The Information Professional
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The Information Professional
Librarians and Archivists in a fast-changing digital lanscape
Curated by Karen du Toit
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Libraries That Matter | Project for Public Spaces

Libraries That Matter | Project for Public Spaces | The Information Professional |
By Cynthia Nikitin and Josh Jackson libraries serve as centers of discovery and communication–places where people gather and where information comes alive through teaching and personal interaction. Indeed, to distinguish themselves in a world where Google is well on its way to digitally scanning most of the books ever written, libraries are learning to take advantage of the simple fact that they are centrally located in almost every community. In other words, libraries now see success being linked to their role as public places and destinations.
Karen du Toit's insight:

Three libraries that incorporates projects attracting users to their places/spaces:


1. Charlotte, North Carolina

Bringing Stories to Life


2. Frankfort, Indiana

A Library That Presents Life as a Work of Art


3. Santa Fe Springs, California

Learning in the Heart of Town



Tammy Morley's curator insight, February 5, 2014 11:20 PM

Bringing stories to life.

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Amarillo Public Library introduces Book-A-Librarian - submitted by staff (

Amarillo Public Library introduces Book-A-Librarian

Computer-shy library patrons now can learn to navigate the internet with a new service offered by Amarillo Public Library.


Some of the resources available through the Amarillo Public Library website include:

■ Text-a-Librarian: Reference assistance from anywhere

■ Cypress Resume: Program to create professional resumes, cover letters and reference sheets

■ Automotive Repair Reference Center: Recalls, service bulletins and repair info

■ JobNow: One-on-one assistance, including resume polishing, interview preparation and career assessments

■ Library Elf: Email notices for approaching due dates, overdue items and requested materials

■ Mango Languages: More than 30 foreign language and 15 English-as-a-Second-Language courses in audio-based format

■ Tumblebook Library: Online story/audio books that introduce children to reading in a dynamic format

■ Overdrive: Downloadable ebooks and audio books

■ TexShare Databases: Online access to full-text articles and entire books

■ Learning Express: Skills building and practice tests for scholastic and professional exams

■ Global Road Warrior: Information on other countries and cultures

■ World Book: Online encyclopedia in three levels, with additional databases and Spanish language"

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Reference and Services Trends in Public Libraries, 2012 by Colleen Egget

We are talking about reference and how it is changing in UPLIFT this week: August 15 at the Utah State Library & August 17 2012 in Ephraim, at the Karen A. Hunstman Library on the Snow College campus.


Reference and Services Trends in Public Libraries, 2012:


- Traditional reference work is less relevant to the needs of users
- Rather than worrying about reference’s demise, many librarians have been energized by their newly expanded roles
- Reconfigured or eliminated reference desks
- Consolidated desks and services
- Librarian and support staff work together on the one main desk
- Librarian can handle more complicated questions
- Increased training for support staff to handle basic reference questions
- The reference interview is as pertinent as ever
- Roving reference is more important—getting out to where people are
- Expansion of self-service options (self-checkout, online group study room reservations, self-service holds, and touch screen frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) on your website/ library catalog
- Reconfiguring online reference resources for smartphones and other mobile devices
- Librarians are exploring new roles in reaching out to meet information needs
- Reference through the stacks and other indirect means
- Reduction/elimination of print reference collections
- Greater marketing and promotion of online resources and services
- Librarians will spend less time staffing desks and more time outside of library walls
- Online reference: email, chat, Instant Messaging, and SMS (short messaging services) reaches users who may not visit the library
- Online reference requires continual marketing to be successful
- Collaborating with other organizations will do as much to keep libraries alive as any project or program
- Embedded librarianship: becoming an integral part. Getting close to users by getting out into the community; being actively present with the user at the point of need.
- The big shift: we’re not doing things “for” the community, but we’re being a part “of” the community
- Libraries are shifting from the physical to the virtual facilities and media; from an individual to a community focus; from being a collection library to being a creation library; from being an archive to being a portal

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Librarians lend words for wellness

Librarians lend words for wellness | The Information Professional |
The Boab Health Services counselling team and the Kununurra Community Library hope to help people access information about mental health issues by offering high-quality self-help material for loan.
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Self-proclaimed radical librarian Jessamyn West to speak at MU on Monday - Columbia Missourian

Self-proclaimed radical librarian Jessamyn West to speak at MU on Monday - Columbia Missourian | The Information Professional |

Lauren Page:

"Self-proclaimed radical librarian to speak at MU on Monday -Columbia Missourian

"Lots of people know how to use computers, and lots of people don't — more than you think," said Jessamyn West, community technology librarian at Randolph Technical Career...

"Radical librarians are people who feel one of the things they should be doing as a public servant is advocating for the public," she said.

West thinks librarians should advocate for the public by making library services more accessible to people who have difficulty reaching them, such as the homeless and people in jail. It's also important to her that a library's collection represents all of the people of the world.

"We represent the public, so we need to serve the public," West said."

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Canadian Libraries: Innovating and creating inclusive services

Canadian Libraries: Innovating and creating inclusive services | The Information Professional |
Canadian Libraries: Innovating and Creating Inclusive Services Pilar Martinez Edmonton Public Library Executive Director, Public Services Canadian Library Association Vice-President/President-Elect...


Final thoughts by:

Pilar Martinez & Kenneth Williment


"The traditional service development process provides a number of ways in which library staff can internally generate programs and services to meet library staffs’ perceptions of community needs. Community-led service development provides a new set of tools which library staff can build upon to ensure the continued relevance of public libraries that truly meet community needs. Unfortunately, systems which continue to guess at community needs will run the risk of being left in the 20th century. This may lead to the development of two tiered library service development, where 1. dynamic library systems respond to community needs beyond those of traditional library users while 2. other systems minimally engage users and try to maintain their relevance to community by marketing and informing communities of ‘their’ services.

As with all other professions, industries and organizations, public libraries need to embrace innovation, thus ensuring that their services are relevant to both funders and the people they are meant to serve. The discussions and innovative practices occurring in Canadian public libraries are exciting because – ultimately – change will occur. The question will always remain – who will determine how public libraries will adapt? It will either happen proactively and internally, and hopefully based on collaborative decisions made with library staff and their communities – or else passive public libraries will be at the mercy of the outside forces imposing the change."

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Shelf life: Missoula library's Web on Wheels brings tech help to doorsteps - The Missoulian

Shelf life: Missoula library's Web on Wheels brings tech help to doorsteps - The Missoulian | The Information Professional |
"Shelf life: Missoula library's Web on Wheels brings tech help...
Karen du Toit's insight:

By Ira Sather-Olson for the Missoulian

Hop on the Missoula Public Library’s Web on Wheels (W.O.W.) bus at one of its scheduled stops this month and you can take advantage of a new service it’s offering that covers basic computer maintenance techniques.

You can learn how to set up free virus scan programs, clean up your hard drive, compress your memory, delete old programs and more."


>>Änother great service to consider for libraries!


Doug Mirams's curator insight, December 12, 2012 6:43 AM

Another innovative example of expanding mobile library outreach into a community, this time assisting clients with basic computer skills.

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60 Ways to Use a Library Card - Peoria Journal Star (blog)

60 Ways to Use a Library Card - Peoria Journal Star (blog) | The Information Professional |

By Emily Lambe:

"Check out these great ways to use your library card and library from the American Library Association. 1. Download an e-book. 

read more here:


> Also useful for other libraries to market their services!

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Academic Librarians As Campus Hubs, by Joshua Kim | Inside Higher Ed

Academic Librarians As Campus Hubs, by Joshua Kim | Inside Higher Ed | The Information Professional |
Joshua Kim:  

"RT @mrlibrarydude: Librarians already know this - but good to see it advocated by a non-librarian: Academic Librarians As Campus Hubs"


"The library, and the librarians connected to the library space, seem to have some key advantages as connectors.  These include:

A Physical Space: And not just any physical space, but in most cases the campus library is at the geographic, intellectual and emotional center of the campus and/or school. Librarians seem to think about and pay great attention to their spaces."

An Interdisciplinary Focus: I work with quite a number of subject librarians at my institution, and all of them are amazingly knowledgeable about the disciplines in which they partner with faculty around teaching and research. Even subject librarians, however, retain a wide range of knowledge and a fluency in the language of the contiguous disciplines.

A Service Orientation: Service to our students, service to our faculty, service to colleagues, service to the mission of the institution, and service to larger ideals such as privacy and the availability of information (regardless of rank or status at the institution)."

Inside Higher Ed 

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"Bad Libraries Build Collections, Good Libraries Build Services, Great Libraries Build Communities"

"Virtual Dave" Lankes is a professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies:

The tweet that led to this post:

“Bad Libraries build collections. Good libraries build services (of which a collection is only one). Great libraries build Communities”


"There is nothing that says that good and great libraries don’t or can’t build collections. It is a matter of focus. If librarians focus solely or disproportionately on the collection, that is bad...If we are talking focus, what is the difference between bad libraries and good ones? Good libraries focus on users. That is they evaluate th