Testing the Times


March 31, 2010

In the midst of an economic slump that has libraries ­everywhere cutting to the bare bones, it’s a special pleasure to be able to present a showcase of new and renovated facilities that can hold its own against any other we’ve published since the annual American Libraries feature began in 1977 with a modest story … Continue reading Testing the Times


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


Joseph Janes

Mirabile Visu


March 15, 2010

Things I never thought I’d see: 1. The Saints winning the Super Bowl. 2. The Mariners making off-season moves that might actually help for this year. 3. A Google commercial. I couldn’t quite believe it at first; there it was in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, as it really began to look like … Continue reading Mirabile Visu



The Pixelated Campus


March 9, 2010

"There is no frigate like a book,” Emily Dickinson wrote long ago, “to take us lands away.” Only the foolhardy would quibble with her eloquent, 19th-century paean to the written word, and librarians aplenty support reading as a vehicle for escape and learning alike. Yet in the current century, more and more librarians themselves opt … Continue reading The Pixelated Campus


Risk, Failure, and Yield


March 8, 2010

Elisabeth Doucett is an entrepreneur. She has to be. As director of the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine, one of her chief responsibilities is to raise funds for the collection. If she doesn’t, nothing new will be added to the shelves. "Our town essentially pays for the building; but everything that goes inside of … Continue reading Risk, Failure, and Yield


Art of Storytelling


March 8, 2010

In 1974 the eminent Augusta Baker authored, along with Ellin Greene, Storytelling: Art and Technique. Now this classic has been brought into the twenty-first century by Greene and Janice M. Del Negro. As they state in their preface, the fourth edition “reflects the radical cultural and societal changes that have taken place since the first … Continue reading Art of Storytelling


Finding Your Voice


March 8, 2010

Having a professional online portfolio is a great way to show off your technology skills and provide additional information to potential employers that doesn’t fit into your résumé and cover letter. However, this alone won’t give them a strong sense of who you are, nor will it help you develop a professional network. Adding a … Continue reading Finding Your Voice


My Favorite Medium



March 3, 2010

The guy driving the airport shuttle van couldn’t get over it. I had arrived at the Philadelphia airport and was to be driven to a speaking engagement at a library conference in New Jersey. I had called the driver from home before I left to give him the details of my flight arrival. Nonchalantly, he … Continue reading My Favorite Medium


Is Technology Catching Up?


February 18, 2010

Even non-techies can offer cutting-edge services right away, says Ellyssa Kroski in her cover story for the March  issue of American Libraries. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter make it easier for all of us to communicate and collaborate, she says, and her main point is that you no longer have to be an … Continue reading Is Technology Catching Up?


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