By Meredith Farkas | February 21, 2006
This has been a rockin’ week for reading — I wish I actually had more time to do it.
Rachel Singer Gordon wrote an amazing column for Library Journal entitled “Secure Our Professional Future”. In it, she makes some very good points about the reality of the current job market and how important it is that we, as a profession, work to retain these new librarians, mentor them, and groom them for their future management roles. This should be read by every librarian who actually cares about the future of our profession.
In the same issue, Roy Tennant writes “What I Hope Will Be,” and what he hopes for are “effective and easy-to-use finding tools… compelling user services… a professional association that gets it… [and] wide and deep collaborations to solve common library problems.” The whole column is so on the mark, but what I loved the most was what Roy said about the ALA. It’s nice to see that it’s not just a library newbie like me (who isn’t a big fan of rigidity and organizations to begin with) who thinks the ALA doesn’t have a clue what most of its members want. Reading something like this in Library Journal makes me really happy because I keep thinking about how many ALA members read LJ:
The American Library Association (ALA) leaders and staff need to know that times have changed. ALA can no longer assume that its role at the center of professional communication and development is secure. The Internet provides many opportunities for professional communication and development that are timely, convenient, cheaper, and more effective than twice-yearly conferences and a monthly journal. Meanwhile, ALA is so hidebound by tradition it cannot marshal the same tools that its members work with on a daily basis, instead clinging to outmoded ways of doing things .
Roy Tennant, you really do rock. You just do.
There are also some terrific articles in this month’s issue of Ariadne, which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Lorcan Dempsey has a really interesting reflective piece about the digital library environment and what has changed over the past 10 years . The article “Excuse Me … Some Digital Preservation Fallacies?” by Chris Rushbridge is really cool! I always like to see assumption-busting articles.
The February issue of Computers in Libraries is also jam-packed with good articles:
For me, the best one is Ross Singer’s “Helping You Buy: Link Resolver Tools.” Oh Ross, your timing couldn’t be better! For a while I’ve been pushing at work for us to get a link resolver product. It seems like a no-brainer since students are totally unable to figure out how to get from a citation to finding the actual article — not that I blame them, we sure don’t make it easy. So my constant nagging has finally gotten somewhere and we now are going to be doing trials of two link resolver products. As the resident techie, people actually take my recommendations seriously, so I want to do a good job with my eval. Yes, blogs, wikis, etc. are great, but this will have such a huge and immediate positive impact for our patrons. It’s very exciting!
Other great articles in the issue include one on Web conferencing software by Tom Peters and Lori Bell, methods of providing outreach using blogs, rss and other c ommunication methodsby Terence Huwe, an article on social software by Janet Balas, and an article on using a blog for staff communications by two of my favorite librarians, Michael Stephens and Rachel Singer Gordon. Lots of great, practical stuff on blogs. Very cool!
Y’all really have to stop writing all this great stuff or I’ll never get my book done!