Libraries are special places precisely because they are open to everyone. It is our absolute pleasure to welcome each person who walks through our doors.
The excellent Library Extension is now available for Firefox! Install it to see book and e-book availability from your local library on sites like Amazon and Goodreads. 📚
Belatedly, I also really enjoyed the session on DEI and library staffing. And the keynote with Ryan Dowd was predictably awesome. I hit the conference jackpot: inspiring sessions, catch-up with colleagues, and meeting an online friend in person for the first time! #olawla19
Caris O’Malley is demonstrating the coolest spreadsheet I’ve ever seen: the Purpose Builder. We’re helping someone craft her personal mission statement! #olawla19
One of the secrets to leadership really resonates with me: People who understand their purpose do better things. #olawla19
Strategic plans shouldn’t be to-do lists. Yes! #olawla19
In a session about leadership skills, and stunned by an increase in self-checkouts from 8% to 95%. Not a typo! 😳 #olawla19
Hello from 2019 OLA-WLA! 👋 I just attended an inspiring morning session on Agile for library projects. I’m psyched to scrum! #olawla19
If libraries receive more public funds, more people use them. And if governments invest less in its libraries (as they have since 2009), fewer people visit—though the drop in visits from disinvestment isn’t as strong as the rise from investment would be.
Ultimately though this goes much deeper than fiscal responsibility and the judicious use of tax dollars. This is about how we see ourselves as a nation, it’s about what it means to be American in 2017. Do we offer a hand to our neighbor or do we shun and fear them? Do we want to see our tax dollars spent on education for local communities or do we want them tied up in missiles sitting in storage waiting to kill enemies a thousand miles away? Do we aspire or do we cower?
Libraries as a luxury item
I asked her, “What do you think people are going to do when they lose their jobs and their house gets foreclosed on and can’t afford to just buy whatever books they want from Amazon? They’re going to go to the library where they can borrow them for free.” “Oh,” she said, “I guess so, huh?”
Dallas Library Embraces Role As Haven For The Homeless
KU library workers push inclusion wearing preferred gender pronoun buttons
But libraries without librarians are just storerooms. Specialist librarians can make apparently tangential leaps and suddenly produce a raft of documents that give answers to questions the researcher is yet to ask.
2016: The Year Open Access Broke?
Sharp Dressed, Well Read: This Philly Library Lets Job Hunters Borrow Ties
The ‘tiebrary’ provides residents with a cravat for the all-important interview.
The Capacity To Endure | Sustainability
Lazarus Project Brings Damaged Texts Back to Life
ALA: Don’t hack the Constitution, ALA stands with Apple | News and Press Center
Washington, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA)’s Adam Eisgrau, managing director of the Office of Government Relations, issued the following statement on a federal magistrate’s February 16 order that Apple develop new technology to assist the FBI to defeat privacy protections built into the iPhone’s operating system:
The only thing that could make last December’s attack in San Bernardino more horrible would be its use to profoundly erode the Constitution’s protection of our fundamental freedoms. Mandated ‘back doors’ into encrypted systems cannot successfully be labelled ‘Bad Guys Keep Out.’ The only way to protect our data and, ultimately, our freedom is to fight any attempt by the courts and Congress to hack the Constitution. ALA stands with Apple.
Some Things Your Local Librarians Would Like You To Know
It is not a stupid question. Even if it is a stupid question, we have been thoroughly trained to answer your question without judgement or second-guessing. Besides, we’re mostly just glad you’re not asking us about the noise the printer is making again.
There are probably (at least) two desks in the library. One is where you check out books and is mostly staffed by people wearing nametags that say “Circulation Clerk.” These people can answer your questions about damaged or missing books, fines, and how many forms of identification we’ll need if you want to get a library card but your mailing address is in Taiwan. The other one is closer to the books and computers and is mostly staffed by people wearing nametags that say “Librarian.” These people can answer your questions about spider extermination, how to rent property to the United States Postal Service, and the number of tropical island nations in which you could theoretically establish the first United States Embassy. We would love to answer these questions for you. It would be a nice change from the printer.
We probably own a 3D printer by now. 3D printers, are cool, right? Please, please come use our 3D printer, it’s so lonely.
We spent a lot of money to hire this woodworker to come and teach a class at the library which you can attend for free. You will probably be the only person between the ages of ten and fifty in attendance, but your presence will fill the librarian with an unnameable joy. They will float back to their manager in a daze. “A young person came to my program,” they will say. You will have made their entire job worthwhile.
Every time you ask us for a book, movie, or music recommendation, a baby librarian gets their first cardigan.
Somewhere in the library, there is a form. If you fill out this form with your name and library card number and the details of the thing you are looking for, we will find you the thing. Sometimes the answer is “the thing is in Great Britain and they will not send it to us,” but more often the thing will just appear on hold for you, and one day you will pick up a copy of that out-of-print book you never thought you would read and maybe you will say, “Wow, the library is amazing,” and the librarian’s heart will glow.
Please bring back book #2. The rest of its series misses it very much.
Five dollars is not a large library fine. Believe me, before I started working in libraries, I too wondered how someone could sleep at night, knowing they owed money to the library. When we laugh as you sheepishly apologize for your $2.50 in overdue fees, we are not mocking you, we are thinking of the ten people we sent to debt collection already today.
We really don’t care why you’re checking out Fifty Shades of Grey. Maybe you have a specifically-themed ironic bachelorette party to plan. Maybe you’re working on a thesis paper about mainstream media’s depiction of female sexuality. Maybe you just got curious. We will give you the benefit of the doubt.
Whatever you’re smoking in the family restroom, please stop.
Somewhere on the library’s website, buried under “Links” or “Research” or “On-line Resources,” is a page that a librarian spent a month’s worth of work on. It contains many links to websites you thought everyone knew about, and one to a page that you could never have imagined existed that perfectly solves a problem you never expected to be resolved.
Imagine the kind of person who would think to themselves, “Library school sounds like a thing I should do.” For the most part, you are imagining the kind of person who is now a librarian. We want very much to help you, but we’re not entirely sure how to do that unless you ask. You are not bothering us. Please, come and say hi.
The First College in the U.S. to Open Without Any Books in its Library
Funny, the thing that bothered me the most about this story was the renaming of the reference desk.
The biggest issue with equating the library with a Netflix for books is that it sends a false message that libraries are worth little more than $8 or $12 or $20 a month. That the services offered in libraries are little more than options to which people can subscribe, rather than actual services anyone can utilize at any time.
When the library is made to be seen as a business, rather than the heart of a community or a fundamental service made possible through citizen-approved tax dollars, it makes the library expendable. That expendability then moves down the chain: staff salaries get cut, then staff withers, then more programs and projects that benefit the community — books and movies and CDs and magazines and newspapers and wifi and computer access and database subscriptions and programs for all shapes, colors, and sizes of people — disappear, too. It detracts from the unique aspects that make a library what it is: a place for all, rather than a place for some.
Libraries reach out where Netflix reaches in.
Why the death of net neutrality would be a disaster for libraries
Isn’t this obvious? Worth a read anyway.