May 27, 2017

Library People News: Hires, Promotions, Retirements, and Obituaries

Ivan Gaetz to be Dean of University of Wyoming Libraries, Laramie; Marilynne Robinson to receive Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction; Inga Waite appointed Director, Monterey Public Library, CA; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the May 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Branching Out, May 2016

The Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library topped off in Long Beach, CA; the J.L. Robertson Branch, Rapides Parish Library, LA, reopened; Virginia Commonwealth University remodeled the James Branch Cabell Library; and more new construction and renovation news from the May 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, May 1, 2015 Issue

Conscientious stewardship, speedy confirmation, tributes to Charles Robinson, and more letters to editor from the May 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.

Asking the Right Questions | The User Experience

“Let’s ask people what they want from the library.” I’ve heard this said in a few meetings, and I’ve seen related questions in surveys from libraries. I’m not so sure that this is the most productive way to think about creating a user-centered library.

Arguing with Charlie: Debate need not be hostile | Blatant Berry

Charlie Robinson and I both earned our MLS degrees at the School of Library Science (SLS) at Simmons College in Boston. I first met Charlie (who died last month) in the office of Ken Shaffer, the SLS dean. When alumni would come back to visit, Shaffer would gather a few of his favorites in his office for conversation. If they were influential dignitaries, or he thought they would become such, he liked it all the better.

360° Fund Raising | Budgets & Funding

From annual appeals, planned giving, and partnerships to events, libraries’ fundraising efforts do much more than make up gaps. Libraries of every size, in communities of all kinds, can develop fundraising strategies to meet a wide range of programming, collection development, and building needs and provide a chance to try things that public money might not cover such as new services, training, or temporary staff. But this adaptability requires ongoing maintenance of approaches, databases, and—most of all—relationships.

Rooted in Research | Genealogy

On Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr., a PBS program that’s a must for those interested in family history, viewers watch as Harvard professor Gates reveals to famous people information about their ancestors, some of them recent forebears and others from many generations ago. TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA), based on a BBC series of the same name, is now in its eighth season and offers a similar chronicling of the search for a famous person’s roots.

Growing the Family Tree | Genealogy

Few individuals have contributed more to the popularization of genealogy in the United States than Dr. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates Jr. In addition to serving as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, he is perhaps best known as the creator of PBS’s hit show Finding Your Roots. With the help of librarians and genealogists across the country, the series traces the family trees of well-known Americans from Branford Marsalis to Gloria Steinem to Stephen King. Guests discover unexpected chapters in their family histories that include immigrations, adoptions, marriages, murders, and tales of hardship and courage—on a recent episode, Dustin Hoffman wept to learn of his great-grandmother’s years in a Soviet concentration camp after the execution of both her husband and son. LJ caught up with Gates to see what librarians and patrons can learn from his approach to genealogy as narrative.

Selecting Spanish | Collection Development: Spanish-Language Fiction & Beyond, May 1, 2016

According to book purveyor Baker & Taylor, “sales of Spanish-language material has grown over the last three years to over $12M at list.” Need we say more? These 31 titles should bolster any collection or create a solid core for those starting out. ¡Vámonos!

The Capacity To Endure | Sustainability

Think big—I mean really big—about the future of your library and its capacity to endure. Does it have the support it needs? Can it bounce back after disruption? Do its services and programs bring new and energetic life to the community, school, or campus that it serves?