June 18, 2018

John N. Berry III

About John N. Berry III

John N. Berry III (jberry@mediasourceinc.com) is Editor-at-Large, LJ. Berry joined the magazine in 1964 as Assistant Editor, becoming editor-in-Chief in 1969 and serving in that role until 2006.

2018 Gale/LJ Library of the Year: San Francisco Public Library

A model and inspiration for public libraries worldwide, the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL)—with its committed staff, transformational leadership, amazing array of programs, partnerships, popularity, and community connections—is the 2018 Gale/LJ Library of the Year.

Is Change Finally Here?: It Began Slowly, but It Is Quickly Taking Over | Blatant Berry

I watched the Women’s March, saw feminist passions take over the Academy Awards, and spent all day in front of the TV to witness 800,000 mostly young Americans conduct their March for Our Lives, the compelling protest that spread over the United States and the world. I saw black Americans forced to reassert their fundamental rights yet again as Black Lives Matter, 50 years after Martin Luther King was killed. It took me back to the Sixties and the protests of that time.

Paralibrarian of the Year 2018: Orquidea Olvera

Orquidea Olvera runs Monterey County Free Libraries’ (MCFL) Early Literacy Mobile Outreach and improves MCFL’s ability to serve the county’s large Spanish-speaking population. Just two reasons she is LJ’s 2018 Paralibrarian of the Year, sponsored by DEMCO.

Ghikas, What ALA Needs: The Perfect Model for the Search Committee | Blatant Berry

The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) recently appointed Mary Ghikas ALA executive director (ED) through January 2020. Ghikas has been interim ED since last August 2017, when previous ED Keith Fiels retired. Before that she was senior associate ED of member programs and services. After my last column (“A Librarian Must Lead ALA”), the news was deeply reassuring.

A Librarian Must Lead ALA: Be Sure You Vote in March | Blatant Berry

If this headline seems familiar, there’s a good reason: one year ago I said something very similar in “The Devalued MLIS.” At the time, I was addressing the upcoming vote of the American Library Association (ALA) Council on whether ALA should require candidates for its open executive director spot to hold a master’s degree in library science.

Take On “the Burden”: To Calm the Angry or Argumentative | Blatant Berry

“When the sane are dealing with the insane, the burden is on the sane.” That was one of my father’s favorite axioms, especially after some family argument (or a few drinks). The rest of the family used the idea frequently to calm our angry discussions with one another or with our friends and adversaries.

Renee F. Hill | LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award Winner 2017

The range of the 23 courses she leads (many of which she designed herself); her passion for teaching; her ability to create online asynchronous courses and make them come alive and feel personal to her students; and the extension of her role as an educator far beyond the MLIS classroom are only a few of the reasons Renee F. Hill has won the 2017 LJ/ALISE Excellence in Teaching Award, sponsored by Rowman & Littlefield.

Vietnam Catharsis: Welcome Release From Burns and Novick | Blatant Berry

I’m certain I am not the only American who has finally achieved the catharsis we needed for so long by watching PBS’s production The Vietnam War, the great film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The tragedy of the events and the emotions many of us have borne since have finally been given release and relief in this newest archival work of art. We all owe Burns and his colleagues our gratitude.

Challenged by Change: The Most Difficult, and Important, Part of the Job | Blatant Berry

It takes me a day or more to adjust to and relearn my computer systems after they are automatically “upgraded” or “improved” by the vendors. When they decide to replace an old system totally with a new one, I get lost in dysfunction for months. In some cases, I never master all the bells and whistles, and I always end up wondering why some of my favorite features needed to be “improved.”

Moving to Management: More a Coach Than a Boss | Blatant Berry

“I love that mea culpa, John!” said the president of the company at which I was working. I had just told the folks at a meeting that a problem had been my fault. I don’t even remember what that problem was, but what the president said was one of the most important lessons of my career.