An NC welcome, UK volunteer power, floating away, and more letters to editor from the May 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
At a high energy midtown New York gala, the UJA-Federation of New York honored Steve Potash, president and CEO of leading library ebook distributor OverDrive, Inc., and Stuart S. Applebaum, emeritus executive vice president of Corporate Communications at Penguin Random House. UJA’s annual Publishing Division Dinner, held May 24, marked the first time the organization has acknowledged someone entirely dedicated to digital content with its celebration of Potash’s contributions.
Why does art in libraries matter? Erinn Batykefer of the Library as Incubator Project (and a 2014 LJ Mover & Shaker) cites public art’s role in promoting creativity. “Visible art in the library space, whether through gallery shows, public art or performance, or hands-on workshops, is incredibly important in terms of the ‘incubator library’—a space where the right conditions for creative thought and new ideas are protected and promoted,” she tells LJ. “It serves as a visible representation of the connection among information and creativity and innovation…making the library a visible place where creativity is valued and nurtured.” She adds, “Every library, stripped to its barest mission, seeks to connect people with information. Art is information—the product of a creative process and the process itself.”
On May 16, the boards of LYRASIS and DuraSpace dissolved a planned merger that had been announced on January 27. But executives from the not-for-profit library software and service providers told LJ that four months of formal due diligence and analysis had helped members and leadership from both organizations become more familiar with one another, setting the stage for future collaboration.
The 2016 one-day conference of the Library Association of the City University of New York (LACUNY), “Race Matters: Libraries, Racism, and Antiracism,” held May 20 at Brooklyn College, was ambitious in scope and informative in practice. Speakers, panel discussions, facilitated dialogs, and round tables took a broad look at academic librarianship through a lens of critical race theory, examining issues of race as they exist in the larger system of social and economic control, and—with the enthusiastic participation of attendees from across the United States and Canada—investigating ways to effect change in ways both large and small.
Heather Moorefield-Lang has witnessed the face of freshman terror when the first-year students walk into the college library at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, are confronted by two million books, and don’t know where to start. As an assistant professor at the School of Library and Information Sciences, she knows that relieving that angst is her job.
Thanks to the joint efforts of a student group and university librarians at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, with a push from the American Library Association (ALA), the Library of Congress (LC) announced on March 22 that it would remove the term “Illegal alien” from the LC Subject Heading (LCSH) system, replacing it with “Noncitizen” and, to describe the act of residing without authorization, “Unauthorized immigration.” Per LC’s executive summary, the proposed change will be posted on a “Tentative List” for comments “not earlier than May, 2016.” Ultimately the heading “Illegal aliens” will become a “former heading” reference, cross-referenced with the new terminology; other headings that include the phrase will also be revised or canceled. This decision currently stands despite recent backlash: members of the U.S. House of Representatives have voted to attach language to a funding bill which would require LC to switch back to the original term, but the bill is not yet law.
Update: The Library of Congress has posted a survey where the public can share their views on the proposed changes, and will accept comments through July 20.
The safety of staff and patrons is a top priority for all libraries, with managers striving to maintain a welcoming and secure environment for all who wish to make use of the space. Library systems nationwide enact security policies tailored to their respective communities and resources. Although these vary from library to library, librarians must strike a balance between offering a broad open door policy for all community members and ensuring a safe, secure environment for staff and patrons.
For a primer on managing disruptive patrons, knowing when to get law enforcement involved, and how to form the relationships that make that call easier, we spoke to Steve Albrecht. A retired police officer and security consultant, Albrecht is the author of Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities (ALA Editions). (For more from Albrecht, see Playing It Safe: Author Steve Albrecht Tackles Security Measures for Libraries.)
Dealing with patrons who break library rules is no one’s favorite part of the job. But establishing clear policies and penalties, and a consistent system for tracking misbehavior, is the first step toward creating an environment in which staff feel confident when enforcing rules and patrons understand the consequences of misconduct.
Not bound by rules. Changing daily. Filled with life, sound, art, and inspiration. A vision of the public library woven with experience, involvement, empowerment, and a healthy dose of true innovation brought gasps of joy, a few tears, and much more to a standing room only crowd at the Public Library Association conference in Denver. The planning process and insights from the creation of Dokk1, the public library in Aarhus, Denmark, shared by Marie Østergård, project leader, Dokk1; Aarhus Public Libraries; and Pam Sandlian Smith, director, Anythink Libraries, Thornton, CO, can inform library planning of all types, shapes, and sizes and should be considered seriously by those of us teaching and developing LIS curricula.
Thursday, June 9th, 2016, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM PT
Join us on June 9th as we cover the various elements that come together to create a book that kids will love, whether it’s the writing, the illustrations, or another bit of magic. Our panelists will bring different perspectives from the worlds of publishing and libraries for a discussion that will offer a great deal of combined experience in evaluating children’s books and will help you increase your skills and confidence in choosing the best youth titles for your library.
Ivan Gaetz to be Dean of University of Wyoming Libraries, Laramie; Marilynne Robinson to receive Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction; Inga Waite appointed Director, Monterey Public Library, CA; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the May 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
Paper Cloud is something to see, though it’s actually impossible to see it all at once. This “aerial sculpture” by George Peters and Melanie Walker has resonated with me since I saw it in 2014 during a tour of several facilities in the Salt Lake County Libraries (SLCL) system. The installation flies, floats, and wends its way through the West Jordan Library and the library’s Viridian Event Center, elevating the spaces and the people using them.