Eulogy for the Information Age: The Future is Impact Not Access

Advocacy | Access | Impact | New Librarianship

 

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What Library Will Create the First Real Website? (Please Stand Up)

Libraries | Websites | Catalogs

Matt Smith | August 2, 2017

It’s 2017 and the website of every single library in the country suffers from the same old, cruel, schizophrenic, UX nightmare dichotomy: the website and the catalog, the website versus the catalog. Two products, two experiences, two silos, two staff members behind them. Both are wannabees. The website is almost a catalog, and the catalog is almost a website. And together they are redundant, cluttered, confusing, and pointless to patrons.

The first library to figure out a true single user experience – that is to say, a real website – gets Library of the Year.

Scratch that.
Library of the Decade.

I truly believe that. We have come a long way, but we need to jump this hurdle. Our online presence – specifically the home page – is now more important than ever, more important than our physical space. With eBooks and eAudiobooks integrating into Search (sort of), with various providers like Overdrive, Hoopla, 3M, and Zinio – all of which are confusing to patrons; with online articles (if you can find them), online registration, online room booking, and online programs (and don’t get me started on online library cards which still don’t exist)….

Yeah, the website matters.

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Source: What Library Will Create the First Real Website? (Please Stand Up)

The Next Generation of Librarians

Internships | Mentoring | Public librarians | Library School

June 22, 2017

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A librarian mentor talks with interns in a speed-mentoring round at the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative kickoff in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tracey Salazar

“How do you find a library and a position that fit your skill set and put you in a place where you will be happy?”

“How do you overcome the difficulties and hardships that come along the way?”

“Why are conversations about race so difficult?”

These were only some of the insightful questions asked by the 50 teenagers participating in the inaugural cohort of the Inclusive Internship Initiative (III). Made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Public Library Association (PLA), the goal of III is to introduce high school juniors and seniors from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds to careers in librarianship.

Equal parts academic seminar and career coaching, III’s kick-off event June 16 at the Library of Congress put library leaders on call to answer big questions. PLA President Felton Thomas opened by noting, “The traditional stereotype has been evolving for a number of years, but now more than ever, public libraries are providing services—summer lunches, passports, social services—that we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago. Future librarians must understand that we are going through a generational transition of what it means to be a public librarian.”

Read more…

New ACRL Report Highlights Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

Academic libraries | Higher education | Information literacy

What to do with your MLIS degree: Landing a job with an MLIS degree | LibGig

Career Advice | Library School | Employment

The library is dead, long live the librarian.

Libraries are not dead, of course. Or, to paraphrase another popular expression, “The reports of the library’s death have been greatly exaggerated”.

Yet the confusion and even fear I am seeing in current and recent MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) graduates has motivated me to weigh in with some reassurances and ideas on jobs to pursue with an MLIS degree.

Rest assured, your MLIS training and skills are valuable

The amount of new digital content being created every day is beyond human comprehension. Book publishing stats are mind-boggling; with e-books and self-publishing, it seems like everyone is an author these days. Digitization has blurred the lines between data and content. Technology does a lot, but now more than ever, there’s a need for human guidance and intervention.

The letters “MLIS” may not directly connect you to job opportunities and that credential on its own may not mean much to some employers. Your job search won’t always be easy, and it will require thinking outside the box and self-promotion. But jobs are out there, and the training and capabilities your MLIS degree has given you are valuable and needed. Go forward with confidence in your ability to find the right opportunity. Read more…

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How values guide our understanding of trends and transition

Center for the Future of Libraries | Library Trends | Core Library Values

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For many futurists and trend spotters, “futuring” is fundamentally about the study of change.

“We can learn a great deal about what may happen in the future by looking systematically at what is actually happening now,” wrote Edward Cornish, one of the founders of the World Future Society.

We study change so we can prepare for the many futures that might happen. We start seeing what’s coming next. We study so that we won’t be surprised. And we study so that we’ll be better prepared to start creating the future.

That’s good news for library and information professionals. We are expert in finding, organizing, processing, and prioritizing information. From wherever we are in our organizations, we all have opportunities to observe changes in our communities and consider the implications over the long term.

But observation is simply not enough. One of the biggest lessons my colleagues and I have learned while developing the Center for the Future of Libraries is that studying change is useless without considering values. We need to look at trends and changes with consideration of our own professional values (confidentiality and privacy, diversity, equitable access, intellectual freedom and expression, preservation) and the values that we seek to provide to our communities (a civic commons, democracy, discovery, education and literacy, public discourse).  And so, looking at changes, we need to ask ourselves what they might mean for intellectual freedom, for education, for equitable access, or for any of the other values that drive our work. Read more….

‘Not Sitting Quietly Anymore’: How Librarians Are Fighting Trump

Librarians | Activism | Social justice

Feb 20 2017 5:23 PM
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Photo by B. Harvey via Stocksy

Though some people may think the job involves more shushing than rallying, many librarians consider “making America read again” to be a radical political proposition.

When Audrey Lorberfeld woke up in her Brooklyn apartment on Saturday, January 28, she was, like much of the country, angry. In the first week of his presidency, Donald Trump had already signed executive orders reinstating an expanded global gag rule, calling for the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, reopening the possibility of the Dakota Access pipeline, and, on Friday, January 27, barring any travelers into the US from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Within hours of the order’s signing, two Iraqis who’d flown into JFK—53-year-old Hameed Khalid Darweesh, arriving from Iraq, and 33-year-old Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, arriving from Sweden—were detained. Overnight, while lawyers representing the two refugees worked to file a suit for their release, news of their detention spread, and by 11 AM on Saturday, organizations like the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) had put out a call for protesters outside JFK’s Terminal 4.

Read more…