Our Conservative Ideals

March 17, 2010

Although TV talking heads discuss trillion-dollar bailouts for broken industries as if you might trip over one on your way to the unemployment office, libraries—which aren’t broken—struggle to make our case. I sometimes worry that librarians’ language only addresses the left side of the political aisle, leaving the right’s opinions to be shaped by people … Continue reading Our Conservative Ideals


The Case for Textbooks

February 17, 2010

At Miami University’s regional campuses in Hamilton and Middletown, Ohio, we have also encountered “the textbook phenomenon” described by Bonnie Imler. However, our response to students’ confusion about the roles of the library and the bookstore has been quite different from Imler’s. Our reaction to the oft-repeated axiom that “libraries don’t purchase course textbooks” was … Continue reading The Case for Textbooks


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The Faces of Circulation

December 29, 2009

What is the recipe for creating a circulation worker? You add three or four able-bodied individuals, one tablespoon of a circulation study guide, bake for about one month of trial-by-fire on-the-desk  experience, and you have what is called the circulation worker. As a former circulation worker who ultimately became a reference librarian (in other words, … Continue reading The Faces of Circulation


Troublesome Textbooks

October 26, 2009

I refer to it as "the textbook phenomenon," and it has me perplexed. Over the past five years, I have watched increasing numbers of students struggle with the difference between the traditional roles of the college library and the college bookstore. I still remember the first time a student approached me at the reference desk … Continue reading Troublesome Textbooks


Killjoy Was Here

September 23, 2009

Recently I listened to a commencement speaker who said, "If faculty members can't offer students some hope and optimism for their future, some path of confident thinking in uncertain times, then we have no right or reason to be around them." I'd prefer offering students a sunnier picture from behind the reference desk, but the … Continue reading Killjoy Was Here