Category Archives: Essay

The In Crowd, or Fear and Loathing in Library Land

Valerie Forrestal
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.

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Keeping the “L” in Digital: Applying LIS Core Competencies to Digital Humanities Work

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.

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The Missing Piece: Outreach to College/University Staff Members

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

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The Library as Visual Workplace

Christopher Raab
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.

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