Lead the Change, now entering its fourth year, has illustrated to us just how deep the need is for leadership development. A 2014 survey of 550-plus Movers & Shakers stressed the need for the entire staff to be up to speed on innovations in libraries and personal leadership.
Once a month, giddy adults come to the Carnegie-Stout Public Library in Dubuque, IA, just before closing time, armed with Nerf blasters. Other patrons stare with curiosity and a little alarm. Once the building is closed, the quiet reference area explodes with noise, excitement, and foam darts. This is our favorite program: Nerf Capture the Flag, open to anyone 18 and older.
One Book, One Community programs are, of course, a staple of public library adult programming. In “One Book, Well Done,” we offered a look at what makes a successful program; in the inaugural One Cool Thing column LJ visited a variation on the theme, the self-published One Book read The Slender Poe, from Sacramento Public Library, CA. Now, another twist: in February, the Chicago Public Library (CPL) launched its One Book, One Chicago (OBOC) Online, becoming, it says, the first public library in the nation to offer free, in-browser, social reading of a full novel.
I recently watched the film “The Monuments Men,” which tells the story the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archive program that was established under the Civil Affairs and Military Government Sections of the Allied armies. This program was tasked to rescue fine art pieces before the Nazis had a chance to destroy or steal them during World War II. Sadly, the program ended in 1946. It is very much needed today.
The future of the American public library is taking shape. I see it in all kinds of libraries. The public, politicians, and local and national media are now noticing the relevance and central role of these libraries. These institutions are delivering a trusted set of up-to-date programs and services and that has earned a far more positive public and political reaction than the one enjoyed by most other agencies of the local, state, and federal governments.
Federal funding for community colleges, the problem of free, and more letters to the editor from the March 1, 2015 issue of Library Journal
A few years ago I went to my optometrist. On hearing I was a librarian, she asked me a fiction reader’s-advisory question. Of course, I’m not a public librarian, or a reference librarian either. Rather than try to explain that to my optometrist, however, I went along with her assumptions about what librarians do by recommending a recent read. It isn’t just optometrists who have narrow notions of what this field encompasses; too often our own notions are barely any broader. This worries me, not least because it doesn’t reflect the variety and opportunity I see in the information professions.
I don’t feel comfortable without a book nearby (a print book, that is). And the older I get, the more books I read at the same time; I’m usually in the midst of two or three. This is no boast, because I’ve religiously avoided reading serious literature ever since the course that required me to read Nausea and The Death of Ivan Illyich in the same week. Now I read mostly mysteries, which I could argue are, in fact, serious literature, but I don’t because then I wouldn’t want to read them anymore. I get a lot of paperbacks from Amazon, especially since I recently discovered how cheaply I can get used paperbacks there (I also get lots of used paperbacks from the Harvard Bookstore in the interest of supporting brick and mortar bookstores). Then one of my favorite mystery writers released a novella only in a Kindle version available through Amazon. I broke down, downloaded the Kindle app to my laptop, bought the novella, and read it online.