Guns in Libraries

American Libraries has an interesting article discussing the reality of concealed handguns in the library. In many places, if it’s legal to carry the gun, it’s legal to carry it into the library. In other words, the library cannot forbid customers from bringing guns into the building. Read more about it.

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Weighty problems

American Libraries addressed the issue of how the obesity epidemic affects how libraries interact with customers in their recent article Is Your Library Plus-Size Friendly? Mostly the issues affect facilities, from seating and restrooms to signage and accessibility. Overall, it’s a very interesting article.

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American Libraries Direct

Do you subscribe to American Libraries Direct? It’s a great enewsletter that keeps me up to date on what’s going on in the world of libraries.

AL Direct is an electronic newsletter sent every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association. It is a weekly supplement to American Libraries magazine that provides summaries and links to news, announcements, and other information of interest to library and information science professionals.

American Libraries Direct | American Libraries Magazine


Focus on the value

Last month American Libraries Magazine ran a great article entitled “There Are No Free Libraries.” The article focuses on the need for libraries to market their value and impact instead of focusing on the fact that their services and programs are free. 

I agree.

The truth is that people don’t value the things for which they didn’t pay. In the case of libraries, I should clarify that most people don’t see the value of libraries beyond being a source for “free” reading material and (sometimes) internet access. The rest — the business resources, the research, the other services — that gets lost.

“The best messaging promotes our real-world value.” A good suggestion. So this is where we point out that the economic benefit of libraries in Texas was $2.4 billion in 2011 alone. According to an article in Library Journal, “Collectively the libraries cost less than $0.545 billion, for a return on investment of $4.42 for each dollar spent.”


Choose Privacy Week webinar, April 9th

From American Libraries: “Free April 9 webinar offers ideas for programming and outreach during Choose Privacy Week.”

The free, hour-long online webinar will take place on from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, April 9 and will feature four speakers discussing ideas and tools for privacy-related programming and outreach, with an emphasis on sample programs and resources that have proved successful in school, academic and public library environments

“Speakers” will include MIchael Zimmer, Carolyn Caywood, Marc Gartler and Deborah Peel. And did I mention that it’s FREE???!!!

By the way, Choose Privacy Week is May 1-7, 2013.

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Is your MLIS worth it?

American Libraries does a great job of addressing the noted Forbes article stating that an MLIS, a master’s degree in library and information science, is one of the worst choices for a graduate degree. 

As a communicator, my concern isn’t as much with the value given to the degree, but to the implied value given to the profession. 



ALA awards deadline extended

From American Libraries:

The deadline has been extended to Feb. 1 for a number of American Library Association (ALA) awards and grants, including the ALA Information Today Library of the Future Award, Beta Phi Mu Award, Melvil Dewey Award, Equality Award,  Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award, Ken Haycock Award For Promoting Librarianship and the Scholastic Library Publishing Award.  Although the online application has a Dec. 1 deadline date the applications will be accepted through Feb. 1.

ALA Information Today Library of the Future Award honors a library, library consortium, group of librarians or support organization for innovative planning, practical application or development relating to patron training programs about information technology in a library setting. The award includes $1,500 and a 24k gold-framed citation, donated by Information Today, Inc. Application information

Beta Phi Mu is presented to a faculty member of a library school or an individual for distinguished service to education in librarianship. The award includes $1,000 and a 24k-gold-framed citation donated by the Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honorary Society.  Application information

Melvil Dewey Medal honors an individual or group for a recent creative professional achievement in library management, training, cataloging and classification or the tools and techniques of librarianship. The award includes $2,000, Dewey Medal and a 24k gold-framed citation, donated OCLC/Forest Press, Inc. Application information

Equality Award honors an individual or group for an outstanding contribution that promotes equality in the library profession.  The award includes $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation donated by Scarecrow Press, Inc., a member of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.  Application information

Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award recognizes and honors a librarian for investing time and talent to make a positive change in the profession of librarianship.  The award includes $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation, donated by the Elizabeth Futas Memorial Fund. Application information

Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship honors an individual for contributing significantly to the public recognition and appreciation of librarianship through professional performance, teaching and/or writing.  The award includes $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation, donated by Ken Haycock, PhD. Application information

Scholastic Library Publishing Award is annual award consisting of $1,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation presented to a librarian whose “unusual contribution to the stimulation and guidance of reading by children and young people” exemplifies outstanding achievement in the profession.  Application information

General information about these and other ALA awards is available on the ALA website.


New Editor and Publisher Named for American Libraries

In case you missed it:

…Laurie D. Borman will be the new Editor and Publisher of American Libraries publications, effective December 5, 2011…



Sanhita SinhaRoy appointed American Libraries associate editor

It’s always nice to know who is on the other end of the phone, email, etc. when you’re crafting story ideas. There’s someone new at American Libraries:

Sanhita SinhaRoy joined the American Library Association staff on October 24 as associate editor of American Libraries magazine. She will be responsible for writing news stories and blog posts, copyediting and fact-checking feature articles and columns, and assisting with the preparation and production of the weekly e-newsletter.

  Welcome, Sanhita, to the world of libraries!



12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country

American Libraries has a great article (by Leonard Kniffel) entitled “12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country.” Definitely worth a read.

  1. Libraries sustain democracy.
  2. Libraries break down boundaries.
  3. Libraries level the playing field.
  4. Libraries value the individual.
  5. Libraries nourish creativity.
  6. Libraries open young minds.
  7. Libraries return high dividends.
  8. Libraries build communities.
  9. Libraries support families.
  10. Libraries build technology skills.
  11. Libraries offer sanctuary.
  12. Libraries preserve the past.

My favorite is “Libraries nourish creativity.”

By providing an atmosphere that stimulates curiosity, libraries create opportunities for unstructured learning and serendipitous discovery. As repositories not only of books but of images and a wide variety of media, libraries offer access to the accumulated record of mankind with assistance from professional staff delivering these resources through the physical library, the web, and outreach services.

So true.

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