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putting the rarin back in librarian since 1999

Last Build Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2018 20:14:04 +0000


2017 in libraries

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 22:23:54 +0000

  I love to visit libraries. Every year I make a list and think about it at year’s end. This year I went to 48 libraries in seven states and three Canadian provinces. Eighty-seven library visits total. Previous years: 2016,…

2017 reading list and commentary

Sun, 31 Dec 2017 17:34:28 +0000

I started 106 books this year and finished 102. I seem to have some sort of aggressive attachment to reading serendipitously. Which means no matter what I set out to do, I read whatever the hell I want because I…

Unlink hate – libraries, remove those links to racist websites

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 14:50:55 +0000

Librarians: please unlink or nofollow sites you don’t want to lend your authority to. Librarians have a few staple websites we go to when we teach information literacy, especially lately when people talk about fake news. There’s the tree octopus.…

Twice a decade whether it needs it or not

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 21:51:42 +0000

This is a theme update. I was looking for a way to sort of merge this blog and my newsletter. I have not managed that, but I did get this site looking fairly decent for now and maybe like it…

Ask a Librarian: the relationship of library work to social justice

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 19:08:14 +0000

Email from a library worker, paraphrased: I am deeply committed to social justice and anti-oppression principles. I am radical in my politics. I am interested in literacy as a feminist issue. I am also interested in knowledge, access, critical thinking,…

Sensible talk about HTTPS

Sun, 22 Oct 2017 19:27:41 +0000

(this is a slightly amended reprint of an article I wrote for Computers in Libraries magazine in 2016 and I’m putting it here because it’s timely. Original title: Practical Technology – Digital Privacy is Important Too. If something seems inaccurate,…

Ask A Librarian: How does library presenting work? Who pays and when?

Wed, 27 Sep 2017 18:23:12 +0000

Email from someone asking about how to merge librarianship and public speaking. I may not be the right person for this question… Does your employer (if you’re employed at a Library) pay (travel, salary and credited work time) for you…

Ask A Librarian: Options for Remote Librarianship

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 00:48:03 +0000

A portion of an email I received: “It seems you’ve been able to piece together disparate threads to form an unusual career. That’s exciting to me. I see the economy shifting toward a new model i.e. multiple income streams/work when…

Ask a Librarian: When do you touch a patron’s computer?

Sat, 01 Jul 2017 00:34:13 +0000

Conversation with my friend Peter (in italics) about teaching technology and when it’s okay or even helpful to touch a patron’s device. Slightly edited. I run a drop-in time weekly during the school year where people can come and ask…

Ask a Librarian: New Library Director Advice?

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 16:51:46 +0000

An old one from the inbox about starting as a new, youngish library director in an established library. Here are some quick links and things to think about: 1. How to manage smart people. If your staff is smart,…

Ask a Librarian: How do smaller libraries work together to get economies of scale?

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 17:32:34 +0000

Someone I work with at Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab asked me for examples of smaller rural libraries working together to “combine forces” to get more done. I realized that for someone outside the library world, the breakdown of state libraries,…

Ask a librarian: My library is requiring proof of citizenship to get a library card. How do I fight back?

Thu, 11 May 2017 15:46:12 +0000

Question from an author who recently learned that her library is requiring proof of citizenship for patrons to get library cards. She wanted to know what she could do about that. I’m sorry the library where you’re from is doing…

Ask a librarian: How do I learn tech skills in a fun and interesting way?

Thu, 11 May 2017 15:39:46 +0000

One of the things I do a lot lately is write email to people who ask me librarian-type questions. Sometimes the answers are more widely applicable and I figured I should note them somewhere. This was a reply to a…

the system, sort of working

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 17:35:23 +0000

I’ve been doing a lot of writing in my newsletter lately. You might like to read it but I do still post here from time to time and I keep my talks list and my booklist updated. This week I…

librarian diplomacy

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 16:28:29 +0000

I am, like many librarians, sort of a crabby nitpicker about some things. I think there are optimal ways to do things, particularly with technology. I have, over the past 20+ years of helping people, gotten better at working with…