April 23, 2018

Ideas for Building a Better Relationship with Your Campus Bookstore | From the Bell Tower

As more academic librarians seek to engage with open education resources (OER) and textbook affordability initiatives, there are naturally concerns about the impact on the campus bookstore. Start by considering how to build a better relationship.

Help Wanted | Programs That Pop

The concept of a volunteer fair is simple: prospective volunteers and nonprofits in need of volunteers come together. Any library can host, needing only space, tables, and chairs. Libraries benefit by fostering closer relations with local organizations and facilitating community engagement with current and new library patrons, and nonprofits benefit from the opportunity to recruit students, stay-at-home parents, seniors, and people of all backgrounds looking to get back into the workforce. Worcester Public Library (WPL), MA, did it, and you can, too!

Next-Level Engagement: Leading Communities on Resilience | Editorial

I love the framing of the new report from the Aspen Institute, “Libraries: Building Community Resilience in Colorado,” published January 31. Casting libraries as engines of resilience is so right-on and so smart as we strive to better articulate our impact and potential.

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.

From Change Management to Change-Ready Leadership | Leading From the Library

Leading change management is a critical task for leaders. In a constant change environment, leaders need to do more than manage change, they need to create a change-ready culture.

Creating Change in the Cataloging Lab | Peer to Peer Review

To library staff, cataloging can seem to consist entirely of complex and impenetrable rules. Overworked catalogers, besieged by staff reductions and constantly changing standards and systems, can feel that other staff aren’t interested in what they do. But in my experience, other librarians are keen to learn more about what shapes the catalog records they use every day. I set out to bridge this knowledge gap with a website that would allow all library staff to more fully understand (and potentially make changes to) one of the most essential parts of a catalog record—subject headings.

A Winning Story: Big Successes, with an Eye To Winds of Change | Editorial

A full 90 percent of all library referenda tracked by political action committee EveryLibrary and LJ passed in 2017. It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the astounding support that number represents as it encompasses results in both blue and red states, cities large and small.

Flash Briefing | Office Hours

How high is Mount Rainier? That question was one I remember from my reference class “scavenger hunt” assignments way back in my master’s program at Indiana University. It was also one of the first questions I asked our new Amazon Echo during the holidays as I experimented with Alexa as a virtual assistant.

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.