ALA Code of Ethics 1: What’s in a code? | Podcast

Libraries | Ethics | Professional conduct

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Here’s BLL Season 2, Episode 2, In which I introduce my 3-part (though actually it’ll probably be 4 parts) series on the ALA Code of Ethics. What is the code? What are its implications in our daily lives as leaders? Just how blatant of a smart aleck will I be during my dramatic reading of the code?

Link to episode transcript

Links:

American Library Association Code of Ethics

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The Dying Art of Disagreement | Op-Ed

Freedom of Speech | Democracy | Public dialog

by Bret Stephens | September 24, 2017

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This is the text of a lecture delivered at the Lowy Institute Media Award dinner in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday, Sept. 23. The award recognizes excellence in Australian foreign affairs journalism.

Let me begin with thanks to the Lowy Institute for bringing me all the way to Sydney and doing me the honor of hosting me here this evening.

I’m aware of the controversy that has gone with my selection as your speaker. I respect the wishes of the Colvin family and join in honoring Mark Colvin’s memory as a courageous foreign correspondent and an extraordinary writer and broadcaster. And I’d particularly like to thank Michael Fullilove for not rescinding the invitation.

This has become the depressing trend on American university campuses, where the roster of disinvited speakers and forced cancellations includes former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice, former Harvard University President Larry Summers, actor Alec Baldwin, human-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, DNA co-discoverer James Watson, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, filmmaker Michael Moore, conservative Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will and liberal Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Anna Quindlen, to name just a few. Read more…

Using our words: Getting it right on neutrality and libraries

Intellectual Freedom | Neutrality in libraries

by Joseph Janes | American Libraries | 09-01-17

I’ve always been a wordy sort of person. Yes, that too, but I mean word-y. I was the sort of kid who spent time with a thesaurus and dictionary as well as Tinkertoys and Matchbox cars. I was fascinated by words, their uses, and shades of meaning.

Even my amateur lexicographic interest ill prepared me for a world in which one of the more trenchant voices of political observation belongs to the Merriam-Webster Twitter feed (@MerriamWebster). If you don’t follow it yet, do so immediately, for its largely straightforward Word of the Day feature as well as its often wry and acerbic commentary on trending lookups based on “conversations” of the moment, not to mention words that aren’t really words (“covfefe”).

So the Webster’s dictionary has taken a side, or at least a perspective. Based on what I know of Noah Webster’s own colorful history and antipopulist views, I think he might approve. All of which puts an intriguing gloss on an emerging discussion within our own profession on what some may think a bedrock principle of librarianship: neutrality. This discussion includes my fellow AL columnist Meredith Farkas’s excellent piece on the critical librarianship movement (Jan./Feb., p. 70).

In one important sense, we aren’t neutral and never can be—nor should we be. Naturally, each of us has his or her own biases, prejudices, and preferences; we represent a sample of the breadth of society, so this is inevitable and necessary to avoid homogeneity of thought and action. Together, though, we advocate strongly on matters critical to our success. We fight in public for the rights of our patrons to read and think freely without fear of exposure, surveillance, or censure, as well as for open and equal access to a range of materials. We stand for the principle that government and public information shouldn’t depend on the whims of the moment. We are engaged with, represent, and fight for our communities and strive to improve them through our institutions and our work. Read more…

I want to be sure that we’re fighting the right fights on the right terms and, yes, using the right words.

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The Job Market: Where Should You Apply?

Jobs | Career Advice | Academia

September 11, 2017

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In my three years on the tenure track, I’ve already served on five faculty search committees and two for staff positions (across four divisions and four departments). That’s life at a small college. If I’ve learned anything from being on this side of the hiring table, it’s that applicants need to think beyond the position when deciding where to apply.

We all know the faculty job market isn’t pretty. And plenty of Ph.D.s don’t feel as if they have any choice in pursuing teaching positions: They go where the job is. But as a new hiring season gets underway in academe, I will take a somewhat contrarian position here and urge Ph.D.s to be as choosy as they can in the interest of their own professional longevity.

Can you build a life there? Before you accept a position, I strongly encourage you to consider whether it aligns with your personal life. Most notably: Is the job located in a place you actually want to live? The answer to that question is complex, and should consider a wide variety of factors — cost of living, proximity to friends and family, access to desirable nonwork-related activities, and affordability of local housing. For single people, the viability of the dating scene is a serious consideration, just as the quality of the school system should be of supreme importance to applicants with children.

Racial and ethnic minority applicants have a few extra considerations when determining if a city is a good fit. Will you be “the only” everywhere you go? Can you get your hair done or find haircare products without driving for an hour? Are there churches or faith-based organizations at which you could become a member? How accessible are cooking ingredients that fit your cultural needs?

 

Technologies librarians need to know Current and emerging library technology trends in 2017

Career advice | LIS | Skills

kimdorityby Kim Dority

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Trying to get a handle on what library technologies LIS professionals need to know can be a challenge, as both the tasks that librarians are taking on – and the tools they’re using to do them – seem to be changing daily.

Nevertheless, it’s especially important for job hunters to be aware of technology skills and knowledge that are in-demand, because increasingly these tools will be central to successful performance of your career.

Two ways to frame key librarian work technologies

When understanding what may be relevant to your career, consider two variables:

  1. Where you work, i.e., whether the employer would be a traditional LIS or non-LIS setting.
  2. The responsibilities and type of work you might be doing for that employer.

LIS employer type or collection

Read more…

Sharing learning from an inspiring professional career

Mentoring | Coaching | Leadership | Management | Academic Libraries

by Kerry Parry 31 August 2017

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Kathryn Parry interviews Sue Hodges, former Director of Libraries and Archives, Bangor University. Sue talks about her career path, and her belief that with confidence and support you can go further than you might think, and achieve the career that you really want.

AS I start my new job as CILIP Wales Development Manager, I am making many new connections. I am struck by how many of these connections are with people who are at the opposite end of the career ladder to me. I see many experienced professionals retiring, but I cannot see much ­evidence of succession planning. How do we learn and carry forward the services these professionals have created? I want to hear how other professionals started out, what shaped their career and any advice they can give.

To gain more understanding of these issues, I recently interviewed Sue ­Hodges, who has just retired from her role as ­Director of Libraries and Archives at Bangor University. We talked about how her career developed, and how she aims to share what she has learnt over the years by mentoring and supporting people in their career plans.

Kathryn: How did you get into librarianship? 

Read more…

Personal archiving : preserving our digital heritage Ed. Donald T. Hawkins | review

Personal archives | Digital preservation | Electronic records managment

Reviewer: Stephanie L. Gross, MSLIS


Personal archiving : preserving our digital heritagePersonal archiving : preserving our digital heritage by Donald T. Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewer bio:

I am an academic librarian whose primary responsibility is to oversee the electronic reserves component of Springshare LibGuides. Recently I was appointed to serve on the task group to explore, report and advice the establishment of an institutional repository at my university. Having already read much literature concerning IR, I have begun widening my reading to include material that examines IR and its various components from a variety of viewpoints, academic, technical and personal.

Review:

This book is an anthology created by specialists in libraries, archives and technology. It is a rich, yet succinct, volume compiled as a primer for lay individuals who are involved in archiving personal material. Much of the focus is on preserving, organizing and sharing memorabilia. However, true to expectation, an equal emphasis is given to the preservation of digital files from various formats. Some attention is devoted to records management, although that is from a more introductory, philosophical perspective. What I believe to be the strength of this work is its practical advice to both lay and professionals alike. It is specific and technical enough to satisfy academic librarians who are not trained as archivists. Often we are tasked with aiding and guiding library users (students and faculty) in the preservation of their personal data. Those who are interested in understanding specific aspects of establishing and maintaining an institutional repository, including the compilation and promotion of best practices will certainly need to research further. However, this handbook does indeed list and annotate various resources (e.g. Library of Congress, Internet Archives) which is extremely helpful. There are two chapters dedicated to the preservation of email from faculty, scholars and researchers. Much is made of the chronic conundrum of “store and ignore”, benign negligence, concerning the backing up of files and precious data. The mandate to keep up with current technology, upgrading equipment and the appropriate hardware and software is underscored. (A pitch for able institutions to take on this responsibility is made, especially regarding work by scholars and communities.) Budgeting is given sufficient space to gain an appreciation of the magnitude of the demands on resources, both monetary and human. The final chapters look into the future, including intelligent discussions and projections relating to issues of ownership, copyright and social media. Although various software firms and websites are mentioned by name and have already disappeared by the time of this writing, their absence does not diminish the usefulness of their mention. The principles and philosophy of the services remain valid into the present.

Recommended audience:

Public libraries, academic libraries, special libraries, archives, museums

Recommended added subject heading:

Institutional repositories.
Digital libraries.

View all my reviews

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