Be the Bridge

November 23, 2009

When working with students, librarians serve as bridges as well. Librarians must often interpret an assignment in order to bridge the gap between student and instructor expectations. But even with a well-designed assignment, addressing the student's expressed needs while interpreting the instructor's expectations is often a difficult balancing act. For example, when students are told … Continue reading Be the Bridge

The Top 10 Reasons to Be a Librarian

November 11, 2009

As a high school library media specialist, I have the good fortune to work with, and sometimes mold, young people. If I’m lucky, I discover what they do after graduation. Recently, one of my favorite students informed me that after earning her humanities degree at a tiny private college, she was pursuing a master’s degree … Continue reading The Top 10 Reasons to Be a Librarian

The Bunheads are Dead

November 9, 2009

Conjure up a picture of today's librarian, and you are likely to be wrong. Professional librarians are information analysts, freedom of information and protection of privacy officers, family literacy specialists, Internet trainers, teen specialists, genealogists, web designers and technologists, database managers, historical researchers, information brokers . . . indeed, few have the title of "librarian" … Continue reading The Bunheads are Dead

Newsmaker: Arne Duncan

October 31, 2009

The U.S. Secretary of Education shared his views on, among other things, volunteerism, No Child Left Behind, reading readiness, and libraries, in an exclusive June 22, 2009, telephone conversation with American Libraries Editor in Chief Leonard Kniffel. Arne Duncan at the Fanwood (N.J.) Public Library for the June 22 kick-off of "United We Serve." American Libraries: … Continue reading Newsmaker: Arne Duncan

Libel Tourism: Why Librarians Should Care

October 26, 2009

The global exchange and purchase of information via the internet has undoubtedly enriched scholarly communication and library collections. But all sorts of legal and cultural barriers confront information crossing national borders. Consider a book published in the United States and sold on a global website. Persons or groups who believe that this book has defamed … Continue reading Libel Tourism: Why Librarians Should Care

The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

October 26, 2009

Think about it. What makes you decide to try a new restaurant, see a particular movie, read a novel? Is it because you saw an ad, or because a friend-someone you trust-recommended it? The whole advertising arena has changed. Today there are so many more choices and so much clutter. We're no longer all watching … Continue reading The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Digital Divide on the Inside

October 26, 2009

Technology and reference are intertwining strands of public service. As our systems get more sophisticated, and as our desire to overhaul and remake those systems gets more intense, libraries need librarians who are tech-savvy and back-office staff who are pure tech. But is the drive toward more technologyoriented public service a one-way street? Or is … Continue reading Digital Divide on the Inside

David Weinberger

October 23, 2009

Few have been able to capture the essence of the Internet Age like David Weinberger. In 1999, he coauthored The Cluetrain Manifesto, which took a seemingly radical approach to the web as a vehicle for cultural interaction, in a time when the media focused on the web's commercial aspects. Recently released in a 10th anniversary … Continue reading David Weinberger

Facebook à la Fulbright

October 7, 2009

When I began my Fulbright teaching award in Morocco, I had one Moroccan "friend" on Facebook, the international social networking website. This friend was a student at the library school where I had been assigned, the Ecole des Sciences de l'Information (ESI) in the capital city of Rabat. A New Jersey librarian had put me … Continue reading Facebook à la Fulbright

E-readers in Action

September 24, 2009

E-books are nothing new, and librarians and library patrons have long struggled with their lack of utility. Reading on a computer screen for long periods of time is not most people's cup of tea and leads to hundreds of pages-long printouts in many a library lab. However, in early 2008, e-books began to make waves … Continue reading E-readers in Action

The Children We Serve

September 23, 2009

In Children and Libraries: Getting It Right (ALA Editions, 2001), I proposed three alternative visions for the children we would be serving as we moved into the 21st century: the original notion of the child reader, an idea that inspired and guided the founders of library service to children; the child of the information age; … Continue reading The Children We Serve