Tag Archives: future of libraries

Share your ideas: Challenging the “Jacks of All Trades but Masters of None” Librarian Syndrome

Whist-type trick

We are passing on this call for your contributions! Remember: if you want to write something up, but are not sure where to start, we can help you from CMLE Headquarters!

Call for proposals–EXTENDED

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Challenging the “Jacks of All Trades but Masters of None” Librarian Syndrome
Publication due 2018

Series Editor: Samantha Hines, Peninsula College

Volume Editor: George J. Fowler, Old Dominion University

Librarianship may be said to be facing an identity crisis. It may also be said that librarianship has been facing an identity crisis since it was proposed as a profession. With the advent of technology that lowers barriers to the access of information, the mission of a library has become indistinct.  This volume will explore the current purpose of librarianship and libraries, how we become “Masters of our Domains”, develop expertise in various elements of the profession, and how we extend outward into our communities.

Continue reading Share your ideas: Challenging the “Jacks of All Trades but Masters of None” Librarian Syndrome

Library Service in 3D: Let's Give A Kid A Hand!

You have probably seen the stories around the news: excited kid gets a 3D printed hand at the local library. In case you have not – or just want to see a great story about about public library service, check out this video from ABC News.

A few more details and photos from this success story are available here.

This is just another example of the state of library service: we are all using technology more often to connect our services to our patron’s needs. It may not look like a library from 50 years ago, or even 10 years ago, but we serve the needs of our patrons with all the tools at our disposal. And sometimes the results are fantastic!

Is someone in your library interested in learning more about 3D printed limbs?

Cool kid with a Star Wars arm!
  • Disney is working with the organization Open Bionics to print Disney-themed arms! “Now kids can get excited about their prosthetics. They won’t have to do boring physical therapy, they’ll train to become heroes. They’re not just getting medical devices, they’re getting bionic hands inspired by their favorite characters.”
  • The organization e-NABLE is working to bring 3D printed hands and arms for people all around the world. Their site is filled with reference material, information, and stories to share. “The e-NABLE Community is made up of  teachers, students, engineers, scientists, medical professionals, tinkerers, designers, parents, children, scout troops, artists, philanthropists, dreamers, coders, makers and every day people who just want to make a difference and help to ‘Give The World A Helping Hand.'”

What other kinds of great things could your library do with a 3D printer? The possibilities are amazing! There are many websites filled with information about using your printer, and designs to follow. Thingiverse is one of the most popular, with all kinds of people sharing designs and learning from each other. “The Thingiverse community has uploaded over 606,640 3D models, and that number is growing every day. Check out all the incredible objects people have created, and get inspired to make your own!”

  • Maybe your cat needs armor? It’s here!
  • If the cat gets armor, your guinea pig needs some too, just to be fair.
  • frog dissection kit? Comes with lesson plans!
  • You probably need a Pokeball with a button-release lid, when you can use a break from your Pokemon Go app.
  • A very cool T-Rex skull would brighten up any library!
  • Maybe a wall mounted hairdryer holder could help your morning routine, and keep your time management skills sharp?
  • Did you lose the buttons to your Toyota Yaris key fob? No worries – just print new ones!

We want to hear from our libraries about your use of 3D printers! Great successes? Share them! The time you printed a 3D pile of sludge – that was supposed to be a Legend of Zelda shield  key chain?  We want to hear that too!

Are you considering 3D printers for your library? This would be a great topic for us to discuss in a group, so we can share experiences and make plans for the future. Email us if you are interested in some training sessions, or group discussions!

Libraries are all about service; this is one tool we might use to provide outstanding service to our communities!

Recap of Minitex ILL Conference

trendsThis year was the 25th anniversary of this annual conference, and a festive atmosphere was definitely in the air. Just when I thought I may need to fetch more caffeine, Lee Rainie took the stage for the opening keynote, which worked better than caffeine! He was brisk and energetic, yet thoughtful about the future of libraries. He admitted libraries (and much of society) is going through a disheartening, disruptive time, and that no one has the playbook yet . He also said we need leaders, that there are declining levels of trust in much of society. Not so much for librarians, who are regarded as friends in most networks, which makes me proud to be a librarian. Some key points I noted:

According to Rainie, there are six big puzzles for us to solve:

  1. What’s the future of personal enrichment, entertainment and knowledge?
  2. What are the future pathways to knowledge?
  3. What’s the future of public technology and community anchor institutions?
  4. What’s the future of learning spaces?
  5. What is the future of attention?
  6. Where do you fit in ALA’s Confronting the Future report? (30 pgs.) According to this report…”In order for libraries to be successful, they must make strategic choices in four distinct dimensions, each consisting of a continuum of choices that lies between two extremes. Collectively, the choices a library makes along each of the four dimensions create a vision that it believes will enable it to best serve its patrons” (see pg. 21 to see the four dimensions)

The program moved on to Katie Birch from OCLC as she dipped her toe into the past and the future of ILL. Interesting factoid: Year to date, When Breath Becomes Air is the most requested OCLC interlibrary loan title!

Participants were able to choose from three breakout session; I chose the Ignite sessions and was not disappointed! I learned lots.

Valerie Horton wrapped up the day with her thought provoking talk, Skating on the Bleeding Edge. She described innovation as the process of discovery. She also encouraged us to accept failure, that it is indeed the norm of experimentation. According to current business literature, employers are looking for people who can say, “I failed and I learned!” She concluded with a few additional facts: The next trend is “messy”, and we have to accept that we don’t know the right answers. Accept messy structures, partnering can be messy and frustrating. And, if you are burnt out and exhausted, you cannot reflect, think well, or innovate!

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/lfpv7xn, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Five TED Talks about future libraries & librarians

THINKLooking for some new year inspiration?  Here are five TED Talks highlighted by A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet that will get you thinking about the future library world.

  • Libraries bridging the digital world
  • Librarians of the future
  • Libraries of the future
  • Libraries: Present & future
  • What to expect from libraries in the 21st century

Click here for the TED Talk links

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/p2ljsbc, licensed under CC BY 2.0

A great big cloud catalog for the greater good of all?

photo-1432139523732-e9d8af332501Prepare yourself for very big picture thinking on this post. Not a fast read (10 pages), but a mind blowing one. I have re-read it twice and it continues to get my pulse racing!

Have you ever noticed that if the average reader searches Google for a popular book title, that in the first two pages of search results (the only ones they care about), no public library shows up. Think about it,  public libraries are the single largest supplier of books, bigger than  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Costco or local bookstores.  And think about it, libraries don’t show up as an option, much less the best option for getting books at the best price. Why?

A few facts to ponder as provided by Steve Coffman, Information Today….

  • Goodreads ranks 67th among most visited U.S. websites, with 21.4 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, and 47.6 million form the world as a whole
  • OCLC’s Worldcat, our current largest collective catalog and the closest thing we have to Goodreads, ranks 3,748 of all websites in the U.S. and attracted 487,884 visitors in April of 2015
  • According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), collectively, U.S. public libraries had 170,911,488 registered members in 2012 (most recent available data). This accounts for more than half the total U.S. population, and almost six times the number of Goodreads members. So, why don’t libraries show up in search results?
  • More than 9,000 public libraries are diligently paying for and maintaining  individual catalogs at considerable expense. And, these catalogs are embedded in library automation systems that are isolated from web search engines. Everyone is in their silo, thinking their users have unique needs that only they can serve. Is this true? Can public libraries continue to operate this way, forever scrambling to prove themselves in order to get funding to keep the doors open?
  • Coffman recently wrote an astonishing  piece stating the obvious solution to this problem. “Ditch those 9,000 old, outmoded library catalogs and funnel all of our readers through one great catalog built on the web.” Although I know this solution could be met with scorn and bloodcurdling screams of  outrage, it is worth thinking about. What if?
  • In short, if libraries banded together to form a “Cloud Catalog”, “it could be the one source readers would go to  first when they want to find a book, regardless of who has it, what its format is, or whether it is in-print, out-of-print, or not yet published.”
  • There are details in Coffman’s post, lots of details….kudos to him, I bow to his brilliance in taking this subject on! One of the many details is a claim that none of the records in the Cloud Catalog would be MARC records! More blasphemy you say?

Please put your resistance aside and read the full article. If I was still in grad school, I would crank up the popcorn popper, open my dorm door, lure everyone in, and have a good conversation about this idea. Even capturing a small number of high points here gets my pulse racing! This would be a big move on the part of libraries, a “blindside” move according to producer standards of Survivor Island. That’s just it, libraries are barely surviving, and simply cannot continue as they are. We need solutions to this problem of visibility. Read the full piece, invite other library staff to do the same. Let me know when and where you want to hash this out, I’ll bring the popcorn!

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/ (Alex Munsell), licensed under CC0 1.0