For me, the heart of librarianship is learning. It’s a cyclical process of support, engagement, and discovery with deep roots in the concepts of service, access, and freedom to pursue interests of all kinds. No matter what type of institution, someone is gaining knowledge, finding information, or creating something new […]

News: The Heart of Librarianship by Michael Stephens from ALA Editions




I must admit my eyebrows raised when one of my students in the Hyperlinked Library class shared a job description in our discussion devoted to emerging ideas and trends. Trenton Public Library (TPL), NJ, was looking for an “Innovation Catalyst Librarian.” The interest grew as my students dissected the duties […]

Office Hours: Agents of Change



A new way of professional learning may be replacing the “filling a ballroom and quietly taking notes as a speaker speaks” model and seems to have its genesis in a more localized fashion. At a state meeting last spring, a library administrator noted, “My new professional hires are much more […]

Office Hours: Conference Call





Will “hygge” guide our services and interactions? Scandinavian countries have introduced libraries to some wonderful things in the past few years. Nordic Noir fiction, some beautiful new buildings to gather inspiration from, and perhaps the most interesting of all: the concept of hygge. Pronounced “hoo-ga,” it loosely translates from the […]

Office Hours: The Hygge State of Mind



A MODEL LIBRARY “We designed our libraries for people, not books,” Østergård said. The collection remained the same size, about 325,000 items, but the new space is much larger. It’s based on the Four Space model developed by Danish Royal School of Library and Information Science professors: inspiration space, learning […]

Office Hours: Dream. Explore. Experiment.


This column explores my three years working on the IMLS-funded Institute for Research Design in Librarianship. Since 2014, academic librarians from across the United States have gathered at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles to be part of an immersive learning experience—the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL). […]

Office Hours: The Research Journey



This column explores the future of LIS education as part of Library Journal’s 40th Anniversary celebration. LIS programs have moved online quickly since my own program went 100 percent online in 2009 with varying degrees of success, some relying on “read and respond” pedagogy while others embrace new technologies. (See […]

Office Hours: Looking Forward