Coordinator for Information Literacy and Outreach
Michael Corleone advises us to “keep your friends close but your enemies closer” (Godfather, Part II). As librarians and educators work to further develop the information literacy movement, we need to consider the perspective of those who work against our goal of developing citizens who can inform themselves in an objective manner. An example of this class of rivals that poses a particularly poignant threat to the health of democratic institutions is the demagogue, a public figure who employs disinformation to inflame people’s fear and anger, thereby securing for the demagogue a greater percentage of the votes, a larger chunk of the viewership. I believe that a careful examination of the motivations and techniques of past demagogues can put information literacy educators in a better position to help their students critically evaluate inflammatory political communications.
Continue reading Information Literacy vs. the Demagogue
Web Services Librarian and Assistant Professor
City University of New York, College of Staten Island Library
There is a secret society in the library profession. It doesn’t have a name (though some would try to name it) and it doesn’t have a headquarters; (it lurks in Facebook groups and Google hangouts.) Word of its meetings is inconspicuously disseminated via Twitter and text message. Read your feeds carefully; blink and you’ll miss it.
It was no one’s intention to start this society. Passionate, ambitious individuals gravitated towards each other, as like-minded people often do. It sprung up as a sort of rebellion among librarians who were tired of crafting witty and intelligent responses to smug questions about their supposed obsolescence.
Continue reading The In Crowd, or Fear and Loathing in Library Land
Kaetrena Davis Kendrick
Medford Library, University of South Carolina Lancaster.
Digital Humanities (DH) has struggled with an identity since its contemporary emergence in the early 2000s; however, a succinct definition exists, placing many core activities of the field squarely in the domain of modern librarianship. This article briefly reviews American Library Association’s Core Competencies for Librarianship and summarizes the continuing development and characteristics of DH projects. The author also reveals how LIS competencies have been applied to a Korean popular culture DH project at Elon University. Positive implications for DH’s impact on professional development for librarians, information literacy integration, and opportunities for librarian/faculty or community collaborations are also included.
Continue reading Keeping the “L” in Digital: Applying LIS Core Competencies to Digital Humanities Work
Jennifer (Castaldo) Hill
Distance Education Librarian and Electronic Resources Manager
Johns Hopkins University
Many academic library mission statements include the phrase, “students, faculty, and staff” when referencing the populations that they serve, but how active are we really at reaching out to non-library staff members at our colleges and universities? Libraries typically spend time and energy marketing to students and faculty, but the staff component of our missions can often be overlooked. During the 2012 school year, the Excelsior College librarians implemented three methods to increase staff awareness and use of the library’s resources and services. Through our Community Forum, on-site reference hours in the cafeteria, and virtual brown bags targeting specific staff groups, we are making inroads to actively engage staff members.
Keywords: Academic Libraries, Marketing, Distance Education, Universities & Colleges
Continue reading The Missing Piece: Outreach to College/University Staff Members
Archives & Special Collections Librarian
Franklin & Marshall College
Visual solutions offer the simplicity library employees (and patrons) need.
Have you ever worked at the information desk and found yourself answering the same directional question again and again? Or gone to the closet to retrieve a new toner cartridge only to discover the supply exhausted? Have you ever spent twenty minutes looking for an extra book truck, only to find five tucked away in the gift processing area? Well, if you have, chances are you’re not alone. So how do librarians avoid these frustratingly repetitive tasks and breakdowns in communication? The solution is to transform the academic library into a Visual Workplace, where the answers to vital questions and supply chains are literally installed into the work environment, as close to the point of need as possible.
Continue reading The Library as Visual Workplace