It’s been a while since I spoke with the inimitable Kyle K. Courtney, 2015 LJ Mover and Shaker, “Harvard Hero” (for his work on copyright), and the organizer of the Copyright First Responder program at Harvard, among many, many other roles. With Fair Use / Fair Dealing Week upon us (Feb. 22nd – 26th), it seems like a good time to see what developments have taken place in Kyle’s universe since last we chatted in 2013.
In August, Harvard Library opened its User Research Center (URC), where library staff can discuss, design, and implement in-person and device-based user experience research. According to Susan Fliss, Associate University Librarian for Research, Teaching, and Learning and Director and Librarian of Monroe C. Gutman Library, this is the next step in a change in focus for Harvard’s library system. “Over the past several years, Harvard librarians and staff have been investing time in developing skills in anthropological survey design and user testing. While we had many people who were undertaking user design projects, the projects were dispersed across libraries and schools.” By creating a centralized Research Center, Fliss hopes that Amy Deschenes, Library User Experience Specialist, and Kris Markman, Online Learning Librarian, can coordinate usability efforts across all of Harvard’s libraries.
While most academic librarians are familiar with the basics of copyright law, the questions they’re asked are getting more complex. Issues of fair use and open access, MOOCs and repositories, and the push to digitize mean that students and faculty need more guidance on copyright matters than ever. This spring Kyle K. Courtney, Harvard University’s Copyright Advisor, brought together a pilot group of librarians known as Copyright First Responders (CFRs) to address this situation.
In fall 2012, the Harvard Labrary—a temporary “pop-up” space in an empty storefront in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA—was opened as a public gallery for design student projects from the semester-long Library Test Kitchen (LTK) seminar at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
Two library service prototyping spaces, in two very different places, have a remarkable amount in common. Nate Hill runs and operates the 4th Floor in Chattanooga, a large public library loft space operating as a flexible community makerspace and event space. Jeff Goldenson co-ran and operated Labrary, a 37-day design experiment occupying a vacant storefront in Cambridge.
Ever worry about where our profession is headed? I do—a lot—but then something happens to make me realize there is indeed a bright future for librarianship, and that library work still attracts talented, creative, and interesting people. I recently had the good fortune to meet two such individuals: Ashley and Heather Pierce. They’re sisters who both happen to work at the Harvard Law School Library (HLSL), and they’re both vibrant, motivated young women who enjoy their work immensely and are obviously committed to it.
If I had to name the one aspect of librarianship that has changed the most since I was a newbie librarian, I think it would be data: its use, and librarians’ support of it for their patrons. I’m fascinated by data, and frankly envious of those who are fluent in its use. I also suspect […]
Harvard University’s libraries will not resort to mass layoffs, student paper The Crimson reported on June 30. “Nearly all” library staff members whose jobs are classified as shared or support services will have a position once the reorganization is complete, according to an announcement, from Harvard University Library Executive Director Helen Shenton and Senior Associate […]
The Harvard Library management will form three “joint councils” with the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) to negotiate the library system’s reorganization, according to Harvard student newspaper The Crimson. The joint councils are defined in the university’s agreement with HUCTW, and won’t have authority to contravene that agreement. The councils will represent […]
Harvard Library revealed its new organizational structure on February 10th. The restructuring focuses on eliminating redundancy across the university’s 73 libraries through the creation of shared services departments. As part of the restructuring, the university has offered 275 voluntary buyouts to library staff.