Text Block

Librariana, bibliomania, and information glut from around the Internet.
Recent Tweets @

On Wednesday, September 3, 10-11am CST.

Have you heard the catalogers in your library mumbling about RDA, FRBR, and other mysterious acronyms? Would you like to find how recent cataloging changes could affect you? Resource Description & Access (RDA) is the new cataloging code that replaced AACR2 early in 2013, and in this session, Emily Nimsakont, the NLC’s Cataloging Librarian, will provide a translation of “cataloger-ese” to explain what RDA is. She will also discuss how the new cataloging rules will affect libraries’ OPACs, non-cataloging library staff, and library patrons.
  • This is very important to keep in mind, especially if you want to enjoy your reading experience.
  • 1: You should read Anything.
  • 2: Whatever you like.
  • 3: There are no rules.
  • 4: There is no age limit.
  • 5: You can read whatever the hell you want.
  • 6: I'm not going to tell you what you SHOULD be reading.
  • 7: Because that's up to you.
  • 8: Pick up ANY BOOK
  • 9: And please,
  • 10: Enjoy the hell out of it! (Or dislike it, it's all up to you!)
  • I want to staple this to telephone poles. Or, if I still worked with library patrons, I'd print it out and have in a frame on reference and circulation desks.


Moving beyond universities, digital literacy is something public librarians need to work on with our patrons and communities, at every age level. Real community engagement includes sharing knowledge and skills across the desk.

What I like the most about this article is further down— the “15 Habits to Cultivate in Your Students”.  Not all of them make sense to me (“Teach your students to WordPress”…well, communicate via an online medium, okay…), but the majority of them encourage independent research, critical thinking, and creating content.

(via thelibraryperson)

July 12, 2014 marked the passing of an extraordinary librarian, Zoia Horn. Ms. Horn was best known in library circles for spending three weeks in jail in 1972 for having refused to testify before a grand jury regarding information relating to Phillip Berrigan’s library use.

Edited to add links that were in the original article.  

Thank you, Ms. Horn.

First of all…hmm, interesting.  Good food for thought.

What I’d say is necessary is to 1.) make the time, and 2.) save time in the process, because said time is precious.  So to that, I have some addenda and/or caveats to your list:

2. Before innovating, make sure everything you currently do is operating smoothly.
3. To start doing new things, you need to prudently stop doing some old things.

These two points can translate into, “Periodically evaluate and adjust your workflow.”  A scheduled review time or date can be helpful for this— to set aside a time and date to look over everything, take out (or delegate) the old and introduce the new.

5. Open up innovation beyond your department. Include students, faculty, and other colleges. Create partnerships to share the risk.
8. Learn outside of your discipline.
9. Tap into your network (follow cool, random people on Twitter).

This is absolutely necessary, not only because it opens up your scope of knowledge, but because those resources can be tapped to save you time in creating innovations.  

My addition to this list would be: 10. Save time and effort by innovating in the direction the work and technology is already going.  That is, when you’re pressed for time, use the knowledge of others and the skills you have cultivated not to revolutionize your library, but to reform and improve it bit by bit.

The Chronicle touches upon how digital media weakens library media distritubtion:

Old-fashioned media—books, tapes, CDs, etc.—are governed by the first-sale doctrine, a legal provision that allows a buyer to do whatever she wants with a copy.

The licensing of digital media, however, gives publishers far more power. Instead of selling an album outright, they can sell permission to access its contents for a fixed amount of time.

“It would be a crime to lose this unique resource that’s not just unique to Darby,” [library board president Jay] McCalla said. “No other community in America has this library, the oldest in the nation.”

McCalla says they may have to make a decision on whether or not to close the library sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

According to McCalla, state and federal officials can’t give them money to keep the library open. Instead, the money must come from the Darby Borough or those willing to lend a helping hand.

If you would like to donate or volunteer, visit the Darby Free Library website.

Briefly, they are:

  1. “Do people still even go to the library now that there’s Google?”
  2. “So, are you like, a volunteer?” Usually followed up with “What? You need to have a Master’s degree to be a librarian?!!”
  3. “But isn’t print dead at this point?”
  4. “You’re a librarian? That’s so hot!”
  5. “That must be great to just be able to read all day.”
  6. “So you, like, get to shush people all day?”
  7. “Well what do you think the future is for libraries? I have a theory…”

My only objection is to #7’s reaction— I actually like hearing what people have to say about the future of libraries. It’s just that usually when someone says this to me, they think that they’re being radical or they’re saying something that I’ve never heard before when, no, really, everything you’re talking about is familiar to me. Trust me, librarians have given this a lot of thought. Really.

The resources were developed by The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, whose “turning outward” approach emphasizes changing the orientation of institutions and individuals from internal (organization-facing) to external (community-facing). This process entails taking steps to better understand communities; changing processes and thinking to make conversations more community-focused; being proactive about community issues; and developing shared aspirations.

Libraries are encouraged to download, copy and share the materials, free of charge, at ala.org/LTC. The resources are offered as part of ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative.

Available materials include tools such as:

  • Aspirations/Aspirations Facilitator’s Guide (PDF) help libraries focus on their community’s aspirations, identify next steps for creating change, and create an aspirations-based narrative for their community as a starting point for library action.
  • Turn Outward (PDF) helps libraries assess the focus of their efforts in the community as they shift their orientation from internal to external.
  • Sustaining Yourself (PDF) helps library professionals map the components that fuel their motivation and commitment for community work.
  • Community Conversation Workbook (PDF) explains how to convene engaging community conversations that will elicit substantial, actionable feedback from residents. The guide is accompanied by a webinar.
  • Theming and Using Public Knowledge Workbook (PDF) demonstrates how to organize and understand the information collected during community conversations and how to share what you have learned with others. The guide is accompanied by a webinar.
For a full list of resources, as well as a 90-day guide for getting started with the “turning outward” approach, visit ala.org/LTC.