October 20, 2014

Feedback: Letters to LJ, June 1, 2014 Issue

Letters to the editor on weeding, deleting seldom-used web content, and leadership from the June 1 issue of Library Journal.

Sandusky CEO Retires; Southern Miss Names Dean; New GA State Librarian | People

Julie Brooks will retire as CEO of Sandusky Library, OH, this fall; John Eye was appointed Dean of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries, effective July 1; Julie White Walker was promoted to State Librarian for the Georgia Public Library Service; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the June 15 issue of Library Journal.

Scribd Adds “Dummies,” Releases Data | PubCrawl

Francine Fialkoff

On April 30, Scribd, which launched its “all you can read” $8.99 per month ebook subscription with Harper­Collins as the first (and still only) Big Five publisher last fall, announced a deal that brought 1,000 Wiley titles to its subscription service, including all those in the “For Dummies” series.

Vive la différence! | Blatant Berry

John Berry III

Every library is unique. Despite all the decades of work trying to standardize library operations, systems, collection organization, buildings, human resource management, governance, and even collection development, each library still differs from every other library. While few librarians would argue that point, it is obvious that a great deal of effort has been expended to make the practice of librarianship more homogeneous.

Zipping up Gaps in the Collection | One Cool Thing

This slide, from a Califa presentation on the program, sums up the flow that makes Zip Books so speedy

For patrons who live in rural areas, finding the book they want is not always easy. The local library can’t collect everything, and interlibrary loan (ILL) can be slow to deliver, if it is even available. Purchase and fast shipping from Internet booksellers like Amazon.com offer an alternative, but not everyone can afford it. Now, the California State Library (CSL) has embarked on a pilot project to redress that situation.

Open Mic @ Your Library! | Programs That Pop

At our high school library, in central Texas, usage stats were way down, both for services and reading of books. To change that quickly, in my first year at the school (2008) I began “Open Mic Night.” Basically, on a Friday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., students, teachers, parents, and friends could enjoy coffee and snacks at the library while watching five-minute performances on stage. I added the caveat “school-appropriate.”

Library Inspiration | The User Experience

Aaron Schmidt

Reading about interesting library programs and services always inspires me. The ones I like best challenge my understanding of what libraries are and what they can do. So this month, I want to highlight a number of library offerings that have caught my attention.

Cutting the Cord | Outreach

The Robbins Library in Arlington, MA, is a busy place. Often, all of the computers are in use, and by the summer of 2012, all were just about ready to be retired. Rather than keep to status quo, technology librarian Catherine Kiah, working with intern Brad McKenna, envisioned an expanded wireless service model made possible by three key ingredients, two of which were a risk-tolerant staff and a wireless network upgrade. The third ingredient that made this new service model possible was a relatively new technology for public libraries, a laptop vending machine.

Remotely Convenient | Outreach

BRANCH TO GO The Pioneer Library System’s assistant director Lisa Wells demos the new Envisionware 24-hour Library, while Topeka and Shawnee County library recently debuted Bibliotheca’s new ­smartlocker units (digital rendering, far l.)

With carefully crafted thank-you speeches and an assemblage of local VIPs, grand opening events demand a certain level of patience and decorum from the curious public who gather to watch. But, of course, things don’t always work that way. On May 1, California’s Fresno County Public Library (FCPL) held the grand opening of its new Sierra Vista branch, a 400-item book and media vending unit installed in a high-traffic area of the Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis. As County Librarian Laurel Prysiazny spoke, a young couple with a child—apparently oblivious both to the ceremonial ribbon in front of them and the presentation going on behind them—walked up to the new machine and started checking something out.

The Gates Impact: Reflecting on the foundation’s legacy | Editorial

Rebecca T. Miller

In May, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it would be ending its Global Libraries program over the next three to five years. This decision marks the beginning of the end of a tremendous philanthropic investment that helped spur significant innovation in U.S. libraries and speed the growth of public libraries in developing countries. I’ll admit it, the news took my breath away.