November 16, 2017

The Future of Connection | Designing the Future

In the next five to ten years, says Susan Shaheen, codirector of the Institute of Transportation Studies’ Transportation Sustainability Research Center, “advanced technologies and big data will enable us to better understand and manage our transportation ecosystems,” particularly automation and car- and ride-sharing tech. “This will enable us to provide more equitable, affordable, safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly transportation.”

Future Fatigue | Designing the Future

Often expressed informally through back channels, there’s a strong contrarian strand of thought that holds librarianship—if not all of American society—spends too much time, energy, and ink trying to predict what’s next. Too great a focus on the future, say such skeptics, shortchanges the present, preventing practitioners from being “in the moment,” and can make library leaders devalue the work that still comprises the vast majority of interactions to chase trends that appeal to, at best, a much smaller subset of users.

Academic New Landmark Libraries 2016 Walking Tour: Jerry Falwell Library, Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

The impressive Jerry Falwell Library on the Liberty University campus in Lynchburg, VA, is a building constantly changing.

Academic New Landmark Libraries 2016 Walking Tour: Introduction

The announcement of LJ‘s 2016 academic New Landmark Libraries gave use an opportunity to showcase exemplary design and service in academic libraries. Upon getting the list of winners and honorable mentions, I realized five of the eight libraries were located in areas through which I would be traveling on a planned trip from New Jersey to North Carolina.

The Future of Play | Designing the Future

To Rivkah Sass, executive director, Sacramento Public Library (SPL), CA, there is no greater enemy to young children than the “play gap”—the shrinking time to explore, invent, and run amok. Hence the Sacramento Play Summit (SPS), a one-day program for parents, teachers, caregivers, and librarians to discuss play, why it’s important, and how to bring more of it to children.

Academic New Landmark Libraries 2016 Walking Tour: James B. Hunt Jr. Library, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library at NC State University in Raleigh is a formidable sight on approach: a gleaming white mass with vertical fins weaving along the sides that look like they’d allow the building to practically lift off.

Looking Forward | Office Hours

This year, 2016, marks my tenth year as an LIS professor. I’ve witnessed some big transitions in our field, with more to come. What will LIS education look like in another 20 or 30 years? How will we be teaching the core values of a 200-plus-year-old profession while also providing insights into information use in the year 2046?

Academic New Landmark Libraries 2016 Walking Tour: James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

Virginia Commonwealth University’s James Branch Cabell Library is a striking standout on the downtown Richmond campus.

Academic New Landmark Libraries 2016 Walking Tour: Mary Helen Cochran Library, Sweet Briar College, VA

The Mary Helen Cochran Library at Sweet Briar College stood out as a refreshingly traditional jewel among the newer libraries I visited.

The Future of Commerce | Designing the Future

Little is more essential than making a living—and how to store, spend, and save what we earn. Supporting entrepreneurship is one way libraries can engage the workplace of the future.