November 25, 2015

Want To See More Women in Tech? Mentor Someone


I was not much more than a newly-minted librarian when my greatest professional mentor gave me a chance at something that would launch my career beyond the confines of my institution onto an international stage. It was in the early 90s, when the Internet was just beginning to take off at large research libraries around the United […]

The Power of Powers of 2


Despite the fact that I consider myself a lifelong feminist, I am still surprised and dismayed at how easily I can overlook discriminatory behavior toward women. Or not even discriminatory behavior but things that are much more subtle, like situations that discourage women from speaking up or participating. So when a colleague forwarded a notice […]

Fight the ‘Zombie Librarians’ | ISTE 2014

LaGarde's opening slide.

Jennifer LaGarde’s sold-out ISTE presentation, “How to Survive the Zombie Librarian Apocalypse!,” struck a chord among teacher librarians. Her talk hinged on a statement she’d once heard: “There are only two types of librarians: zombies and zombie fighters.”

A License to Skill


In many of the talks that I have given over the years I have taken pains to point out a key fact about library budgets: the vast majority of any library’s budget the budget for most libraries goes to staff. Usually I use this as a way to put investment in computer hardware in perspective. […]

Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia

Wikipedia Logo

The Wikipedia Library is an open research hub started in 2010 when Credo Reference donated 500 free research accounts to Wikipedia’s most active editors. Partnerships with HighBeam, Questia, JSTOR, and the Cochrane Library followed. Now, the Wikipedia Library is developing into a portal to connect editors with libraries, open access resources, paywalled databases, digital reference tools, and research experts. Two of the project’s leaders discuss the potential for collaboration between libraries and Wikipedia, as well as the new Visiting Scholars pilot program.

Using Data to Shape a Library’s Direction | Data-Driven Academic Libraries


Access to good data on key metrics such as circulation and student visits always helps make a better case for the important role libraries play on campus. But using data proactively to address emerging trends and challenges is “what it really means to be a data-driven organization” said Sarah Tudesco, Assessment Librarian, Yale University, during yesterday’s “What Is a Data-Driven Academic Library?” webcast.

Gender in Tech Librarianship

Certainly I’ve written about this issue before, and I will keep writing about it until there are no more reasons to do so. But the reason why I’m writing about the issue of gender imbalance in library tech is because I was recently at the Internet Librarian Conference in Monterey, CA, where my esteemed professional […]

Swets Launches Open Access Payment Management Service

Swets logo

Global information services company Swets this month launched a new service to help academic libraries pay and manage article processing charges (APC) on an institutional scale. The move comes in response to a sharp increase in fee-based open access publishing in the United Kingdom.

“If Everything Goes As Planned”


I ran into this the other day, someone was once again saying “If everything goes as planned.” We’ve all said it. But here’s the thing: it never does. So why don’t we spend just as much time learning what to do when things inevitably stray off our path as we do to create the plan […]

Being Different, Part 9: How Not to Die on the Plain of Suckitude


In parts one through eight I first introduced, then explained and summarized my Topography of Skill Acquisition. But as I made clear in Part 3, the absolutely essential event to ever add a skill to your resume is to not die on the Plain of Suckitude. Because if you do, you are never coming back. […]