Aligning with Black Lives Matter?, all sides weigh in on Sci-Hub, keeping fair use out of court, and more letters to editor from the October 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
As adults, we might cover our ears with our hands at a loud blast or use headphones or earbuds to curate the sounds we want to enter our eardrums, but sticking our fingers in our ears and yelling, “I can’t hear you!” is usually frowned upon. I’m not proud to say that at a recent team meeting, I did just that. Of course, I did so in jest, but it got me thinking about how easy it is to dismiss ideas that I don’t want to hear.
The Arizona State Capitol launches the Arizona State Knowledge Center; IMLS issues Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program and Native American Library Services Enhancement Grants; Video Veracity and Serendipity Films receive an NEH award to help complete “Free for All: Inside the Public Library”; and more News in Brief from the October 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
RAILS’s Deirdre (Dee) Brennan receives the 2016 Illinois Library Association’s Atkinson Memorial/Demco Award; Valeda F. Dent appointed Dean of University Libraries at St. John’s University, Jamaica, NY; Heidi Dolamore to be Director of Library Services, Berkeley Public Library, CA; and more new hires, promotions, retirements, and obituaries from the October 1, 2016 issue of Library Journal.
This year’s Charleston Conference, with its on-the-nose subtitle of “Roll with the Times or the Times Roll Over You,” will return as always to the Francis Marion Hotel (and surrounding venues) October 31–November 5. This year’s schedule (still tentative at press time) naturally hits many of the topics of perennial interest to librarians, particularly academic ones: discovery, the Big Journal Deal and its frequently forecast demise, working with vendors, and ebook acquisition models. Newer returnees such as MOOCs, open educational resources, assessment, the role of the subject specialist and/or department liaison, and research data management also make appearances.
When working with political campaigns for EveryLibrary, we are often asked to identify the most important digital tactic for winning campaigns and advocating for libraries. Many of the people who ask expect us to talk about best practices using Facebook or Twitter to reach the public. They are usually surprised to hear we still believe email is the absolute most important tool for digital campaigns. This is true because email is still fundamentally the key to the Internet. Your library’s biggest goal in digital and in-person strategy should be the acquisition of email addresses.
Nearly nine out of ten adults have difficulty using health information, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This isn’t surprising—thanks to the open access movement, there are a plethora of reliable medical sources out there, but many are not written for a lay audience. Meanwhile, drug companies on the one hand and anti–traditional medicine advocates on the other flood the Internet with authoritative-sounding contradictory material.
Spend five minutes brainstorming—or looking around your library—and I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with a list of ten things that aren’t as easy as they could be. Common library pain points include the OPAC, computer access, printing, self-check interfaces, locating items, and wayfinding quirks. Ironing out these wrinkles is important because making our libraries easier for people to use improves their experiences.