Librarians

Librarians Are A Luxury Chicago Public Schools Can't Afford

Headline of a piece on NPR - Librarians Are A Luxury Chicago Public Schools Can't Afford

Excerpt: Two years ago, the Chicago Public Schools budgeted for 454 librarians. Last year, the budget called for 313 librarians, and now that number is down to 254.

With educators facing tough financial choices, having a full-time librarian is becoming something of a luxury in Chicago's more than 600 public schools.

It's not that there's a shortage of librarians in Chicago, and it's not mass layoffs — it's that the librarians are being reassigned.

"The people are there, they're just not staffing the library, they're staffing another classroom," says Megan Cusick, a librarian at Nancy B. Jefferson Alternative School. She says all across the district, certified librarians are being reassigned to English classrooms, world languages or to particular grade levels in elementary schools.

Full piece

Would You Want to Work In a Bookless Library?

Story about the latest bookless library from LJ.

Kathryn Miller, director of the Florida Polytechnic University Library (FPU) looks happy enough...

And no, The Annoyed Librarian would NOT want to work in one.

Interview with Chattanooga's new Coordinator of Teen Services, Justin Hoenke

From Nooga.com, a chat with chief teen librarian Justin Hoenke about changes made at the library to benefit teens and tweens. Earlier this week, Hoenke announced that he had accepted a promotion as coordinator of teen services at the library.

We spoke to him about the new position, living in Chattanooga and his plans for the future of teen services at the library and beyond.

Coordinator of teen services, eh? Using video game jargon, explain what this means in terms of "leveling up."

If my old title as teen librarian was level one, this would be level two, and I'd have increased abilities! Think of level one as me just being able to use basic magical abilities in a video game, like the ability to jump super-high. Now that I'm at level two, I can do awesome things with my magical abilities in this video game, like use magic to heal myself and maybe even use magic to cast fire and ice spells. You know, librarians are actually magicians.

What changes with the new position in terms of daily responsibility for you?

Now I'm more focused on teen services throughout the entire Chattanooga Public Library system at all of our locations (downtown, Northgate, Eastgate, South Chattanooga). In my old role, I was just working on all things on The 2nd Floor of the downtown library. This new position allows me to stretch out and help the other branches in our library system achieve greater things for teens in the community. Is it more work? Of course! But it's awesome work, and I'm so happy to be the person selected to do it.

Mike, the Liberian Librarian. Trying to Help His People While Dealing With Civil Wars, Illiteracy and Now Ebola

Via Huff Post:

In his 60 years Michael Weah, like most Liberians, has had to contend with realities most of us in the United States can not even comprehend. Thirty-four years ago, when he was 26, came the bloody military coup staged by Samuel Doe, that upended what had been the social and political order in Liberia since its colonization by American freemen and former slaves in 1820. Then in 1989 Charles Taylor overthrew Doe, and Liberia slid into a period of on-again-off-again civil wars.

During the period of the civil wars, when life in Monrovia was restricted by a curfew that began in the late afternoon, Michael Weah established a small lending library, supplying anyone who asked with reading material - books, magazines, newspapers, donated from overseas. All he asked was that when a person was through with the reading material they pass it on to someone else who would use it to sustain them through the interminable periods of daily isolation.

During the decade-plus of civil wars, the initial operation grew into the We-Care Library, the only real library in Monrovia, Liberia's capital city. Every day the library is literally jammed with school children of all ages, who come to study, do their home work, and expand their horizons.

The library recently had to close due to the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa. As Mike wrote the other day to friends in the U.S. and Canada, "family wise, I have lost three persons: my doctor, the man who clears our books from the port, and a young nephew. Everybody fled from the house when the young boy started to show the symptoms. He died alone and his body is still lying on the porch where he passed. The health workers were called about six hours ago. They may come or may not."

Librarian and Romance Writer Enthusiast

Special to USA Today: Librarian of the year, man of RWA, aspiring cover model … these were just some of the names Sean Gilmartin was called while attending this year's Romance Writers of America conference in San Antonio.

"I (Gilmartin) was very close to adding car thief" to the list but luckily I can leave that out. Apparently, when a driver is holding a sign that clearly states Barbara Samuel, who just happens to be a seven-time RITA winner and RWA Hall of Famer, that vehicle is not for you. Needless to say, I didn't steal her ride from the airport but ironically was only a few hotel rooms down from her. Barbara, if you're reading this, I promise I wasn't stalking you at the conference; we really just kept running into each other. By coincidence. A lot.

That was the start of my RWA and the launch into my hashtag on Twitter: #SeanDoesRWA. I intended for it to be a way for family and friends to easily follow my escapades, but it actually turned into my best communication tool. People all over the conference were saying hello and despite not having met in person, we were chatting daily. I would then run into someone, standing in line for a book signing or whatnot, and we would actually meet. It was a surreal and incredible experience that lessened the fear deep inside of me that fueled my preconceived notion that as a librarian I would not fit in. It didn't matter that RWA has a special award for librarians — no, I was certain that I would feel isolated in the midst of 2,000 romance authors. I could not have been more wrong, and people could not have been more friendly, kind, and gracious to me every single day of RWA.

A Liaison for a Classroom Building? Curating a Learning ecosystem.

It is very common for librarians to serve as liaisons to academic departments. They teach classes, purchase materials, answer reference questions, assist with research endeavors, and generally get involved with the odds-and-ends of those units. Some librarians also liaise with defined user communities such as first-year students, international students, or students associated with particular residence halls.

This classic approach enables librarians to connect their expertise with different user segments that likely share similar needs, interests, or perspectives. In short, these librarians serve as the human interface of the library.

Full article

Sci-Fi & Fantasy's Best Librarians

Via Tor.com:

Chances are the Doctor won’t be showing up at your local library anytime soon—unless, of course, you have an infestation of Vashta Nerada (in which case, don’t forget to count the shadows!). But whether in fantasy or science fiction, there are any number of amazing fictional libraries we’d love to visit, especially to meet up with the guardians of the stacks. So we turned to Twitter to find out where your SFF librarian loyalties lie. Here are your favorites, as well as a few of our own!

Top fictional librarians are from Buffy, Discworld, Star Wars-The Clone Wars, Sandman and others. Check 'em out!

Zinesters Take Over a New York City F Train (Peacefully), Will Move on Today to Staten Island Ferry

From The New York Times:

The two-day event, called the MTA Zine Residency, had been organized by a librarian and an archivist at the Barnard College library, which they said has the largest circulating collection of zines in an academic library. After producing zines on the F train, the group was planning to reconvene Monday on the Staten Island Ferry to put the finishing touches on their creations. The organizers of the residency said they hoped that the participants would sell or donate copies of their completed zines to the Barnard collection.

Jenna Freedman, the zine librarian at Barnard, said that the relative quiet and lack of phone and Internet connections made the subway a natural place to compose zines.

“There really is a pleasure to writing while you’re in motion,” she said. “I’ve always felt that time is most my own.”

PA Librarians Receive Mental Health Sensitivity Training

Here's the story from the Lehigh Valley Times.

NHS Human Services' Bushkill Township office provides regular mental health sensitivity training at Recovery Partnership but last week was the first time the group ever worked with librarians, said Andrew Grossman, a program director. Most of the people who receive the group's training work directly in the mental health field, he said. Grossman said he thought it was a good idea for librarians to receive the training, as many local mental health group homes send their residents to libraries on a regular basis for socialization.

"I think it's great they'll get a better understanding of the folks who are coming into their facility," he said. "I think a lot of times they don't fully understand the people in the library." The training Grossman provided the librarians is the same NHS provides for mental health workers. Grossman talked about the stigma of mental health and explained many different diagnoses.

Did you receive any training regarding this issue as a LIS student?

Pearl's Picks for Summer Reading

If you like your summer reading to take you beyond the beaten path, librarian Nancy Pearl is here to help. NPR's go-to books guru joins us once again to share "under the radar" reads — books she thinks deserve more attention than they've been getting. Pearl talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about some of the titles she picked out for the summer reading season — several of which will make you reconsider the way you think about maps.

Listen on NPR.

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