December 1, 2015

Linking the Needy to the Needed | Programs That Pop

It’s not unusual for public libraries to host fairs for patrons to find the things they want to know—most often revolving around authors and books. It is also not a rarity for libraries to conduct outreach to homeless and at-risk patrons. Yet Salt Lake City Public Library (­SLCPL) has taken the uncommon step of combining the two. On November 18, 2014, an estimated 400 homeless or at-risk individuals attended the first Project Uplift, a social services information and resource fair coordinated by SLCPL, Salt Lake City government, and Volunteers of America—Utah (VOA).

By the People: The library future resides in users’ perception | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

The history of the public library in America has just been rewritten, and the result provides crucial new tools to help guarantee its future. This new history comes from Wayne A. Wiegand’s new book, Part of Our Lives: A People’s History of the American Public Library (Oxford Univ., Oct. 2015).

Feedback: Letters to LJ, October 1, 2015 Issue

A librarian for LC, apathy a bigger threat, community needs in Berkeley, and more letters to the October 1, 2015 issue of Library Journal.

Fewer Dollars, More Sense | Field Reports

SCLS’s Richard Loomis installs a Chromebox in the Bridgewater Library. Photo by Kevin Henegan

Managing library computers for staff and the public can be a daunting task. Keeping track of licenses and equipment and maintaining them can be difficult, especially in a ten-branch system with a couple of hundred machines. But smaller, less expensive computers have been coming on the market lately, and at the Somerset County Library System (SCLS), NJ, we have been using these solutions to assist our staff and patrons with daily functions. Whether it be a Raspberry PI for a digital sign, a Chromebook/Box/Base for the public or staff to use, or a ZBOX for checkout, they all cost less, run faster, and work just as well as their costly counterparts.

The Livelong Day | Office Hours

Michael Stephens

We spend a lot of time talking about various forms of literacy. Various approaches have risen up and faded quickly—transliteracy, metaliteracy, etc.—but the idea remains: How can everyday folks navigate a continually plugged in, all-access world? I think of these skills as life literacies or simply how we make sense of the world.

Our Triple Bottom Line: It’s Time To Redefine Sustainability | Editorial


Environmentally sound. Socially equitable. Economically feasible. Each of these concepts alone encompasses a worthy goal and each contains a universe of complexity. Considered in tandem, they may just change the face of library sustainability planning. I, for one, am captivated by the potential that they could do just that.

Activate Partners To Grow Circ | Brand Insider


The aim of merchandising is to make each library’s collection as effective as possible. Great merchandising forms the bridge between the library and the patron—it helps readers discover books beyond the best sellers on the holds shelf. The challenge for libraries is that merchandising is a specialty in its own right.

UX Means You | The User Experience


At the end of our 2014 book, Useful, Usable, Desirable: Applying User Experience Design to Your Library, Amanda Etches and I left readers with what we consider to be an important and inspiring ­message: “Every decision we make affects how people experience the library. Let’s make sure we’re creating improvements.”

Credentialing to Establish the Library’s Presence | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

When it comes to providing employers with information about a student’s skill set, the college transcript does a poor job, yet it’s the current standard. New approaches to credentialing could change that—and create an opportunity for academic librarians.

Real-World Barriers: Expanding on a Tradition of Access | Editorial


Libraries are all about access to information in its many forms, and librarians have a long and admirable tradition of striving to increase that access whenever they can. Several recent events have spurred me to think about real-world barriers—visible and invisible—and how seeing them in light of access to the library could influence services.