I Blog, Therefore I Matter


January 29, 2010

I find it fascinating that so many people try to put a sad face on retirement. Just think of the common terms we use for retirement: "over the hill," "being sent to the glue factory," "hanging up the spikes," "riding into the sunset," "being put on the shelf" (presumably intended for librarians), and "being put … Continue reading I Blog, Therefore I Matter


Gilded Age


January 27, 2010

The phase “Gilded Age” may conjure up visions of Newport mansions, but the era was a formative time for libraries. Librarianship in Gilded Age America: An Anthology of Writings, 1868–1901 compiles articles, letters, and other documents from familiar names in library history, among them Charles Ammi Cutter,  Melvil Dewey, and John Cotton Dana. Also here are … Continue reading Gilded Age


Change at American University


January 25, 2010

Bill Mayer imagines a library without librarians. The way he sees it, his campus is filled with activity and he wants his librarians to be a part of the action. “Their role isn’t to simply go out and generate more visibility” he explains, “but to become more involved with everything that is going on around … Continue reading Change at American University


Resolutions and Rollouts


December 30, 2009

Coping with change–especially shrinking budgets and growing demands–is the focus of several pieces in American Libraries' January-February issue, and just the act of reading them has inspired me to approach 2010 with new resolve. All of us who work for the advancement of library services in this country are going to need what James LaRue … Continue reading Resolutions and Rollouts


Inspiration, Seattle-style


December 30, 2009

What makes a library inspiring to its users? The key component is the relationship it builds with the people it serves. Seattle Public Library is a showcase for this attribute. In 2008, just in time to face what has become a global financial crisis, the library completed the 10-year "Libraries for All" campaign, which resulted … Continue reading Inspiration, Seattle-style


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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


Some of My Favorite Reads


December 29, 2009

What’s your favorite book? If you’re like me, that’s a tough question. There’s the one that captures the mood you’re in, the one that pulls you out of the mood you’ve been in, the one with those charming turns of phrase, the one with the cunning plot turns, the one with the better-than-you’d-hoped-for ending, and … Continue reading Some of My Favorite Reads


Joseph Janes

Info the Woods


December 29, 2009

As anyone who knows me well will testify, I am not by inclination the outdoorsy type. I mean, it’s fine for those who like that sort of thing, but I’ve always maintained that civilization is here for a reason, and I see no reason to go back to a time before grocery stores and flush … Continue reading Info the Woods


That’s News to Me


December 29, 2009

Maybe I should quit writing this column and start a blog. How about “Crazy Melvil” as a nom de plume?  Think of the advantages I’d gain from an intellectual freedom standpoint. I wouldn’t have to adhere to standards of accuracy, etiquette, or even self-respect. I wouldn’t have to hold anything back, and would be free … Continue reading That’s News to Me


Digital Renewal


December 17, 2009

Before the current wave of mass digitization ventures were even a gleam in the eye of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, many libraries were already engaged in their own endeavors. These early projects often involved digitization of historical images, maps, and documents centered on a place or historical period. The projects were innovative at the time and … Continue reading Digital Renewal


Brand Perception 2.0


December 16, 2009

Many librarians have tried to play a role in educating young adults about developing a presence on social networking sites. They have warned teens that nothing online ever really disappears and that compromising photographs or derogatory posts can impact their future job prospects. Online identity is built upon all of the things we have put … Continue reading Brand Perception 2.0


Brand Perception 2.0


December 16, 2009

Many librarians have tried to play a role in educating young adults about developing a presence on social networking sites. They have warned teens that nothing online ever really disappears and that compromising photographs or derogatory posts can impact their future job prospects. Online identity is built upon all of the things we have put … Continue reading Brand Perception 2.0