Category Archives: Spotlight

Thriving in Your Profession and in Life

By Caitlin Williams

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou

Hello Everyone!

I’m delighted to welcome all our readers to the newest feature in the Spotlight section of the Library Worklife Newsletter.

Because the field of library and information science is expanding and changing rapidly, we want to give you resources to help you enter – or continue Read the rest

Hey New Technical Services Librarian – Get Out of the Basement!

By Jessica Spooner

What is a technical services librarian?  What do we do? Don’t we, as librarians, just read books all day? Where is the technicality in that?

I am sure many of us have pondered that before entering this field.  Now we all know that the technical service librarians are usually hidden away, preferably in the basement. We are doing jobs that no one ever thinks about.  We are ordering, processing, classifying, cataloging and preparing the books to go Read the rest

Youthful Ruminations: The Plight of a Young Librarian

I’ve always been the youngest member of the library staff.  This station certainly comes with its advantages, but there are also some unavoidable downsides.  I’m grateful for having found my lifelong profession in my first job, but I’ve been the baby (and affectionately referred to as such) in all of my library positions since.  Discovering librarianship at an impressionable age allowed the fundamentals of the career to acquire the rose color that only the most striking moments of one’s young Read the rest

Elect to Do the Right Thing for Employees Taking Time Off From Work to Vote

As long as Election Day remains a working day, employees will show up to work late, leave work early or take long lunches just so that they can vote. We applaud those employers who have policies in place to ensure these employees are not penalized for taking time off.  The author of this brief article suggests that employers not even entertain the idea of disciplining employees who do take time off to vote. Besides being an unsavory practice, in some Read the rest

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