Submitted by Kate Sheehan on August 13, 2009 - 10:17am
Technology and reference are intertwining strands of public service. The task of keeping up with Librarians (and their jobs) is getting techier. As our systems get more sophisticated and our desire to overhaul and remake those systems gets more intense, libraries need librarians who are tech savvy and back office staff who are pure tech. It's not uncommon to hear librarians declare that "Technology is Reference", but is that a one-way street? There's no doubt that reference librarians need a strong technology skill set, but do our techies need to have public service experience or skills? Read More »
Submitted by Jason Griffey on June 23, 2009 - 10:30am
I don't often post specifically about things I'm involved in at my real job (Head of Library IT at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), and try instead to examine general technology useful to libraries of all types. But this month, I'd like to talk about something that I've been involved in for almost 2 years that has recently come to a head (especially as it concernstechnology). I've spent the better part of the last month hip-deep in planning the technology for UTC's brand new academic library. Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on April 21, 2009 - 10:42am
The release of the Kindle 2 has set of a firestorm of speculation about how e-readers are going to transform (destroy?) the publishing industry. Anything with the potential to transform reading has the potential to transform librarianship. If widely adopted, these e-readers have the potential to allow libraries new ways to house and circulate material. But could there be downsides as well? Jason, Tom and Cindi weigh in with their predictions on how e-readers are going to change librarianship in coming years. Read More »
For Part Two of this series on creating community with free tools, I fired off some questions to the good folks at Lisle. Jen Ohzourk, Assistant Director, Adult Services, got back to me with some insights about where they are in the process of creating these new spaces.
Submitted by Michael Stephens on September 3, 2008 - 10:52am
On the new commons, Michelle Russo, Dean of Library Services at the Franklin D. Schurz Library at Indiana University South Bend, states:
To send the message that this was a welcoming place, the wall separating the room from the lobby was removed. The stacks were turned 90? which allowed natural light to flow from the windows between the aisles to the center of the room.
The new service desk was also designed to send a welcoming message. It allows space for librarians, IT consultants, and multimedia specialists to work at one of two levels. The counter-height level allows service to people as they walk into the Commons, while the lower desk-height permits one to work at eye level with students in a wheelchair or with those who want to be seated as they receive more in-depth assistance. Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on August 25, 2008 - 12:04pm
I think one of the coolest things about a library is that in addition to the service that it provides directly, it is also a forum. Each library serves a community and in turn, that community uses the library to discuss and learn more about who it really is, what its needs are and how they can be addressed. Libraries are the leaders in serving their communities, but only because they allow these communities to lead them.
For public libraries, young patrons are particularly important. A young library user is likely to be a lifelong library user, so the library must be a place where children and teenagers can feel like their needs are going to be met. In Massachusetts libraries are taking some exciting new steps to ensure that teens have direct input. Libraries across Massachusetts will be served by advisory boards with teenagers that will help design and develop new facilities. Read More »
Submitted by Michael Stephens on August 4, 2008 - 12:12pm
These results lead to the creation of spaces in the Learning Commons East and West that were inspiring, useful and flexible. We talked about creating an experience for students, making the library a memorable place. Bob said one goal would always be to "engage students from the beginning." I was reminded of the Welcome event Brian write about: poker, DDR, speed dating and more welcomed freshman to the library!
Submitted by Jason Griffey on July 28, 2008 - 4:06pm
There are many stories from the 2008 ALA Annual conference in Anaheim, from Google being MIA on the exhibition floor to what happens when a few hundred librarians descend onto Disneyland. But my favorite story from my time in Anaheim starts like this... Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on June 19, 2008 - 3:30pm
Earlier this week, some of our colleagues at Booklist became Internet-celebrities when the video “Booklist Editors Read for Fun 2007” became a spotlight video on YouTube.
The video got me thinking about how YouTube has the potential to be a powerful vehicle for Reader’s Advisory and for library services in general. As it turns out, libraries all over the country are way ahead of me, and are already using YouTube to post book reviews, book discussions, and even guides to Reader’s Advisory. Read More »
Submitted by Michael Stephens on June 18, 2008 - 1:24pm
Darien Library's John Blyberg weighs in on the construct of information experience as libraries move forward in a very different world:
The difference now, as opposed to even five years ago, is that we also operate within a global context that empowers us to quickly recall data and assemble it into our own personal nebulae. In other words, information use has become an expression of self--that’s not something libraries ever accounted for. When I talk about this, I refer to it as the “information experience” because, for the growing number of us who participate in the hive, we build our own network of information and interaction that accompanies us through our lives. We literally construct highly-personalized information frameworks and place a huge amount of personal reliance upon them. Ten years ago, this wasn’t the case. Read More »