Category Archives: Spotlight

Creating an Engaged Community within the Library

By Kathy A. Parsons


The Iowa State University (ISU) Library began a self-examination and rebuilding process under the guidance of the interim dean in the late summer of 2014. Library staff met with cultural consultants who helped us to understand who we are, what we have in common, what makes us different, and where we can make improvements. Since then, we have started to create a culture of transparency, tolerance, and unity. In the Library’s recently revised Five Year Read the rest

Americans Remembered 9/11

Last Sunday was the 15th anniversary of 9/11, when more than 3,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks in the United States.

For many Americans, the tragic events of September 11, 2001 instill a renewed sense of patriotism and an incentive to serve others.  Here are some ways that some reflected, served, and remembered September 11:

  • Observed a moment of silence. Many Americans observed a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Time), marking the exact moment Flight 11
Read the rest

The Missing Piece of the Library Profession

By Bryant Moore

History of Librarianship in the United States

Librarianship in the United States has a long history that can be traced back to the developments of the education and economic systems. In 1884 Melvil Dewey established the first library school called the School of Library Economy.1 By the end of the nineteenth century, Andrew Carnegie was responsible for providing the funding for 3,000 libraries around the world.2 Prior to the nineteenth century individuals interested in working Read the rest

How One Library Celebrated National Library Workers Day: Cuyahoga County Public Library, Ohio

_DSC2354In celebration of National Library Workers Day this year (April 12, 2016), Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL) of Parma, Ohio, sent sets of note cards that reflected the art created during the library’s 2015 Stories Connect Us project. Sari Feldman, Executive Director of the CCPL and President of the American Library Association, said that the cards represented “the creativity and imagination that library workers help to inspire every day through their work.”

The artwork featured on the cards was created Read the rest

Everything I Know About Library Management I Learned from Watching Restaurant: Impossible

Well, maybe not everything.  Let’s back up.

I have a special type of ADD that kicks in whenever I’m asked to read management literature.  I find most of it deadly dull, if not irrelevant.  (Next time someone recommends you read Good to Great, gently point out that it’s fifteen years old now and that one of the ten companies held up for our organizations to emulate eventually went from good to great to bankrupt.)   So I have to Read the rest

What Are Your Management Styles? Why Having Just One Might Not Be Serving You Well

By Susan M. Frey

Recently I served as a reference for a former coworker who was a candidate for an administrator position at a large university library. When the consultant from the executive search firm asked me to describe the candidate’s management style, I immediately thought of the types of responses I have heard over the years to this question. As a supervisor I have personally interviewed and hired staff. As a faculty member I have operated within the collaborative … Read the rest

A Job Readiness Strategy for MLIS Students and Recent Graduates

By Heylicken (Hayley) Moreno

There is a saying by Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” This can ring true in many aspects of our lives but it is especially imperative when it comes to getting ready for the job market. As the economy continues to recover, library school graduates are facing better prospects in landing a job but still face challenges when it comes to competing with more experienced Read the rest

Gender Stereotypes Male Librarians Face Today

By Heidi Blackburn, PhD


According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) (2012), the library profession has seen a 48% (19,458) increase in males working in libraries since 1980 and the male influx is expected to increase (Minnesota, 2011) despite lingering professional stereotypes. Movies, books, and other popular media focus on the overall image of the librarian, as if only one type exists for both sexes (Duke, 1999; Garcia, 2011). These stereotypes may be misinterpreted Read the rest

Data Breach—Again. What To Do If Your Social Security Number Is Stolen

Within the last couple of years, there have been several incidences of system hackings where individuals’ personal information has been compromised. More recently, details are coming to light on the massive data breach affecting the federal Office of Personnel Management. It is estimated that the personal data, including Social Security numbers, of over 20 million people was compromised in the breach.  How would you feel if you were one of those people?  Would you know what to do?  This … Read the rest

Spring Cleaning at Your Academic Library: Why You Should Do It, and How to Make It Work

By Cori Wilhelm

Numerous studies have been done about the benefits of a tidy workplace.  Staff are more productive, efficient, and motivated in a clutter-free and organized environment.  A recent study by OfficeMax indicated that 90% of Americans feel clutter has a negative impact on their life and work.  Looking for a quick solution to increase productivity and morale at your academic library?  Try Spring Cleaning.

Please note: this is not library weeding, and should be considered an entirely separate … Read the rest