July 31, 2012

Library Juice Academy

Library Juice Academy offers a range of online professional development workshops for librarians, with classes starting October 1st. These workshops earn Continuing Education Units, and are intended as professional development activities primarily for academic librarians. A partial schedule of workshops is below. Visit the website periodically to see new courses as we add them. We are currently accepting enrollments in the courses listed below, and are also interested in finding new instructors with ideas for workshops we might like to offer.

October 2012

Cataloging for the Non-Cataloger
Instructor: Melissa Adler
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

Considering an Open Source ILS
Instructor: BWS Johnson
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

Do-It-Yourself Usability Testing
Instructor: Rebecca Blakiston
Credits: 0.75 CEUs
Cost: $90

Participatory Culture in the Library: Community-Driven Collecting, Cataloging, and Curating
Instructor: Margaret Heller
Credits: 0.75 CEUs
Cost: $90

Alternative Health Resources for Librarians
Instructor: Candise Branum
Credits: 0.75 CEUs
Cost: $90

Working Faster, Working Smarter: Productivity Strategies for Librarians
Instructor: Emily Drabinski
Credits: 0.75 CEUs
Cost: $90

November 2012

Changing Lives, Changing the World: Information Literacy and Critical Pedagogy
Instructor: Maria T. Accardi
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

Advocacy for Librarians
Instructor: Alison Lewis
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

Exploring Fair Use
Instructor: Rachel Bridgewater
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

Online Instruction
Instructor: John Doherty
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

So Now I am an Archivist, Too?! Introduction to Archives Administration and Management
Instructor: Christine D’Arpa
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

Introduction to FRBR
Instructor: Melissa Adler
Credits: 0.75 CEUs
Cost: $90

December 2012

Introduction to RDA
Instructor: Melissa Adler
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

Alternative Literature in Libraries
Instructor: Rory Litwin
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

The Mechanics of Metadata
Instructor: Grace Agnew
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

Game-Based Learning in Library Instruction
Instructor: Scott Rice
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

January 2013

Diversity Plans for Academic Libraries
Instructor: Julie Biando Edwards
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

March 2013

Patent Searching
Instructor: Martin Wallace
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Cost: $175

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July 28, 2012

New novel from Auslander & Fox: Walt

Auslander & Fox, Litwin Books’ imprint for general readers (i.e. not academic titles), has just published its first novel: Walt, by Ian Stoba. Walt is a wildly fun read that is over too quickly, and features a simple lobster fisherman from Tristan de Cunha, who hears unfamiliar music in his head that leads him to set out to sea in a rowboat, on a journey that leads him to San Francisco, where his adventures become truly strange.

Obviously, this is not a book about library and information science, but I am promoting it here because it is our publication, and what they said about Jack being a dull boy.

I hope some of our readers will pick up this book and enjoy it…

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July 25, 2012

Monika Antonelli’s Chapter in Greening Libraries

Library Juice Press recently published Greening Libraries, which is about green and sustainable practices in library operations and planning. We have just made co-editor Monika Antonelli’s chapter available for free online: “The Public Library’s Role in the Transition Towns Movement.” We hope that you enjoy it and will consider purchasing the book for your library.

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July 24, 2012

Article on the NYPL in N+1

Like most librarians, I’ve been following the changes going on at the New York Public Library. It is one of those issues that casts a spotlight on the larger library world because of the vast importance of the institution. Charles Peterson’s essay in the amazing and fabulous journal N+1 burrows deep into the issue and he comes up with some suprising findings that have a lot to say about the corporatization of libraries and the future of reading culture. Here is a representative quote:

“More than anything, this rhetoric reveals the fundamentally anti-democratic worldview that has taken hold at the library. It is of a piece with what the new Masters of the Universe have accomplished in the public schools, where hedge funders have provided the lion’s share of the backing for privatization, and in the so-called reforms to our financial system, where technocrats meet behind closed doors to decide what will be best for the rest of us. Oligarchs acting in the people’s name (with the people’s money) is not democratic; selling off New York’s cultural patrimony to out-of-town heiresses, closing down treasured divisions and branches, pushing out expert staff, and shipping books to a warehouse in the suburbs, all without consulting the public, is not democratic. If the reconstruction goes through, scholarly research will be more, not less, concentrated in the handful of inordinately wealthy and exclusive colleges and universities. The renovation is elitism garbed in populist rhetoric, ultimately condescending to the very people the library’s board thinks they’re serving. It suggests that no one other than an Ivy League professor or student could ever hope to engage in scholarship or original research. Leave the heavy lifting to the folks at Harvard and McKinsey (and the quants in our commodities division), the financiers are saying; for the rest of you, there will be lovely sun-filled spots to check your email.”

I encourage you all to read the whole thing and let us know what you think. Part One can be found here and Part Two here

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July 18, 2012

Research in Real Life

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a presentation of research projects at METRO, New York City’s major library consortium. The researchers were almost all practicing librarians, mostly at academic institutions, who worked in groups on topics of their choice. The approach of three out of the four groups was primarily to kind of shop themselves out as information experts available to assist in the work of the given organization or individual.

I was particularly interested in the fashion blogging project, not because I’m interested in fashion blogs but because their report combined several things that I do find engaging – the ways in which librarians try to get people in other fields to pay attention to us and our training, librarians’ desire to be helpful and share our expertise, the communication channels of specialized communities, information behavior data gathering methodology, and people’s desire for “authenticity.” Here, that last element manifested as the fashion bloggers’ general unwillingness to ask for or accept research and citation assistance in their writing, since research was part of their job as a blogger. Instead, they said they wanted help along the lines of a photographer or an image organizer.

In the case of the librarians who chose to work with Occupy Wall Street, they were challenged by mistrust from OWS in general (fear of infiltration, of course; it didn’t seem like they had any ties to NYC lefty communities who could vouch for them), but especially, they said, from the OWS librarians. They ended up establishing contact with the Eco Cluster, who were enthusiastic about the prospect of research help. Ultimately, they all decided that an annotated bibliography on climate change impacts would be a useful project to tackle. The bibliography was presented at relevant events this spring – some people from the OWS group brought the bibliography to the Climate Impact Day in May and Rio+20 in June. They got some nice feedback: “[W]hat MyMetro Reseachers have handed grassroots campaigners is a compendium of information that would be tricky for the general public to track down using a common search engine,” wrote an eco blogger and activist.

Take a look at that bibliography and read the other groups’ reports – besides fashion blogging and OWS, the topics were lifelong learning for seniors and social media use by an elementary school’s Friends group. I think it’s great that METRO is encouraging this kind of real-life inquiry and extension of library skills.

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July 11, 2012

St. Kate’s MLIS program is going under the business school

The following is an email that was sent to current MLIS students at St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, MN, announcing a reorganization of the department so that it will now be a part of the business school. I don’t know if there is any precedent for something like that. In other places where the library school has been folded into another department, the move signaled something about interdisciplinary connections. At UCLA that library school is linked to the education department. At Rutgers it is linked to communication and media studies. In both of those cases, the reorganization felt like it may have weakened the library school, because there was a loss of autonomy based on flagging institutional support for the independent program. But at least in those cases the implications of the cross-disciplinary connection held promise and suggested interesting possibilities for collaborative work. Going under the business school suggests a full commitment to the “business model” of library management, where public service in the interest of democracy and public good is hard to justify on a cost basis. I have always felt that when libraries are just another business, there is no point to them anymore. I will be very interested to see how the MLIS program at St. Kate’s will be affected by this reorganization, and if it will manage to maintain something of the integrity of a real library school.

From: IM Dept
Date: Wed, Jul 11, 2012 at 4:18 PM
Subject: 2012 Academic Reorganization Memo to MLIS Students
To:

To: Current MLIS Students:

Two weeks ago Colleen Hegranes, Senior Vice President announced a restructuring of the St. Catherine University academic programs. The School of Professional Studies is being eliminated and the professional programs in MLIS and Education are being moved into the School of Business and Leadership under the leadership of Dean Paula King. Social Work and the graduate programs will be overseen by Dean Penelope Moyers. The decision to restructure was made after careful deliberation by the upper administration of St. Catherine University and was based on evidence compiled through ongoing annual assessment and strategic planning activities.

Although organizational change and shifts in leadership are always disconcerting, moving into the Business School has much to offer the Master of Library and Information Science Program. The School’s entrepreneurial bent, along with its focus on digital education and technology, can offer us many opportunities that a more traditionally academic organization might not afford. At the same time it is essential that we maintain our academic focus and identity–consistent with the expectations of the American Library Association and the ALA Office for Accreditation. The rigor of our teaching, the relevance of our curriculum to the LIS profession, and our compliance with ALA Standards for Accreditation cannot be called into question, as ALA will be looking at this summer’s reorganization with concern. Although our Biennial Narrative Report for AY 2011-2012 was accepted without question or revision and no subsequent report for AY 2012-2013 is required, we will be expected to file a report detailing the recent reorganization and its implications for MLIS. This report will be written collaboratively early this fall, and will be shared with our new Dean and the MLIS faculty and the MLIS Advisory Council for input before being sent to the ALA.

We were not consulted about the recent restructuring, but our role in making it work for us, the University, and the ALA cannot be underestimated. This is an opportunity for us all to look for ways to incorporate the resources and strengths of both the School of Business and Leadership and the other graduate programs on our campuses into our own high quality library and information educational programs. Dean King, in a conversation earlier today, indicated that she was pleased and proud to have had MLIS added to her portfolio. Central to this process are the creativity and dedication of our faculty, staff, and students. I know that we can all work together to make this transition an opportunity for positive change.

Deborah S. Grealy, Ph.D., Associate Dean & Program Director MLIS
St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Ave., #4125
Coeur de Catherine 045
St. Paul, MN 55105
651-690-8633

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July 9, 2012

“Annoyed Librarian” is a Coward

I have long been annoyed by the popularity of the Annoyed Librarian blog. It’s not because of her ideas, which I think are often interesting. It is because she has always used her anonymity as a shield for insulting people while avoiding responsibility for what she says.

Many people justify anonymous public speech as a necessary recourse when the truth can’t be spoken without some kind of retailation. Annoyed Librarian might argue that she would be taking a professional risk to speak the truth about librarianship in her own name. But it seems to me that the only thing professionally risky about her blog is her tendency to insult people, not the ideas she expresses, which are hardly beyond the pale.

When Library Journal adopted her as a columnist, anonymity preserved, I lost respect for them as a venue for professional discussion. In a professional context, it is important for people to take responsibility for what they say. To avoid doing this, especially when it serves as a way to insult people without consequences, is cowardly and irresponsible. Library Journal should have the good judgment not to facilitate that kind of behavior in a professional context, and especially not to give it their imprimatur.

Some might note with irony that I am insulting Annoyed Librarian in calling her a coward. In response I would only say that this is a considered opinion and something that I think needs to be said, and something that I stand behind without any shield of anonymity. The library profession should not tolerate her insulting behavior, and definitely shouldn’t reward it.

I will close by recommending some reading on anonymity in the library blogosphere, an editorial by John Buschman, Mark Rosenzweig & Kathleen de la Peña McCook in Progressive Librarian #29, “On Anonymity in Libraryland Blogging.” (Annoyed Librarian has called this group the “Regressive Librarians” whenever she has written about them. It would not be difficult to express disagreements with them without resorting to playground-style insults.)

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July 6, 2012

Outsourcing news agency using fake bylines

A lot of local news, especially detailed news about suburban areas, is being outsourced to a company called Journatic, which sometimes uses fake names as bylines, as This American Life recently reported. NPR is reporting on the story in today’s Morning Edition. A good place for the details that are presently available is this story in the Columbia Journalism Review: “Journatic Busted for Using Fake Bylines.” The story within the world of journalism is not that Journatic exists, but just that it is using the fake bylines. To outside observers, the fact that local news is being outsourced and even offshored should be part of the scandal.

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