The biggest issue with equating the library with a Netflix for books is that it sends a false message that libraries are worth little more than $8 or $12 or $20 a month. That the services offered in libraries are little more than options to which people can subscribe, rather than actual services anyone can utilize at any time.
When the library is made to be seen as a business, rather than the heart of a community or a fundamental service made possible through citizen-approved tax dollars, it makes the library expendable. That expendability then moves down the chain: staff salaries get cut, then staff withers, then more programs and projects that benefit the community — books and movies and CDs and magazines and newspapers and wifi and computer access and database subscriptions and programs for all shapes, colors, and sizes of people — disappear, too. It detracts from the unique aspects that make a library what it is: a place for all, rather than a place for some.
Upcoming first novels you shouldn’t miss, including Adi Alsaid’s Let Get Lost, Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist, Elizabeth Little’s Dear Daughter, and David Shafer’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, plus excerpts from indie press titles.
How important do you think social media is for library professionals? Should they have a blog, twitter, etc., or do you think linkedin suffices? What do you think the goals should be of info professionals who engage in social media for work?
Good questions. I think there’s a few main goals for social media-ing for librarians: 1) networking, 2) resource sharing, 3) documenting/sharing your professional progress in a relatable way. Obviously all three of these are interconnected. Social media provides the opportunity to meet professionals you might not have the opportunity to connect with IRL—and, importantly, social media can enable URL-to-IRL meetings. That’s probably my favorite part. I rolled in to the ALA Annual conference back in Anaheim knowing only one person there—but having enough ‘internet friends’ that I my days were full with lunches and socials and other informal meet-ups.
Sure, you can still get a job and you can still certainly do amazing work without being plugged in. But I’d also argue you’re missing out on a rich experience and opportunity to connect and learn. Each of the major social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, even reddit and the larger blogging platforms—has communities of librarians having fun and sharing cool stuff. I’d recommend finding which one(s) work for you and jumping in.
LinkedIn is still a sort of mystery to me. I’d argue it’s worth having a profile—it’s a good search result if a prospective employer wants to find you online and it’s a good way to take some control of your professional brand. I’ve also been solicited a couple of times for job opportunities, which is pretty cool too. Most importantly, LinkedIn shows you if you have a connection, even indirectly, to an employer you would like to work for.
In spite of protests and petitions from over four thousand concerned patrons, the Singapore National Library Board is moving ahead on plans to pulp three picture-books that depict non-traditional families–all at the urging of a single bigot.
It is fitting that the quietest place at Wimbledon is the library.
“It’s an oasis,” said Audrey Snell, who has worked there for 15 years.
About 40,000 fans crowd onto the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club each day during the tournament, filling Centre Court, smothering Henman Hill and shuffling among matches, sipping Pimm’s and nibbling strawberries.
Only a few each day find their way to the library, with the sport’s greatest collection of books and magazines.
This special library does it the old-fashioned way: offline.
Award-winning audiobook narrator Kirby Heyborne‘s performance of his original song, “Ain’t Nobody Change the World Like a Librarian,” will surely go down in ALA Annual history as one of the best surprise moments experienced by a crowd of librarians. Ever.
Harlem’s La Casa Azul Bookstore is gearing up to partner on a book drive with the Unaccompanied Latin American Minor Project (U-LAMP) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/Safe Passage Project. Starting July 10, books will be collected for and distributed to children who were picked up at the US-Mexico and are going through deportation proceedings in New York City.
Kudos to La Caza Azul and U-LAMP for their humanitarian efforts. If you live in NYC, you have until August 10 to donate.
Last night, we raised the question: Amazon: Business As Usual? Our thoughtful speakers gave their two cents, and today Flavorwire breaks down the event and highlights the questions of cultural urgency that came up.
In an effort to address the lack of broadband access among low-income residents, the Chicago Public Library (CPL), and New York Public Library (NYPL) on June 23 announced new programs that will allow patrons to check out and take home wifi hotspots. NYPL’s “Check Out the Internet,” and CPL’s “Internet to Go” programs are made possible, in part, by grants awarded this week by the Knight News Challenge, a competition developed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in partnership with the Ford Foundation and Mozilla, to fund and promote projects committed to making the Internet an open, equitable platform.