October 10, 2015

Work Smarter Through “Extreme Listening” | SLJ Summit 2015


CEO of Caravan Studios Marnie Webb unpacked design thinking in her SLJ Summit keynote, providing a model for developing projects, from idea to prototype, through deep, empathetic listening.

“Hatch” Library Maker Space in a Mall Draws DIYers, Students, and Entrepreneurs


No library card is required to use the tools at the Hatch maker space, located near Dunkin’ Donuts in a mall in Watertown, MA, and launched by the Watertown Free Public Library with diverse community funding.

Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” on the iPad | Touch and Go


Our reviewer Pam Schembri cites the performers’ commentary as one of the strengths of this production, and calls it “a treasure for both professionals, students of music, and dabblers.”

Wisdom of the Crowd | Digital Collections


Even at large libraries that have staff dedicated to digitization projects, the additional effort needed to enable researchers to extract data from these collections—such as transcribing OCR-resistant text, or adding item-level tags to large collections of images—would be an untenable chore for a library to take on alone. So, in the past half decade, libraries have taken cues from long-running projects, using crowdsourcing as a way not only to outsource work that would be impossible for staff to attempt but also to engage volunteers.

Manage the Device Deluge | Professional Development


Librarians have always taught patrons how to use the tools that serve their information needs. We had to explain card catalogs, vertical files, microfilm/fiche, photocopiers, and OPACs. The fundamental difference about the tech needs of the 21st century is the ever-changing variety of personal devices that patrons use to access our services. Some libraries are lucky enough to have dedicated staff with special training to serve these patrons directly, but most of the time it’s a library generalist fielding question after question about something new every day. How do frontline staffers with self-taught or very basic knowledge of technology stay savvy about the latest and hottest gadgets? How do we train nontechnical staff to troubleshoot effectively and train our patrons to use their own gadgets?

Managing Multiplicity | Library Systems Landscape 2015

Selecting a library management system is never an easy decision. Vendors of integrated library systems (ILS) offer solutions tailored to public, academic, school, and special libraries, but even when organized by type, libraries are hardly one-size-fits-all organizations. Choosing a new vendor tends to mean a major investment, with a multiyear commitment to a solution that often will require new training, adaptation, and trade-offs among cost, features, and functionality. Still, it’s a tough choice that many libraries are facing once again. This second edition of Library Systems Landscape, the successor to LJ’s annual Automation Marketplace feature, will examine the impact of recent mergers, the continued adoption of next-generation library services platforms, the emergence of mobile-optimized staff clients, and new partnerships and feature development in the open source arena.

MinecraftEdu Takes Hold in Schools

MinecraftEdu Takes Hold in Schools

With myriad adaptations for use in the classroom, MinecraftEdu brings Common Core–enhanced gaming to students.

Our Public Library Minecraft Community

Our Public Library Minecraft Community

A library system’s countywide Minecraft program is a core service, an afterschool sanctuary, and a peer support group.

One-to-One: Let’s Have One Librarian for Every 1:1 School | Pivot Points

One-to-One: Let’s Have One Librarian for Every 1:1 School | Pivot Points

Despite seasons of budget cutbacks, education leaders are spending again. One-to-one devices are a favorite. How might teacher librarians support the strategic work involved?

Critics Sound off on “Clean Reader” App | Storify

UPDATE: As of March 27, all books have been removed from the Clean Reader catalog, states its Facebook page. A survey of some responses to “Clean Reader.” The application, for IOS and Android, removes profanity, references to anatomical features, and language deemed offensive from titles available in an online bookstore.