Blog

02/21/2018

Solving the dysfunctional library: a conversation with Jo Henry, Joe Eshleman, and Richard Moniz

Posted by Rob Christopher

Frankly, it’s not something we like to talk about. There is an unfortunate stigma to acknowledging workplace dysfunction, let alone trying to grapple with the problem. But negative behaviors such as incivility, toxicity, deviant behavior, workplace politics, and team and leadership dysfunction not only make the library a stressful workplace, they also run counter to the core values of librarianship. So what's to be done? In their new book on the topic, Jo Henry, Joe Eshleman, and Richard Moniz take a close look at these negative relationship-based issues and suggest workable solutions. In this interview they discuss their collaboration and how library staff can handle workplace conflicts.  

What was the genesis of the book? Why did you decide to write a book on this topic?

As frequent collaborators, we had always...

02/21/2018

Building literacy skills through creative writing: a conversation with AnnMarie Hurtado

Posted by Rob Christopher

Decades of research show that children learn to read through writing. Creative writing in particular encourages childrens' imaginations to take flight. In this way, a form of play can also build literacy skills. First-time author AnnMarie Hurtado explains this approach in her new book 36 Workshops to Get Kids Writing: From Aliens to Zebras.

So … your first book! Congrats! What was it like? And what did you find the hardest about the process? How did you stay motivated?

I really loved working with ALA Editions. I would love to write for you again. Jamie Santoro was my acquiring editor and she was a gem, offering a lot of feedback and support throughout the writing. And my hats off to Angela Gwizdala, who has been taking the draft and all my ideas for the handouts, and working with the designers to make everything come together!

I submitted a...

01/31/2018

Peggy Johnson speaks about her writing process and what's important for today's LIS grads

Posted by Rob Christopher

The first edition of Peggy Johnson's text Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management was published in 2004. Needless to say a whole lot has changed in the last 14 years, and Johnson has kept updating and revising her book to keep current with the field. On the occasion of the publication of the new fourth edition, we spoke with her about her writing process, what's important for today's LIS grads, and what lies ahead.

So, you’ve just published the fourth edition of your book! Congratulations! What were some of the differences working on the project this time around? And what have you learned over the years that a picture of author Peggy Johnsonyou wish you’d known from the beginning?...

01/31/2018

Delivering a Data Strategy in the Cauldron of Business As Usual

Posted by Rob Christopher

Guest blog by the co-authors of The Chief Data Officer’s Playbook, Caroline Carruthers (Group Director of Data Management, Lowell Group) and Peter Jackson (Chief Data Officer, Southern Water).

Being a Chief Data Officer in the current climate is a rather interesting place to be, it can feel a little like dancing on quicksand while you have to learn to juggle wriggling snakes. So in order to help people interested in this area, whether you are a new CDO, well established data hero or just wondering what all the fuss is about, we have worked on a set of articles to answer some of the questions we are asked at nearly every conference we go to. While we can’t promise you a solution to all your data related problems handed to you on a...

01/08/2018

Homelessness and libraries: an interview with Ryan J. Dowd

Posted by Rob Christopher

It may surprise you to hear that staff at public libraries interact with almost as many homeless individuals as staff at shelters do. But as Ryan J. Dowd, who has spent most of his career as Executive Director of a large homeless shelter near Chicago, observes, "Libraries are one of the few places in a community where everyone — homeless and not homeless — are likely to mix." He advocates for an empathy-driven approach to these individuals in his new book The Librarian's Guide to Homelessness.

You open your book by discussing some of the myths surrounding individuals who are homeless. In your view, which myth is the most pervasive and damaging?

I think there are two...

12/21/2017

Interview: McCook and Bossaller on their updated public librarianship text

Posted by Rob Christopher

For the new third edition of Introduction to Public Librarianship, Kathleen de la Peña McCook decided to bring a new co-author on board, noted public library scholar and advocate Jenny S. Bossaller. In this interview they discuss their collaboration and how the field of public librarianship continues to change.

Name one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were new to public librarianship.

Kathleen de la Peña McCook: Be engaged and active in community groups--local history, human rights, the Sierra Club especially.
 
Jenny S. Bossaller: When you work in the library, you become the face of the library to the public. Be professional, and treat everyone who walks in the door (and those who don’t) with dignity.
 
...

12/11/2017

What's graphic design got to do with me? Diana K. Wakimoto explains

Posted by Rob Christopher

Diana K. Wakimoto speaks directly to library staff in her new book, and so we wanted to speak directly to her about why graphic design is such a useful set of skills for any librarian regardless of job description.

First off, I can imagine someone saying, “I’m not on the marketing team, I don’t do PR for the library—why do I need to know anything about graphic design?”

Graphic design is so much more than marketing and PR. It's about communicating to the best of our abilities with our patrons in our communities. Graphic design is visual communication. It's about solving problems and providing great service for our communities and all librarians are about that. So whether you're the one creating the flyer and bookmarks or you're the one giving them out to your library patrons, knowing more about graphic design can only help you be a better...

11/30/2017

Interview: Marie R. Kennedy and Cheryl LaGuardia on effectively promoting electronic resources

Posted by Rob Christopher

In this interview, Marie R. Kennedy and Cheryl LaGuardia discuss the new second edition of their ALA Neal-Schuman book Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians.

Teaching with Technology @ The FIC; photo by  Richard CawoodThe first edition has been one of our bestsellers. Why did you write a...

11/28/2017

Top tips for a data reference interview

Posted by Rob Christopher

The reference interview - or consultation - is a well established technique used by librarians and information professionals. This helps establish the issues that a researcher wishes to cover. More fundamentally it also defines the kind of relationship a researcher will have with those offering advice. Now that the use and management of research data is so important to academics it has become an important potential element of the reference interview. This extract from The Data Librarian's Handbook shows how it can be used to bridge traditional librarianship and the expertise required by the data librarian.

Established researchers often know what datasets are available in their field of study, or at least the main sources and providers from which to...

10/09/2017

Hilda K. Weisburg on the new AASL Standards

Posted by Rob Christopher

Recipient of the 2016 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Distinguished Service Award, in this post Hilda K. Weisburg explores the six Common Beliefs of the new AASL Standards. Her latest ALA Neal-Schuman book is Leading for School Librarians: There Is No Other Option

Are you ready for the new AASL National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries or are you feeling some trepidation about them?  As a leader, you must get up to speed rapidly so you can tweak and revamp your lessons as necessary.  It is natural to want to cling to what you have known and used since 2007, but stop and think — it’s been ten years.  How much has the world changed since then?  How much have you changed? You – and your students – are doing things you couldn’t possibly have done, or even imagined, then.

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