing libraries’ value in our disrupted culture. Outcry over the destruction of so many publicly funded cultural institutions is almost deafening. We must find ways to make our voices resonate.

Leading a Difficult Conversation: There is Help | Leading from the Library

A tough skill for leaders to master is the art of the difficult conversation. Good leaders know how to manage the conversation to achieve a positive resolution. Here’s a new source of guidance for those who want to improve.

A Little Light Reading | One Cool Thing

Depending on where they live, up to ten percent of Americans suffer from some form of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In their role as community spaces, some libraries are helping by providing light therapy lamps, the standard treatment for SAD.

Subversive Librarians | Sustainability

Overnight we went from a president who declared climate change as the single greatest threat to future generations to a president, and Senate, who appointed a climate change denier to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Libraries in Balance | Office Hours

One of my students was telling me about her public library job: “It just breaks my heart some days…. There is such a disconnect between the technologies our management wants us to explore and implement and what our patrons need and want. Our patrons are the city’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Feedback: Letters to LJ, April 1, 2017 Issue

In search of open discourse, dreaming of drones, a thank-you note, and more letters to editor from the April 1, 2017 issue of Library Journal.

Knight’s Move: Investing in Today—and Tomorrow | Editorial

Libraries have long benefited from major donors that infuse dollars as well as strategic perspective at key junctures. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has stepped into that role with signature energy, most clearly illustrated by the Knight News Challenges, including two focused on libraries. By their very nature these call on libraries to speed new ideas to address big needs, and the robust response from the library arena has surfaced and celebrated a range of creativity.

Information for Immigrants: Still Essential After All These Decades | Blatant Berry

Fears and hopes about immigrants and immigration have always been part of American society and politics. They have been manifest in many ways, some receptive and welcoming, others alarming and rejecting. While a host of obstacles, prejudices, and hostile forces are arrayed against immigrants, the public library is still one of the vital agencies making entry into our nation easier and more effective.