Defining “free,” textbook building blocks, honest disagreements, and more letters to editor from the March 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
Amy Sobrino was nine years old when her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The experience prompted Sobrino to learn all that she could about the condition. After earning her master’s in social work from St. Louis University, Sobrino, along with her mother, Shannon Nosbisch, formed Effingham Area Alzheimer’s Awareness (EAAA) and began partnering with the Effingham Public Library (EPL), IL, presenting a half-dozen programs annually for caregivers of those affected. She started in 2014 with the basics—knowing the warning signs, understanding elder law, and navigating care options. They brought in speakers and specialists who explored alternative therapies—music, art, pets, light, and aromatherapy.
Dean Hendrix to be Dean of Libraries, University of Texas, San Antonio; Linda Hofschire promoted to Director of Library Research Service at the Colorado State Library, Fort Collins; Mary Ann Naples named Vice President and Publisher of Disney Book Group at Disney Publishing Worldwide; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the March 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
The Association of College and Research Libraries presented its 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Awards; the Texas State Library and Archives Commission launched the Texas Digital Archive; the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office opened a new Patent and Trademark Resource Center at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, San José Public Library System; and more News in Brief from the March 15, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
The Library of Congress (LC) is due for a turnaround, and with President Barack Obama’s announcement that Dr. Carla D. Hayden is his pick to be the new Librarian of Congress, promise is in the air. The library community has benefited from her leadership for decades. More important, the people of Baltimore, where Hayden has led the Enoch Pratt Free Library since 1993, have seen and lived what this creative leader is capable of when faced with a daunting challenge. She converted a dire situation there into a vital, responsive system. I am inspired by Hayden’s vision of LC as everyone’s library. She is a leader who can make that real in a way it never has been before.
For library directors and planners, determining exactly what programs, services, and materials their patrons want can be like hunting for a mysterious treasure chest filled with priceless gems. They spend time and effort digging to unearth much-needed facts: Who uses the library most? Who is likely to support the library at the polls? What materials circulate frequently in a geographic area? What is the socioeconomic status of any given set of patrons? Accessing that cache cracks open endless possibilities for library development. Geographic information systems (GIS) just might be both the map and the key to that hidden treasure.
Scandinavian countries have introduced libraries to some wonderful things in the past few years. Nordic Noir fiction, some beautiful new buildings to gather inspiration from, and perhaps the most interesting of all: the concept of hygge. Pronounced “hoo-ga,” it loosely translates from the Danish as “coziness,” but bloggers, news reporters, and folks sharing #hygge-tagged images are quick to say it is so much more. Some might argue that it’s a feeling, a vibe, a state of mind. Others say it’s about connections, conversations, and comfort.
Jacob Heil is well versed in both the history of the book and the future of digital scholarship. After earning a PhD in English, with a focus on early modern drama and book history, Heil worked on Texas A&M’s Early Modern OCR Project (eMOP), developing optical character recognition training sets to help computers transform images of works printed from 1475 through the early 1800s into archivable, minable texts.
Before December 2014, when she stepped into the new role of San José Public Library’s (SJPL) technology and innovation project manager (now innovations manager), Erin Berman launched SJPL’s first Maker faire, which introduced 200 people to after-school STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] programs. She believes Making can empower her community and help close the digital divide. Statewide, 25 percent of Californians in 2014 lacked broadband Internet access at home, according to a Field Poll. “When someone walks into one of our libraries and says they want to learn something, we don’t just hand them a book; we hand them the tool and teach them how to use it,” Berman says.