The humble book drop is often one of the more heavily used pieces of equipment in the library, but these sturdy repositories are easy to take for granted unless they aren’t doing the job right. This month’s product spotlight takes a look at devices available from three of the top book return manufacturers in North America.
How often do librarians find themselves trying to explain that the library’s mission is not about books but about information? This public misunderstanding about what we are doing and why leads to a community misconception of what we should be doing in the future. The reality is that we as librarians make the same mistake all the time. We know intellectually that informational flow and access are our main missions, but our decisions and our hearts often put the focus on books. Books, in many cases, remain by far the best delivery vehicle for information, but there are many subject areas where other informational vehicles would be more effective, even if implementing those vehicles might mean less money spent on books.
Mission Bell Media (MBM), a new publisher with a laser-like focus on leadership, took one step further into the public eye, debuting its official website on April 22. MBM is the brainchild of veteran academic publisher Rolf Janke, who founded SAGE Reference, an imprint of SAGE Publications, in 2001 and led it from three titles to nearly 300 over the course of a dozen years. Mission Bell Media combines Janke’s two passions: his own longtime study of what creates compelling leaders and his 30-plus years in academic publishing, which, he said, gave him a unique perspective on librarians leading change in academic libraries and paving the way for the next generation.
Expanding the definition of librarian, hiring the passionate, pride in the Best Small Library in Bayfield, and more letters to the editor from LJ’s May 15, 2014 issue.
Susan Chandler was named Director, Nesbitt Memorial Library, Elizabeth Dailey announced her retirement as Director of Onondaga County Public Library, and other new hired, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the May 15, 2014 issue of Library Journal.
With a legacy that reaches back to 1876, Library Journal is accustomed to big anniversaries. This month marks 50 years since a young man named John Berry III arrived at LJ to take on the position of assistant editor. That was May 25, 1964. His vision has been an integral part of the field ever since.
While other areas of the publishing industry are shrinking, audiobooks are its fastest growing segment, enjoying $1.2 billion in annual sales, according to figures reported by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) in 2012. By comparison, annual audiobook sales in the late 1990s were just $480 million. It’s a niche that’s rapidly going mass-market.
In “A Genius Idea?,” Michael Stephens’s recent Office Hours column (LJ 3/15/14), Stephens refers to a post on the Librarian Shaming Tumblr that called for libraries to have their own “Genius Bars,” reminiscent of the Apple Store’s famous retail innovation. As Stephens points out, many libraries are already adopting—and adapting—this concept.
Reading the new HORIZON Report for Higher Education 2014, I’m inspired as usual by the work of Educause and the New Media Consortium (NMC). This year’s study continues the direction. In fact, a new framework for presenting challenges and trends accelerating technology adoption and the key technologies for higher education makes the report even more useful for anyone and everyone involved in teaching and learning.