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The Year in Review 2010

January 3, 2011

1. Supply and Demand Several Fox TV affiliates aired a segment June 28 titled: “Are Libraries Necessary, or a Waste of Tax Money?” The answer should have been apparent before the question was even asked: Gate counts and circulation documented that libraries were more in demand than ever, and patrons were not about to surrender … Continue reading The Year in Review 2010


Info Pro: Adopting Tools from the World of Business Consulting

Info Pro: Adopting Tools from the World of Business Consulting

January 3, 2011

As professionals serving increasingly business-savvy consumers, librarians must realize that we are, in fact, consultants. As such, we need to adopt some of the tools and thinking of business consultants to better communicate our value to library customers. We do that by creating what is called a ServiceScape environment, which is essential for building and … Continue reading Info Pro: Adopting Tools from the World of Business Consulting


Keith Michael Fiels

A Remarkable Ending to a Tough Year

December 28, 2010

Given the tough economy and the fiscal crisis that has affected libraries of all types, it was no surprise that the American Library Association found itself facing a $2-million revenue shortfall this past year—about 10%. Thanks to a lot of hard work on the part of members, management, and staff, we were able to reduce … Continue reading A Remarkable Ending to a Tough Year


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Advisory Beyond Books

December 23, 2010

Readers’ advisory (RA) continues to grow in complexity and scope. It’s no longer just a question of connecting a patron to a mystery or romance author similar to one they’ve enjoyed in the past. Today, RA encompasses more of a library’s book collection and also, as laid out in Integrated Advisory Service: Breaking through the … Continue reading Advisory Beyond Books



Teacher-Librarian Alert: Tutor.com Seeks Schools for Gates-Funded Professional Development Project

December 21, 2010

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced December 7 that it has awarded a $1.8-million grant to Tutor.com for the creation of a new professional development model for middle- and high-school math teachers that offers ongoing online and on-demand professional development opportunities. Tutor.com is looking for school districts that want to be considered candidates for … Continue reading Teacher-Librarian Alert: Tutor.com Seeks Schools for Gates-Funded Professional Development Project


12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country

December 21, 2010

Americans love their libraries, and advances in technology have multiplied the ways in which libraries enrich the quality of life in their communities. Whether they are in an elementary school or a university, a museum or a corporation, public or private, our nation's libraries offer a lifetime of learning. To library supporters everywhere—Friends, trustees, board … Continue reading 12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country


Californians Model How to Be Standards-Bearers for Strong School Libraries

December 7, 2010

It seems only fitting that a blueprint for putting strong school library programs back on the to-do lists of education leaders should emerge from California, which hasn’t significantly increased its fiscal support for school libraries in at least two decades. In fact, former ALA President Patricia Glass-Schuman characterized the state as the “worst of the … Continue reading Californians Model How to Be Standards-Bearers for Strong School Libraries


Screening Your Reads

December 6, 2010

In the office to my left, a colleague works with two oversized monitors and a driving simulator attached to his computer. From my right comes a steady bass thump as another colleague keyboards while listening to rap. In the midst of such 21st-century, tech-centric activity, an old-fashioned book-lover could feel decidedly dinosaur-like. Enter the book … Continue reading Screening Your Reads


Chicago May Vie with Hawaii for Obama Presidential Library

November 30, 2010

Competition appears to be growing between universities hoping to become the site of Barack Obama’s presidential library. A working group at the University of Hawaii’s main campus in Honolulu is considering whether or not the university should make a formal bid. Meanwhile, the University of Chicago, located in the city where the president’s political career … Continue reading Chicago May Vie with Hawaii for Obama Presidential Library


A Feeling for Books

November 22, 2010

What’s not to like about bibliotherapy? Bringing readers to books, whether fiction or nonfiction, that respond to personal problems and promote well-being seems like powerful testimony to the notion that reading changes lives. Bibliotherapy has been described as an extension of readers’ advisory, a specialized kind of information provision, or even a means of healing. … Continue reading A Feeling for Books


Austin Shooting

How to Be Prepared in Case Violence Strikes

November 17, 2010

The library workplace is no more immune to violent incidents than any other venue, sad to say, and just as vulnerable to physical attacks by troubled colleagues as from visitors. Consider these headline-grabbing situations, all taking place in libraries within a three-week period this fall: A 19-year-old freshman toting an AK-47 (surveillance video, 1:37) enters … Continue reading How to Be Prepared in Case Violence Strikes