November 23, 2014

Seeing More Gray in the College Classroom | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Higher education faces a serious decline in its traditional 18-22 population. Having fewer potential students from the traditional demographic segment could have serious implications for funding. One part of the solution—open the doors to a new demographic segment.

Always Doesn’t Live Here Anymore | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

Some of the most creative and flexible librarians I know have been working for more than a few years in libraries. Some of the most inspiring and influential professionals in our field have had distinguished careers and still continue to make a mark on our governance and future. I was lucky to learn about collection development, reference service, and weeding during my public library days from professionals who had worked in the system for multiple decades. These are the same folks who did not shy away from the Internet and its affordances in the mid 1990s.

View from the Top: Susan Hildreth’s insight on collective impact | Editorial

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When President Barack Obama appointed Susan H. Hildreth as director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in 2011, many in the profession knew we were in for a robust four years of activity by that federal agency. Hildreth had already been influencing the library landscape for years in major leadership roles, including time heading major public libraries (San Francisco and Seattle) and the California State Library.

My Salute to Librarians | Backtalk

Warren Adler

From the moment I entered the hushed, sacred precinct of the Brownsville Children’s Library in Brownsville, Brooklyn, back in the mid-1930s, I have been a passionate advocate of the public library. That love affair with libraries inspired a lifetime of heavy patronage in every part of the country I have lived. In my twelve-year stay in Jackson Hole, WY, I helped shepherd our lovely little library from a log cabin, into what is now one of the best modern libraries in the Midwest. I was enormously proud to serve as its president.

Redefining What Discovery Means | Peer to Peer Review

Barbara Fister

A recent Ithaka report by Roger Schonfeld asks “Does Discovery Still Happen in the Library?” My immediate thought was “did it ever?” quickly followed by “why do we assume it should?

Careers for Info Utopia: The optimism of a new semester | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

The beginning of each semester always rejuvenates me. There is nothing more stimulating than those first few sessions with a class of expectant students, arriving with their high energy, curiosity, and desire to participate and impress. My new class at Pratt Institute’s SILS came to New York from all over America and the world. The students range in age from their 20s to their 60s, which has so often been typical of my LIS classes. It is a great privilege and honor to work with them to try to answer the accursed questions that continue to plague our profession.

Bigger on the Inside | Programs That Pop

ALL DRESSED UP Getting in the spirit of Doctor Who Day were staffers (l.–r.) Mary Hearth, Willow Hearth, Aimee Villet, Linda Dyndiuk, and 
Rob Lorino

DOCTOR WHO Day began as an idea for a teen program, but it blossomed to include patrons of all ages, since adults and kids often asked if they could attend the Doctor Who episode screenings that young adult librarian Aimee Villet hosted at the Robbins Library. Library staff in every department were enthusiastic about contributing the needed 75 hours of time for the all-­Saturday program, with episode screenings, trivia, crafts, a costume contest, a fan art gallery, a TARDIS hunt, and a TARDIS photo booth. (TARDIS [time and relative dimension in space] is Dr.Who’s time machine for the uninitiated.)

Feedback: Letters to LJ, October 1, 2014 Issue

Libraries have a product interface problem, is a glut of librarian candidates good or bad for the profession, and more feedback to the October 1, 2014, issue of Library Journal.

Endow a National Digital Library | Backtalk

Only about 12 percent of an average U.S. library budget is for books and other content. Antilibrary zealots will latch onto this statistic eventually, downplaying that libraries are about much more than books. A good proactive response would be a national digital library endowment and separate but allied digital library systems—one for public library patrons, the other mainly for academia, even though everyone could access both. New digital efficiencies could help libraries offer taxpayers even more value than they do now.

Lessons from Swets: Libraries Need Subscription Security | Peer to Peer Review

Kevin L. Smith

I participated in a series of meetings last week to determine how the Duke Libraries would respond to the bankruptcy filing made by subscription agent Swets. We have been through this before, when Faxon/RoweCom failed, and many libraries lost a lot of money. Unfortunately, more money is going to be lost this time around. Perhaps it is time for us to think about how we got into this situation——and how to make sure we never end up back here again.