February 16, 2018

Noteworthy or Not: Are Keynotes Worth Keeping | From the Bell Tower

Keynote talks are still fairly standard fare at library conferences. Librarians tend to have a love-hate relationship with keynotes. Do they still add value to our conferences or is there a better alternative?

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.

Cannabis Literacy | BackTalk

Many states are legalizing the possession, use, and sale of cannabis for medical and/or recreational purposes, even as it remains illegal at the federal level. Whether or not your library is located in one of those states, the frequent presence of the substance in the news may be raising questions for your patrons.

Library Leaders Need to Get a Clue about Self-Awareness | Leading from the Library

We learn that good leaders have the quality of self-awareness. What exactly does that mean and how do you know if that describes you? Not sure? Here are some things library leaders can do to boost their self-awareness.

Compass Reading: IMLS’s 2018–22 Strategic Plan Sets a New Tone | Editorial

With 2018 under way, the work to ensure key funding at the federal level steps up. On December 21, 2017, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), along with Susan Collins (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced the bipartisan Museum and Library Services Act (MLSA) of 2017. The bill, essentially a reauthorization of the programs administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, reasserts the value of libraries and museums in the cultural fabric and creates an opportunity for political leaders to put a stake in the ground for these vital institutions.

Teaching the Teachers: Primary Sources Immersion Program | Peer to Peer Review

The recent approval of the Society of American Archivists/Association of College and Research Libraries’ Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Joint Task Force on the Development of Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy illustrates the professions’ move beyond show-and-tell style teaching.

Feedback: Letters to LJ, January 2018 Issue

Commentary on climate change, the pros and cons of PBS’s The Vietnam War, and more letters to the editor from the January 1, 2018 issue of Library Journal.

Higher Ed’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good Year: Let’s Help Make 2018 Better | From the Bell Tower

American higher education came under attack in 2017 as the political, cultural, and social divisions in our society widened. It stood accused of forcing liberal politics on students, hampering free speech on campus, and fostering an environment of incivility in and beyond the classroom. Academic librarians could help lead our institutions to regain their status as our society’s bastion of free speech.

I’ll Be There for You | Office Hours

Budgets are tight. For many, webinars and online conferences have been a primary professional development tool of late. Attending a keynote is as easy as sitting down at your desk and plugging in headphones. But when there is money for conference travel, how do we maximize the potential for learning and growth face to face (F2F)? What’s the value of F2F in a virtual, networked world?

Light in the Dark: Facing the Challenges Ahead | Editorial

We spend a lot of time as the year turns reflecting and anticipating what’s to come. This year, such reflection is intensified by a seemingly relentless assault on basic rights in a polarized political climate. This calls on us to fight for what our communities need as never before.