Access Schmaccess

I just finished watching most of a talk called Access Schmaccess: Libraries in the Age of Information Ubiquity. Now before you non-librarians stop reading, this was mostly not about libraries. For almost the first hour, Eli Neiburger, Ann Arbor (MI) District Library’s Associate Director of IT and Production, talks about the internet, and how it has changed and is changing our culture.

He’s a very engaging speaker – I admit that I didn’t expect to make it through more than 5 or 10 minutes, and I wound up watching nearly the entire thing – 90 minutes – all but what I assume is the Q&A at the end. He talks about memes and torrenting and kickstarter all kinds of interesting and relevant stuff. Basically he’s pointing out all the ways that our culture has shifted, building a foundation so that you can see a way forward for libraries. It’s a reminder that the types of information people want is changing forms – people still want to learn things, but increasingly the information they want is not necessarily contained in a book, or easily learned from one. I’m not doing a good job of putting my finger on this, but I think what he did is take a giant step backward from where a lot of articles about makerspaces in libraries start and explaining the “why?” of this shift, rather than just saying “people want to make stuff! 21st century skills!” etc etc.

Anyway, he doesn’t really talk about libraries until about 0:50, and even so the next 20 minutes are still pretty general. It’s not until about 1:07 that he gets into really library-specific stuff, but he’s talking about very interesting things. His library’s summer reading game is now online and has quests and badges. They circulate synthesizers and other crazy instruments, in a semi-secret way. It was a great talk, and I encourage you to watch it. He gave a shortened version of this talk at the Maryland Library Association’s conference recently, and I really wish I’d been there to see it.


ACRL 2013: Hybrid Open Access

Halfway Open or Halfway Shut?: OA Hybrid Journals in Academia
Robin CHAMPIEUX , Oregon Health Sciences University , Portland , OR
Jill Emery , Portland State University , Portland , OR
Kasia Stasik , Harrassowitz Booksellers & Subscription Agents , Washougal , WA

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ALA 2012: Embedded Librarian Best Practices

Embedded Librarian Best Practices: You Can Do It, We Can Help (Follow link for description & PPTs)

Moderator: Debbie Nolan, Dean of University Libraries, Towson University
Speaker: Kate A. Langan, Humanities Librarian, Western Michigan University
Speaker: Kathleen Pickens-French, Public Services Librarian, Miami University Hamilton
Speaker: Krista McDonald, Director, Rentschler Library, Miami University Hamilton
Speaker: Paul Betty, Distance Learning Librarian, Regis University

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What's interesting today

American Libraries: Sacramento Public Library unveils award-winning National Library Week campaign
This is totally rad. They got a grant to work on the campaign, which is focused on outreach to the LGBT community. They partnered with some community groups – including Sac City Roller Derby – and got design work from LGBT designers. But what I love most of all about this campaign is the joy that the photos capture. The library is a place where you can come to find whatever it is makes you happy, and we don’t care how you identify yourself. In fact, we consider it none of our business, much like it is none of anyone’s business what you read, unless you choose to tell them.

The Telegraph: Birth of a Book: A tour of Smith Settle’s handmade bookbinding process
If you have two minutes, you have enough time to watch this lovely video about the creation of a special-edition book. For all that we talk about digital these days, I do believe that there is still a place for books like these, which are little works of art.

The Atlantic: The Missing 20th Century: How Copyright Protection Makes Books Vanish
Very interesting chart that shows that right now on Amazon, there are twice as many books published in the 1850s for sale as there are from the 1950s. You can really see the impact of copyright protections here, for better or worse.

North Baltimore Patch: Archdiocese Unhappy About Good Friday Baseball
I’m sorry, but baseball is secular. Since when does the church get to call the shots here?

Harpoon Brewery: Rich & Dan’s Rye IPA
One of the 100 Barrel Series brews from last year is being added to the year-round rotation this month! This was developed by the brewery’s cofounders as a celebration of Harpoon’s 25th anniversary, and it was so popular that they decided to keep it around. Looking forward to trying this one.

What's interesting today

The Ubiquitous Librarian: How do we want students to feel about the library?
Mathews makes an interesting point that had never occurred to me before, even when I was working as a marketing/outreach librarian – once students make up their mind about how they feel about a place, that’s really hard to change. And that starts before they get to campus. As we all know, if you have one or two bad or uncomfortable experiences at a place you can choose to avoid, it takes a big push to give them another chance. (If your campus tour guide isn’t allowed to bring your group in, and this is communicated by the security person yelling at the group – yes, this happened at my library – are you really going to go back there as a nervous freshman? I think not.) The other thing is that students don’t care that we can show them how to research better – I feel like I’m constantly reading articles and reports where students surveyed ranked their ability to find stuff way higher than it actually was. It’ll vary on every campus, but we need to position ourselves in a new way to get them in the door. Once they’re there, if we make it easy for them to figure out how to get help if they’re confused, so much the better.

New York Public Library Milstein Suspense Trailer
Cute video from the NYPL, highlighting their history & genealogy collections. Very high production values!

Peer to Peer Review: Authentic Librarianship and the Question of Service
A great post that explores customer service in libraries from a slightly different angle than I usually see. This is a good thing to discuss. Thanks to my classmate Laura for bringing this to my attention.

What's interesting today

The Devil’s Workshop: So My Students Can Eat
A community college professor writes about how his students have to choose between paying tuition and paying for groceries. I had never even thought about this in any kind of depth, and I’m not alone in that. So fundamental.

John Green’s tumblr: Why Libraries Are Different From Piracy
John Green is an author. In this post, he talks about the differences between getting a book from the library and pirating it, and why he thinks it’s better to do the former than the latter. An interesting take on this from the author’s perspective.