Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

A Librarian’s Good-Bye

June 3, 2019

In 1970, I was working in book receipts at Boston Public Library and just beginning to consider library school when I expressed an interest in cataloging during a coffee break with colleagues. Bill Crowe, who became dean of University of Kansas Libraries, suggested Cataloging USA, by Paul S. Dunkin, published by the American Library Association … Continue reading A Librarian’s Good-Bye


Rachel Altobelli

Creating Space for Agency

January 2, 2018

This is an excerpt from “Creating Space for Agency,” Knowledge Quest, Sept./Oct. 2017. It’s easy to imagine no LGBTQ students are at a given school, and therefore no need exists to court controversy by providing LGBTQ materials, but LGBTQ students are everywhere. I loved to read as a kid, but when I looked inside the books on … Continue reading Creating Space for Agency


Dispatches, by Melissa Goertzen

From Theory to Practice

June 1, 2017

The term “quantitative analysis” can seem daunting. But like many other professionals, I developed research skills on the job and jumped at any opportunity to learn about quantitative methods. One of the challenges I faced was how to make sense of data sources and use them in ways that support effective decision making. Over a … Continue reading From Theory to Practice


Sarah Park Dahlen

Diversify Everything

March 1, 2017

This is a climate in which we now all live. This is the climate in which my husband and I are raising our 3-year-old daughter, a Korean American, in a city that is 83% white and 8% Asian. Currently, 96% of Minnesota’s K–12 educators are white. Across the country, librarianship is 88% white. What do … Continue reading Diversify Everything


We Need Diverse Books logo

Less Normative Collections

January 24, 2017

Though normative collections are a systematic problem and no one person is to blame, Manfredi said, the session sought to convey how librarians, educators, publishers, and reviewers are complicit in this problem. Manfredi began by identifying examples of microaggressions—comments or actions that may be hostile or demeaning to a minority or marginalized group—and popular misconceptions … Continue reading Less Normative Collections


BikeSmart bikes at Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio.

The Freewheelin’ Library

September 8, 2016

With help from kids in the community, SCDL started its BikeSmart program in June 2015. BikeSmart allows patrons to use their library cards to rent bicycles at one of six bike lending stations in Canton and Massillon. The program has returned for its second season, which will run until about November 15. The program is … Continue reading The Freewheelin’ Library


Weeding Made Easy

Weeding without Worry

May 2, 2016

In 2013, Highland Park (Mich.) High School was accused of throwing out a large collection of history materials, including some rare items, which had been cultivated over a 50-year period. That same year, the Urbana (Ill.) Free Library discarded nearly 10,000 items, apparently just based on age, rather than condition or use. The discarding was … Continue reading Weeding without Worry


Karen Muller

Understanding Acquisitions

March 1, 2016

The textbook treatment, The Complete Guide to Acquisitions Management, 2nd edition, by Frances C. Wilkinson, Linda K. Lewis, and Rebecca L. Lubas, covers the essentials of the purchasing process for monographs, serials, and digital items as well as out-of-print and antiquarian materials. Several chapters focus on industry partners in the acquisitions process: the publishers and … Continue reading Understanding Acquisitions



CollectionsCollisions.jpg

Collections Are for Collisions

October 13, 2014

The title of that tale was The Travels and Adventures of Three Princes of Serendip. The story inspired Walpole to coin the term serendipity. Who among us has never known, how­ever trivial, a serendipitous discovery? More essentially, nearly every librarian has heard at some point in his or her career someone’s story about a serendipitous … Continue reading Collections Are for Collisions