Let libraries be “libraries,” the Tyranny of Positivity, “double reading,” and more letters to editor from the April 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
It’s easy to find advice on how to mentor a Millennial, but what if you are a Millennial, and you are the mentor? It’s bound to start happening. As of 2015, Millennials make up the largest proportion of the workforce. The oldest members of that generation are turning 34 and moving into management positions. Those of us who have moved into management have had help, and we should send the ladder back down.
Children are naturally curious about the world around them. Science programs and activities are a great way to capture their interest and encourage the development of early literacy skills. Many science activities and materials are easy to incorporate into library programs; you may find that you’re already including elements that increase STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) knowledge, for example, talking about color mixing or identifying and playing with shapes.
North Carolina’s adoption of the so-called “bathroom bill” (House Bill 2, also known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act) on March 23 has been rightly denounced for building bias and discrimination into state law and barring cities from extending protections for transgender individuals. It should go without saying that wholesale bigotry against members of a group is unacceptable and unconstitutional. This legislation is a travesty and an assault on our civil liberties.
A common punch line in the librarian oeuvre pertains to the number of cats a particular librarian may own. We all know that librarians are dog people, too, as evidenced by the multiple Facebook photos I see of various canine biblio-companions. I am sure librarians also keep various other mammals, reptiles, and birds, but there is a natural fit between our love of four-legged friends and our calling to the profession.
As a reference librarian, I’m keenly following developments in the Open Access (OA) movement, because I (along with all of you folks also working with researchers) am aware of how journal and serial costs have gotten so large and burdensome to libraries that titles must be cut, and thus, access to important research is becoming ever more difficult for students, faculty, and other scholars around the world. So I was intrigued when I saw last June that Harvard Library’s Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) had awarded a contract to three individuals—David Solomon, Bo-Christer Björk, and Mikael Laakso—to “write a comprehensive literature review on methods for converting subscription-based scholarly journals to open access.” The OSC calls this the “journal flipping project.” When I heard that the preliminary version of their report, Converting Scholarly Journals to Open Access: A Review of Approaches and Experiences, was available for public comment, I took a look at what it says.
When a library offers balanced information from both poles on local or national issues, reaction from either side can be unpleasant, even hostile, to the library and to library support. It is even worse when the citizens are part of the oldest American movement, the one that asserts that all government is evil—even public agencies such as the library. It is a courageous librarian who delivers facts that offer an opposing view to that one.
Writing simply isn’t simple, fixing fines, a challenge to ALA members, and more letters to editor from the April 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.