Keith Michael Fiels

Planning and Budgeting

May 12, 2010

At the ALA Executive Board’s spring meeting, held April 23-25 at the Association’s headquarters in Chicago, the board spent a significant amount of time discussing the draft ALA 2015 Strategic Plan (PDF file) and the latest revisions made to the plan based on comments provided by over 750 ALA members. The ALA Council agenda includes discussion … Continue reading Planning and Budgeting

Winning the Budget Wars

May 6, 2010

Library publications and blogs are filled with two types of articles these days: horror stories and fantasies. First, the horror stories. These are the news reports of budget cuts, most of which are in fact quite horrible. Academic Library X is getting its budget cut by 30%; School District Y is firing all of its … Continue reading Winning the Budget Wars


Reference Renaissance

April 30, 2010

Although some may question the notion of a reference renaissance (did reference ever really die?), few would deny that “reference has been transformed from an area that focused on resources and artifacts to one that explores a human process of questioning, contextualizing, and learning.” So notes the introduction to Reference Renaissance: Current and Future Trends, … Continue reading Reference Renaissance


Titles for Teens

April 27, 2010

Librarians who work with teens will welcome these useful guides. In Booktalking with Teens, Kristine Mahood explains how to use booktalks to engage teens with the library. She discusses what teens are reading (and how to find out); surveys various genres, including graphic novels and classics; and outlines the steps in making booktalking a success. … Continue reading Titles for Teens

Tell Us a Story

April 20, 2010

There’s nothing quite so satisfying as a good story well told. We all tell stories, and libraries are the best places in the world to share them. With a growing national trend toward taking advantage of the cultural and literary programs, personalized professional learning assistance, and community social hub that good libraries offer their constituents, … Continue reading Tell Us a Story

Joseph Janes

The Biggest Front Porch

April 20, 2010

There are few pleasures in life as rewarding as being in the presence of a great storyteller—an opportunity I get every year when the University of Washington SLIS hosts the Spencer Shaw Lecture, in honor of our beloved emeritus faculty member. This year’s treat was Patricia McKissack, whose talk was titled “On the Front Porch … Continue reading The Biggest Front Porch

Chalkboard Heroine

April 20, 2010

One might reasonably think I’m beyond having a favorite teacher. Having turned in all my assignments and completed my formal education years ago, such a declaration might seem a tad unnecessary. A note on author Nikki Grimes’s Facebook page, though, called my attention to Teacher Appreciation Day, recognized early each May. Her words, to say … Continue reading Chalkboard Heroine

Let’s Review Everything

April 20, 2010

For many years, readers’ advisory has been a fundamental and valuable library service that has helped library patrons and others decide what books to borrow from a library or to buy from a book dealer. Librarians have also been prolific writers of book reviews, which have helped other librarians make purchasing decisions and helped readers … Continue reading Let’s Review Everything

Quirkiness “R” Us

April 19, 2010

A couple of months ago I started a daily blog entitled "Will Unwound." At first, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that as a retired librarian I wanted to stay connected to librarians on a daily basis. Call me crazy, but I think librarians are the most interesting tribe … Continue reading Quirkiness “R” Us


New from ALA: May 2010

April 19, 2010

In the latest book on a persistent challenge, Michael Sullivan offers readers’ advisory as a strategy to bring boys to the library and get them to read. Serving Boys Through Readers’ Advisory explains “boys’ lit” and outlines how to use readers’ advisory effectively. Librarians will appreciate the many boy-friendly booktalks and book lists. Indexed. 152p.PBK. … Continue reading New from ALA: May 2010

Weeding Grows the Garden

April 16, 2010

Michael Sawyer takes pride in weeding books. In fact, he estimates that over the past 30 years he has overseen the removal of more than 500,000 items across eight library systems. As you can imagine, this has not been without controversy. “Many librarians have an emotional attachment to their collections,” Sawyer observes. "They think of … Continue reading Weeding Grows the Garden


Tomes’ Tome

April 15, 2010

If books disappear, they’ll have a fitting monument in The Oxford Companion to the Book. The first part of this hefty Companion comprises 48 in-depth essays offering a tour of the book’s evolution from Sumerian clay tokens to e-books. In between are discussions of printing, paper, illustration, bookbinding, children’s books, and other topics, as well … Continue reading Tomes’ Tome