First it was the poster debacle. Now come all of the complaints about the point of celebrating Banned Books Week. I just finished reading an article on Slate called Banned Books Week Is A Crock and I had some thoughts I wanted to share. I do cringe a little bit as this week approaches. There are some… Continue reading Banned Books Week: All Controversy All The Time
After many recent controversies, current Librarian of Congress James Billington has decided to step down on January 1, 2016. LISNews had some great questions and information about how the position will be filled. Personally, I would love to see a woman with library experience in the role.
Should it be a presidential appointment? Should the next office holder have a degree in Library Science (Mr. Billington did not).
Infodocket has more information on the period of transition, including this:
LC tells us that while no timeline is in place at the moment, President Obama has “roughly” six months to consider nominees for the vacancy. If a new Librarian of Congress is not confirmed by the time of Dr. Billington’s retirement, David Mao, Deputy Librarian, would serve as Acting Librarian of Congress until the time a new leader is confirmed by the Senate. Mao holds both legal and library degrees.
What? The 2015 Symposium on LIS Education is a two day student-led event, facilitated by LIS students, for LIS students. The Symposium will bring together students, LIS educators, and practitioners to critically examine current practices in LIS education programs. As a group, participants will identify and brainstorm solutions to current challenges facing LIS education. The… Continue reading 2015 Symposium on LIS Education ~ April 10-11
EveryLibrary has announced a new journal called The Political Librarian that will be all about local funding and political issues for libraries. This differs from other disucssions because it is focused on what they call the “hyper-local” level dealing with city tax codes, library boards, and voters instead of federal and national level. The journal will be open access and under non-commercial Creative Commons.
They are currently seeking submissions in three categories:
Polemics – Editorial in nature; the first draft of an idea or argument
White Papers – Longer form discussions that may include research
Peer Reviewed – Long form articles that include original research and arguments, and are submitted for review by our Editorial Board
We seek contributions that:
Further a discussion of tax policy and public policy at the local level
Explore and review ordinances, regulations and legislation, or propose new model language that actuate policy or revenue at a local level
Specifically engage disparities in community outcomes based on current funding and authority models for libraries
Provide and encourage experiential input about the way that current policy models impact library service delivery and community outcomes
Provide and encourage explorations of new, underutilized, or experimental models to address local library funding or authority
Provide resources and tactics that libraries can use to educate stakeholders on the essential role of libraries and librarians in their local community.
A scholarly journal just for me? Perhaps someday… No, a group of librarians in the UK got together and formed the Radical Librarians Collective to offer a radical approach to library and information issues, particularly to challenge the marketization of libraries. They are against neoliberalism in libraries, not liberalism in the political sense but in the economical. In The Library With The Lead Pipe borrows a definition from Lowes’ The Anti-Capitalist Dictionary for neoliberalism:
Neoliberalism can be defined as the belief “that markets are inherently efficient and that the state and public sector have no essential role to play in economic development apart from facilitating the expansion, intensification and primacy of market relations.”
They recently decided to create an academic journal with the hopes that these theories could be shared more widely.
The Journal of Radical Librarianship is a new open-access journal publishing a combination of peer-reviewed scholarly writing and non-peer-reviewed commentary and reviews. We’re looking for work on the subject of radical librarianship and related areas. Broadly speaking, anything that investigates the political aspects of librarianship or takes a critical theory-based approach to LIS.
They are looking for submissions on radical librarianship which they suggest is “anything that investigates the political aspects of librarianship or takes critical theory-based approach to LIS.” Contact them with questions about submission ideas.
We have a similar group here in the us called the Radical Reference Collective. I met up with some of them at ALA one year for drinks and learned more about their organization. Their mission, slightly more broad, I think, than the Radical Librarian Collective is:
Mission Statement: Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. We support activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing professional research support, education and access to information. We work in a collaborative virtual setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society.
An upcoming post I am working on will go more into this, but it is difficult to do what we do and not become political. Whether we are talking about why libraries are so important or the campaigning for funds to keep the doors open, politics is a big part of librarianship. I look forward to seeing what this journal has to add to libraryland and following the efforts of radical librarians everywhere!
The School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is hosting a MOOC on Public Library User Experience that sounds pretty interesting.
The objectives of the course are:
Students completing the Customer Service Module will be able to:
Identify overarching principles that guide high quality public library service.
Describe trending options for experiences and spaces in your library that engage patrons and create a third place or refuge for the public.
Recognize the need for ongoing staff training that can build relationships and keep a safe environment for learning.
Demonstrate awareness of the diversity in audiences and the techniques available to reach out and provide great service.
Recognize the importance of programming as a commitment to library customer service that will create experiences beyond patron expectations.
Students completing the Youth Programming module will be able to:
To become aware of the past, present and potential future of library services for children and young adults.
To develop skills in assessing needs and utilizing goals and objectives to plan services and programs, and in evaluating services and programs.
To build specific programs appropriate for various age groups and to observe and conduct model programs in real settings.
To become aware of the potential of technology as well as other media in providing information services, in meeting educational needs, and in promoting total literacy.
To develop a philosophy of service for youth.
Students completing the Technology module will be able to:
Describe the basic library system components (OPAC, Circulation, Cataloging, Acquisitions, Serials) and how they serve us.
Identify current Discovery Systems and evaluate their impact on the traditional catalog for library users.
Show familiarity with technology standards (from MARC to OAI-PMH) that make a library work.
Understand how inventory control works with barcode/RFID technologies to ensure that both staff and library users can find what they want — and keep it safe.
Recognize basic networking strategies for cabled and for wireless access along with management and security concerns for all users.
Demonstrate awareness of current and upcoming library technologies and place these technologies in context for the public library community.
Students completing the Community Engagement module will be able to:
Identify community issues and challenges, including illustrating an area where community engagement is lacking and would be beneficial.
Describe the role their public library can play in identifying and addressing the issue.
Recognize the types of relevant community partners that can help support and enhance a community engagement project.
Describe and assess potential community engagement methods based on an analysis of community need and available resources.
Create a plan of action for their public library to take when implementing a community engagement project.
Evaluate the steps, resources, and knowledge needed to set the community engagement plan into action.
I had to learn more about how they combined subjects in the School of Informatics and Computing. Apparently it is the first program like this in the US and it combines computing, social science, and information systems. Fascinating! With the Rutgers School of Communication and Information recently dropping “Science” and calling the degree a Master of Information, we are probably going to see many changes like this in the way we define an education in information.
Anyway, this MOOC sounds interesting. You can enroll for the course here.
KERA talks about how libraries are adjusting to the digital age with Jo Giudice, Director of the Dallas Public Library and Dr. Herman Totten, dean of UNT’s College of Information, my alma mater. via The Library Of The Future | KERA.
Project Information Literacy is a national study housed out of The University of Washington’s iSchool on today’s young adults research habits. According to this short video, they are information scientists who believe information literacy is essential to critical thinking, lifelong learning, succeeding in the workplace, and contributing to community. They will be releasing a report of their findings… Continue reading Project Information Literacy