Library Round-Up

The latest in library-related news and opinion:

Meredith of Information Wants to be free encourages librarians to use their creativity in “Making Things Happen!

Librarians with passion and good ideas can really make a difference in our profession (when they are not stifled by their employers). I have been encouraged to run with so many of my crazy ideas, both in my daily work and in my professional service. I am someone who is willing to work my butt off if I feel like I can make a difference, but when I feel like I’m constantly running into brick walls, my motivation quickly dies away

Similarly, LibraryCrunch encourages librarians to make make the most of their profession in “Get Passionate About the Work, Not the Company.”

The company should behave just like a good user interface — support people in doing what they’re trying to do, and stay the hell out of their way. Applying the employer-as-UI model, the best company is one in which the employees are so engaged in their work that the company fades into the background…

Rafael Behr writes in “Choice for tomorrow” about finding community in the library with his daughter.

But maybe I can drag out her pre-consumer phase, postpone the day when owning the toy becomes more important than chewing the wrapper. So I take her to a magical place where there is no such thing as ownership, only learning and sharing. I take her to the library.

I haven’t set foot in a library for a long time. I have spent most of my adult life being a private citizen, buying private goods and services with privately earned money. But since I started looking after a baby I have come over all public. I’m all parks and municipal leisure facilities. I get civic urges, fantasies about getting involved in council politics. We will campaign, I think. Me and my daughter, we will fight to save something for the community.

ACRLog reviews an article by Jonathan Lethem on copyright in “Never Mine in the First Place.”

For all our professional sophistication about open access and the need to unlock scholarship, we tend to shorten Standard Five of the Information Literacy Competency Standards – on using information “ethically and legally” (as if those are the same thing) – to “don’t plagiarize.” Admittedly, librarians rarely have time in a class to delve into these issues, but we should consider broadening our institutional focus on scholarly communication to include the equally-important cultural skirmishes around copyright. After all, it is the world our students live in.

Jessamyn offers links to two customer service stories you might like at

Finally, atLibrarian’s Place the revised “5 Laws of library science for the 21st century” are reviewed.

For review, here are Ranganathan’s original laws:

1. Books are for use.
2. Every reader his book.
3. Every book its reader.
4. Save the time of the reader.
5. The Library is a growing organism.

…and here are the revised laws from the group in Michael Stephens’ LIS701 course:

1. Collections are for use.
2. Every collection its user.
3. Every user his collection.
4. Save time & energy of user.
5. The library is a growing organism.

That’s all for now from the library!

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