February 16, 2018

Careers for Info Utopia: The optimism of a new semester | Blatant Berry

The beginning of each semester always rejuvenates me. There is nothing more stimulating than those first few sessions with a class of expectant students, arriving with their high energy, curiosity, and desire to participate and impress. My new class at Pratt Institute’s SILS came to New York from all over America and the world. The students range in age from their 20s to their 60s, which has so often been typical of my LIS classes. It is a great privilege and honor to work with them to try to answer the accursed questions that continue to plague our profession.

Bigger on the Inside | Programs That Pop

DOCTOR WHO Day began as an idea for a teen program, but it blossomed to include patrons of all ages, since adults and kids often asked if they could attend the Doctor Who episode screenings that young adult librarian Aimee Villet hosted at the Robbins Library. Library staff in every department were enthusiastic about contributing the needed 75 hours of time for the all-­Saturday program, with episode screenings, trivia, crafts, a costume contest, a fan art gallery, a TARDIS hunt, and a TARDIS photo booth. (TARDIS [time and relative dimension in space] is Dr.Who’s time machine for the uninitiated.)

Feedback: Letters to LJ, October 1, 2014 Issue

Libraries have a product interface problem, is a glut of librarian candidates good or bad for the profession, and more feedback to the October 1, 2014, issue of Library Journal.

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

Peter Brantley named Director of Digital Library Applications at NYPL, Carol Mahoney appointed Acting Director of the Boston Public Library Foundation, Kathleen Pope named CEO at Windsor Public Library, Ont., and more people news from the October 1, 2014, issue of Library Journal.

Endow a National Digital Library | Backtalk

Only about 12 percent of an average U.S. library budget is for books and other content. Antilibrary zealots will latch onto this statistic eventually, downplaying that libraries are about much more than books. A good proactive response would be a national digital library endowment and separate but allied digital library systems—one for public library patrons, the other mainly for academia, even though everyone could access both. New digital efficiencies could help libraries offer taxpayers even more value than they do now.

Online Learners & Libraries: It’s time to connect to the revolution | Editorial

Online learning, much touted and often doubted, is revolutionizing education as we know it. This is good for learners and could be transformational for libraries. The connection between learning and libraries has always been natural and strong—it’s fundamental. This particular transition, however, intensifies the need for libraries and calls for stepped-up services to support these independent learners.

The Next Wave of Tech Change | Self-Publishing & Libraries

Over the past 30 years or so , there have been several waves of technological change in the library world. First was the replacement of the card-based catalog and circulation system with the integrated library system (ILS). Second was the replacement of paper journals with electronic databases. Third was the adoption of the PC. Fourth was the rise of the World Wide Web. Fifth was a sort of echo of the first, in which automation reached a little deeper into our processes, replacing manual checkin and checkout with RFID-based self-check and automated materials handling.

The Education Hook

In August 2013, an intriguing email landed in my inbox from Alžbeta Strnadová, project manager of BiblioEduca in the Czech Republic. BiblioEduca provides forward-thinking continuing education for the public and academic library professionals who work at the Czech Republic’s 6,000 public and academic libraries, as well as library students at Czech universities.The BiblioEduca team had read the LJ article featuring the Howard County Library System, MD, upon being named the 2013 Gale/LJ Library of the Year. It described a new vision for libraries, positioning them as part of the education enterprise. The Czech team, led by president and founder Beáta Holá, immediately grasped the power of the approach. Struck by the way U.S. libraries implementing the strategy enjoy heightened respect in their communities and maximized funding, team members were eager to achieve the same results for Czech libraries. They extended an invitation to exchange ideas “over the ocean.”

Taking Control of Your Website | The User Experience

I’ve heard it a lot: “We want to make OUR website better, but we’re stuck using our city’s system!” It breaks my heart every time, not only because of the underperforming library website but also because it means that a stakeholder in the local government isn’t recognizing that librarians are information professionals who might know a thing or two about websites. If you or someone you know is in this position, read on. Below is a letter, from me—a library website specialist—that you can send to your city manager or other stakeholder. With any luck, adding another voice to your cause will help you prevail.

Uniquely Hospitable | Charleston Conference Preview 2014

The Charleston Conference is unique! Since its founding by Katina Strauch in 1980 it has provided professional enrichment, knowledge, and open discussion to thousands of librarians, information specialists, and vendors primarily focused on academic and research libraries. There is a huge array of programs, panels, and speakers, plus days of informal inter­actions in which librarians at all levels and vendors talk about their work, problems, innovations, and best practices in a charming setting, redolent with Southern hospitality.