April 16, 2014

The Lever Initiative: Taking a Stand To Change the World | Peer to Peer Review

Barbara Fister

The first phase of the Lever Initiative is nearly complete, so it seems a good time to share what we’ve learned. In 2010, I sent an email to a group of liberal arts college library directors suggesting a crazy idea: what if we jointly investigated the possibility of starting an open access press? We formed a task force to explore the idea. The next step, should we decide to go forward, will be to explore what exactly we might do and how we would fund it.

Employers Want Workplace-Ready Grads, but Can Higher Ed Deliver? | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

A new survey reveals a wide gap between provosts and business leaders when it comes to judging college students’ readiness for the workplace. What can academic librarians take away from the controversy?

Feedback: Letters to LJ, March 1, 2014 Issue

Letters to the editor from the March 1 issue of LJ.

Midwinter Murmurs | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

Despite what appeared to be high registration for the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association (ALA) in Philadelphia this January, we heard low rumblings of discontent. These comments were usually voiced late in the night at the parties and barroom gatherings. Much said at such gatherings never moves into the formal deliberations of ALA legislation. That is too bad. Some of it deserves attention and might even help ALA remain as strong as it is today.

Beyond “Designwashing” | The User Experience

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Finding examples of bad user experience (UX) is like shooting fish in a barrel. And while there can be value in pointing out flawed designs—“Hey, look at this example, and don’t do this!”—posting examples of good UX might be more valuable. Regardless, I was so struck with what I saw at the post office recently that I feel compelled to write about it.

DIY One Book at Sacramento PL | One Cool Thing

POE-TRY Top: Sacramento PL’s custom-printed anthology. Bottom: Bus shelter advertising helped the library reach a new audience

Lots of libraries run a One Book, One Community communitywide reading program. But we only know of one that published the book itself: ­Sacramento Public Library, CA. The library didn’t just promote One Book to its core audience of already-active patrons; it reached out with some very unconventional, award-winning marketing.

Measuring Outcomes | Design4Impact

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Whether a library is designing a building or a program, the first premise of designing for impact is figuring out what impact you’re trying to make and how you’re going to assess whether that impact is occurring. One of the most common buzzwords in librarianship today is “outcomes, not outputs.” In other words, measuring not quantitative metrics of what libraries do, such as circulation or visits, but what impact those activities have on the lives of their patrons.

Bold on Literacy: Pulling together to create a literate nation |Editorial

Rebecca Miller

Grappling with the literacy gap has long been at the heart of library work, and several conversations I had at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia got me thinking that we need to be more creative about how we address this persistent problem. Then, the Turn the Page initiative rolling out in New Orleans hit my email inbox, and it struck me as a fresh and much bolder strategy.

Caring…Just Enough | Not Dead Yet

Cheryl LaGuardia

Just how much should you care about your library job? Many, if not most, of the librarians I have known during my (pretty long) career have been passionate about their work. But seldom is any issue in a library so straightforwardly obvious to all that there is universal agreement. So what do you do when decisions are made with which you don’t agree, or when services and policies are put in place that you don’t like, or when they’re not put in place when you fervently believe in them? I remember the options described in my library school administration course: you can disagree in private, but you need to agree in public. If you find that you cannot agree in public, then you need to move on. And those choices make good professional sense—but I’m wondering how many of us are able to do that.

What You Need to Know About the Other “Open” Week | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Open Access Week is an event with which academic librarians are not only familiar, but in which many participate by organizing campus events. There’s another week that celebrates openness that needs their attention. Open Education Week takes place March 10–15.