“In The World’s Strongest Librarian (Gotham Bks: Penguin Group (USA). May 2013), his forthright, affecting, and sometimes surprisingly funny new memoir, Josh Hanagarne discloses a passion for books so great that he claims to see the rest of life as a mere break between bouts of reading. He’s a librarian at the Salt Lake Public Library who at 6’7? can reach the highest stacks, an Alice in his own Wonderland consumed with asking questions, a modestly observant Mormon with a newfound interest in evolution, and a dedicated weight lifter who launched his blog, World’s Strongest Librarian, to keep track of his progress.” (via Library Journal)
“Incoming library staff will no longer be designated as faculty, University Librarian Karin Wittenborg told library employees in an email March 1. Instead, all future positions within the University library system, including vacancies created by retirements and departures as well as newly created positions, will be posted as University staff. The decision was met with strong pushback from many in the library community. Forty-three members of the Library Faculty Assembly sent a letter to Wittenborg in February voicing their opposition to the proposed change. The faculty expressed concern about their future roles within the University community under this new system.”
“U.S.-based publishing company says it is dropping at least one of its lawsuits against a McMaster librarian after scholars across North America came to his defense. Edwin Mellen Press (EMP) had filed two lawsuits against Dale Askey and McMaster University, claiming a total of $4.5 million in damages. In the first filing, submitted in June of last year, the company alleged that statements Askey made in a Sept. 2010 blog post, while he was working at a Kansas university, were both “false” and “defamatory in its tone and context.”
“In the days before Google, librarians at the New York Public Library hand clipped hundreds of thousands of photos and illustrations from magazines and books to create over 12,000 different files for its Picture Collection. Visitors could search for images of, say, rat catching or handshaking.”
via NY Times
“If there’s such a thing as a typical librarian, it would not be Lilia Pavlovsky. Pavlovsky, an assistant professor and lecturer at Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information, is a semi-retired Ukrainian folk singer who has worked on Wall Street, harvested potatoes and acted off-Broadway. But her unorthodox career path led Pavlovsky to the top of her field. Last fall, she won the Library Journal Teaching Award after being nominated by students and colleagues.
In classes like “Human Information Behavior,” Pavlovsky explores how and why people seek information and the many different ways it can be used in the digital age.”
via Rutgers FOCUS
“One doesn’t normally think of small liberal arts colleges as having very much of a role in affecting the direction of scholarly communication in general or academic publishing in particular. But Bryn Geffert, head librarian at Amherst College in Massachusetts, believes the can and should. With the endorsement of Amherst’s president and Board of Trustees, he has recently launched Amherst College Press, which will produce a handful of edited, peer-reviewed, digital-first books on “a very small number of subjects.” “We want to do a few things well, not overextend,” he says. Staff retirements have allowed Geffert to repurpose two salary lines in the library’s budget into an editorial staff, including a press director—”somebody who’s absolutely committed to open access,” he says. “That’s a fundamental value for the press.”
“Librarian questions quality of a publishing house. Librarian publicly criticizes said press on his personal blog. Two years later, librarian and current employer get sued for libel and damages in excess of $4 million. That’s been the progression of events for Dale Askey, associate university librarian at McMaster University in Ontario, where he’s been working since 2011. At the time of his blog post, in August 2010, Askey was a tenured associate professor at Kansas State University, where librarians are granted faculty status. He said his comments about Edwin Mellen Press, since removed from his blog, pertained to his work, assessing materials for potential inclusion in Kansas State’s library collection in a time of diminishing resources”
via Inside Higher Ed
“Last week, Salon published a piece by Laura Miller entitled “Bring back shushing librarians,” focusing on some of the findings from our recent report on library services. “[T]here’s a lot to be said for that shushing,” Miller writes, adding, “I’ve long believed that one of the most precious resources libraries offer their patrons is simple quiet.” The piece has sparked a bit of a debate on a couple blogs and in social media about what people want from libraries. So should libraries shush, or not? One of the interesting findings that surfaced throughout our research, whether in our nationally representative phone survey, in-person focus groups, and our online panel of librarians, was that Americans want many things from their libraries. About three-quarters said that they want quiet study spaces available, but a similar number said they want programs and classes for children and teens, for instance — a decidedly un-quiet service!”
“Jason Alston, a doctoral candidate in library and information science at the University of South Carolina, sometimes answers uncomfortable questions on why he selected his chosen career path. For starters, he’s preparing for a career in librarianship, an industry largely dominated by white women. As an African-American male, Alston is what some would consider a double minority. Many of his friends and relatives wonder about his future after having spent many years earning a master’s and now a Ph.D. in library science. “What will you be doing all day?” “What’s the future viability of libraries?” Someone even teased him once, “That’s no kind of profession for a man.”
via National Journal
“MaryKay Dahlgreen became Oregon’s state librarian nearly a year ago, during a tumultuous time at the agency. The man newly hired to the post had resigned after suspicion arose over his credentials. Not only did Dahlgreen have to restore confidence; she had to reduce management staff and reassign tasks for those who remained.
Still, she pointed out during a recent interview, she has a job where she can make a difference for libraries, librarians and readers across the state. She can visit a library any time and call it work.”