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


Discoveries


February 12, 2010

After nearly 30 years at Booklist, the greatest pleasure of my job continues to be discovering a new writer before the rest of the world and watching a career develop over time. One of my most satisfying discoveries has been Erin Hart, a Minneapolis writer whose third novel, False Mermaid, is published this month. Like … Continue reading Discoveries


Cataloging Horizons


February 12, 2010

Library catalogs have evolved over time as technology has changed. The last 150 years have seen a progression from book catalogs to cards, and eventually, to online catalogs. Each of these changes has provided new capabilities that can be adopted for improved user services. The next step in this evolution is on the horizon, and … Continue reading Cataloging Horizons


Whither Wikipedia?


February 12, 2010

You’ve got to feel a bit for Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales. Here’s a guy with a fairly simple but incredibly powerful idea: Create a way for people to share what they know with the wider world and in the process build a resource that can be of great benefit to everyone. As he said in … Continue reading Whither Wikipedia?


Your Virtual Brand


February 4, 2010

I recently started teaching another great group of future librarians at San José State University about Web 2.0 technologies. I’m always in awe of their enthusiasm for the subject matter and for their chosen field. This year, I also feel a little sad, knowing that some of them will likely struggle to find work after … Continue reading Your Virtual Brand


Your Virtual Brand


February 4, 2010

I recently started teaching another great group of future librarians at San José State University about Web 2.0 technologies. I’m always in awe of their enthusiasm for the subject matter and for their chosen field. This year, I also feel a little sad, knowing that some of them will likely struggle to find work after … Continue reading Your Virtual Brand


Stirring Up Inspiration


February 4, 2010

It’s been one of those winters when I’ve wondered if one really feeds a cold (achoo!) and starves a fever, experimenting with soups that require no further icy treks to the grocery store (achoo!). Coincidentally I had already made arrangements for my history students to see titles that include the 1964 Seventeen Cookbook in the … Continue reading Stirring Up Inspiration


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