This essay addresses the current climate in the library world from the perspective of a library student. We are at a point where the actual value of libraries and library services are of the utmost importance, but the perceived importance from our patron base is on the decline. The root of the problem is that of marketing. Libraries need to refocus attention on making sure that people are aware of the services the library can provide even as many believe the role to be lost in increasing obsolesce.
Janet Lee, Technical Services Librarian and Associate Professor, Regis University, devoted her sabbatical leave for joining Yohannes Gebregeorgis, 2008 CNN Hero, and establishing the Segenat Children and Youth Library in Mekelle, Ethiopia. Lee discusses successes and challenges in setting up a library in a developing country.
Today’s students are critical thinkers, collaborators, and creators. They expect to participate in twenty-first century learning environments not as passive information consumers (think lectures), but as active contributors (think team-based problem-solving). There are opportunities for instruction librarians to collaborate directly with student-led organizations. These partnerships have the potential to increase attendance at library events and provide platforms for students to engage in richer forms of exploratory learning that incorporate twenty-first century skills. This article will discuss the literature surrounding library instruction collaborations, identify “Librarian–Student Organization Collaborations” as an important form of partnership, and supply specific case studies of successful library instruction events based on these collaborations.
This article highlights various collaborative efforts during the author’s career as a reference librarian at a large metropolitan public library from 1986 to 2011.
This issue marks the start of Collaborative Librarianship’s third year of publication. The articles presented here reveal the great richness of creative thought moving librarians to develop intriguing and exciting ways of working together and of reaching out to persons and groups outside the profession of librarianship.
For librarians who have worked in the field and have become innovative out of necessity, developing and creating entrepreneurial activities are not unusual. Perhaps recognizing and celebrating those achievements could change common perspectives on the entrepreneurial abilities of librarians. This idea launched the collaborative efforts of two universities to demonstrate this to be so. The libraries at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, successfully collaborated on the planning and execution of a conference to celebrate entrepreneurism within the field of librarianship. In doing so, each organization was able to promote its unique talents and give signature to the notion that librarians can be, and in fact are, entrepreneurial. The collaborative value found in this project was derived from our sense of fulfillment of our social responsibility and of celebrating entrepreneurship within the profession. This conference serves as an example of embedded collaboration versus simple logistics, and the conference planning team now looks forward to future endeavors.
Carol Krismann reviews Morten T. Hansen's book, "Collaboration: How Leaders Avoid the Traps, Create Unity, and Reap Big Results." The book focuses on collaborations within companies and organizations. However, some of the ideas can be used for collaborating with outside organizations. Based on the author’s fifteen years of research, it is a scholarly book with a practical orientation offering guidelines on collaboration that improves the organization and its goals.
Megan Tomeo reviews the book, "Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data." Editor, Nichole Engard offers a compilation of successful mashups from a variety of libraries including Yale University, Temple University, and Manchester City Library as well as companies such as LibLime. Mashups are web applications that use free and/or fee data (images, citation information, maps, etc.)—perhaps even several sets of data—and combine them to create new content.
“Consortia are important players in the library collaborative process.” There is unlikely to be resistance to such a statement from most corners of our profession, yet what moves people (librarians and others) to positions with consortia—and what they do when they arrive there—remains a somewhat unexamined path. In this article, Collaborative Librarianship’s Joe Kraus discussed with Tim Cherubini, LYRASIS’ Director for East Region Programs, his personal experiences in positions with academic libraries as well as consortia and his movement between the two related but distinct environments. This interview is part of a series of conversations with members of Collaborative Librarianship’s Advisory Board.
Providing excellent reference service at the University of Minnesota’s Bio-Medical Library has always been a source of pride and a goal to those of us who work at the reference desk. With tightening budgets and shrinking staff numbers, who works at the reference desk is drastically changing. The Bio-Medical Library has always been in a unique position to offer the opportunity of working at the reference desk to staff members across all departments, including those who at other libraries would not normally be given the option to staff the desk. From circulation staff to technical services staff to our fee-based services staff (InfoNOW) to our current project of training a few undergraduate student workers, the Bio-Medical Library staff has created a unique reference desk environment. This article will discuss the many different ways the Bio-Medical Library keeps the reference desk functioning with its unique and multi-departmental staff.