1. Not every library job entails direct customer service. But no matter your title, chances are you’ll be spending at least part of each week with the public. Does this mean every librarian is an extrovert? Hardly. Most of us are still introverts, me included; we’ve just developed the skills that allow us to meet and greet with the best of them. See Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking for tips.


    White Plains Public Library director Brian Kenney in his essay “So You Think You Want To Be a Librarian?”

    Great, snark-laced illuminations for anyone in the profession who needs a reality check or those looking to jump into it. Pair with Meredith Schwartz’s “How To Become a 21st-Century Librarian,” and one night at the bar with me, and you’re set.

    (via cloudunbound)

  2. Libraries have long debated what makes a good collection. “Give ’em what they want” was the mantra that came from Baltimore County Public Library in the 1970s, a strategy that emphasized accessible, bookstore-like environments, offered a wealth of popular materials and service that was “user-friendly” and “customer-focused” years before anyone started using those terms. On the flip side were libraries that emphasized broad, well-rounded collections to meet the needs of any reader, any time. Lists of core collections were published to help librarians invest in well-reviewed backlist titles, creating miniwarehouses of books just in case. Need a biography of Simon Bolivar? Hey, here’s two. Heading to Montenegro? We’ve got the authoritative travel guide. Oh, you want Mary Higgins Clark’s latest? Get on the waiting list. For years, many libraries tried to do both. But with so many quality resources freely available on the Internet, that’s no longer necessary—or feasible.

    — What We Buy Now by Brian Kenney | Publishers Weekly

  3. Maybe it’s a little different if you’re a library on the scale of New York Public. But what would it take for me to buy a six- or an eight-month-old book, digital or not? An Oprah-like moment, a movie release, or a major award.


    Brian Kenney, director of the White Plains Public Library (NY), in the best op-ed of 2012 about the big, exploding picture of ebooks and libraries. I should also say it’s his inaugural column for Publishers Weekly. I tumbled about it last week, but it’s so provocative and, moreover, proactive, I had to do it again. (via cloudunbound)

    Brian Kenney, former Editorial Director of LJ, is killing it over at PWCheck. it. out.