November 17, 2017

Library People News from Princeton U. to Fullerton, CA

Stephen Abram joins the board of Librarians Without Borders; Robert Wolven wins 2014 Melvil Dewey Medal; Mindy Hackner is named Director, North Adams Public Library, MA; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the April 1, 2014, issue of Library Journal.

Feedback on Literacy, Library Horror Stories, and More

Letters to the editor from LJ’s April 1, 2014, issue address Netflix versus net neutrality, the success of library literacy initiatives, and more on the evergreen subject of weeding, plus much more.

Leadership Is Not Command | Blatant Berry

It took me decades TRULY to understand the qualities that make for great leadership. I am still surprised at how slowly I realized that the key strengths of great leaders are not command, control, or management skills. A great leader must have the ability to spot and hire excellent people; build a passionate, committed team; liberate everyone on that team; and then trust them with the autonomy and authority to make decisions, innovate, and test their inspirations and ideas in practice.

Radical Home Economics | Programs That Pop

Radical Home Economics revives homemaking skills for adults. In this hands-on series, participants work together to make things that are meaningful in their everyday lives. RHE is a fresh and exciting take on one of the library’s oldest and most fundamental purposes. The real power behind lending books is the conviction that you can be your own expert. Maker programming shares this purpose. In a culture where everything is increasingly commoditized and prepackaged, access to this foundational library value is increasingly rare, valuable, and transformative.

Give Them What They Want | The User Experience

What would happen if your library’s website disappeared? You’d probably get a lot of phone calls. f I had to guess, most would be about: Finding library items, renewing library items, and library hours and locations. This thought experiment gives us some perspective about the things library websites should be focusing on—the critical tasks users are trying to accomplish. It also offers perspective on the aspects of our websites that are comparatively unimportant—everything else.

Coming of Age | Collection Development

Coming of Age. Rites of passage such as quinceañera, bar/bat mitzvah, and prom are honored in cultures worldwide. These 23 resources share advice on how to celebrate; from the April 1 issue.

Stepping into the Stream: Bringing Netflix-style Video to Libraries

Streaming video is well established in the consumer market (YouTube has been around since 2005 and Netflix since 2007) but is still gaining momentum in the library market. It’s not yet a huge category—LJ’s Materials Survey included downloadable/streaming movies as a category for the first time in 2013, finding that the responding libraries spent 0.6 percent of their materials budget on downloadable movies, which represented 0.9 percent of their total circulation—but it’s certainly on the rise.

At the Center: Is Your Library Driving Engaged Civic Solutions? | Editorial

There’s something wonderful and seemingly simple about the photograph on the cover of this issue that I don’t want you to miss: the mayor of Wichita, KS, and the director of the library—Carl Brewer and Cynthia Berner Harris, respectively—standing side by side in a group of civic leaders and key staff. This coalition is “activating” Wichita with strategic thinking that is informed through an open town hall–style forum that taps solutions from the community. If your library isn’t part of such planning, and gathering a similar group in your library would be a no-go, you have work to do.

Engaging Everyone In Town | 2014 LibraryAware Community Award

The Wichita Public Library (WPL), KS, has become a coalition builder for larger community goals. WPL signed on as an early “vision partner” with Visioneering Wichita, whose goal is to develop a strategic plan, through extensive community engagement, for the whole Wichita metropolitan area. Over the decades, WPL had established a growing engagement with the city’s residents. The Visioneering Wichita process gave that long-standing community engagement specific goals and direction. This reenergized engagement won for Wichita and its library the 2014 LibraryAware Community Award.