I’ve been thinking a lot about libraries as infrastructure and why we—as voters and taxpayers—don’t demand that our dollars be used for their upkeep and refurbishment to meet changing needs and help spur community growth. Libraries usually do well at the polls, and this year is no exception, with the majority of bonds passing. The local nature of libraries obscures the larger view: a varied patchwork of support for a national treasure. Several things have me thinking there may be a way to reshape the local conversation against the national backdrop.
Sticking up for desk service, long live the MLIS, continuing the Downers Grove conversation, and more letters to the editor from the November 15, 2015 issue of Library Journal.
Can I take this home? is a question I would hear every day while in the Hotspot at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s (FLP) Village of Arts and Humanities. The “thing” in question was a MaKey MaKey, and the answer was always, “No, but you can take home what you are plugging it into!” Working with youth aged seven to 18 years old we were creating computer-connected mazes with Play-Doh, homemade Dance Dance Revolution dance-pads using copper tape, and novel game controllers operated by licking ice cream.
I must admit my eyebrows raised when one of my students in the Hyperlinked Library class shared a job description in our discussion devoted to emerging ideas and trends. Trenton Public Library (TPL), NJ, was looking for an “Innovation Catalyst Librarian.” The interest grew as my students dissected the duties and requirements, comparing their own experiences and suitability for such a position. I have seen a lot of cutting-edge job descriptions before, but this one was different.
The library is a liberating place for adults with developmental disabilities in the Springfield–Greene County Library District, MO. Since the Library Station branch stepped up its monthly programming for that underserved population through “Explore,” 40 adults have become faithful attendees, and new agency partners bring clients from as far as 70 miles away.
Great strides have been made in bringing physical accessibility to buildings and public spaces, including libraries, since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990. However, even after 25 years, much work still needs to be done in the area of providing persons with disabilities full access to these same spaces and resources, including digital counterparts.
The ALA’s new public awareness initiative is a savvy approach to the broad challenge libraries face as they continue to evolve and must communicate what they actually contribute to their communities. Much more than talk, Libraries Transform is an actionable toolkit you should put to work now to help your constituency understand the real life of libraries.
In the information age, we are exposed to a vast number of terms, abbreviations, and acronyms too numerous to understand and learn. Some are relevant to our personal and professional lives, while others are not. The challenge is figuring out which ones are. This paper describes one individual’s experience in a new position in developing strategies to manage the overwhelming number of acronyms he was exposed to in his first year.