Monthly Archives: October 2015

17 posts

Heading to Colorado! See You There

I leave tomorrow trip to the Colorado Association of Libraries Annual Conference where I will be doing a keynote address. I am super excited to attend the conference as well instead of swooping in just to talk. If you are attending, please say hi. See you in Loveland! Here’s the abstract for my talk: Emerging technologies are changing the way we live and learn. Libraries can play a key role in this future. Information is no longer bound to a form or a place. The library and resource center that builds value and thrives will be fluid enough to anticipate and […]

Thanks Library 2.015 Conference – Slides and Links Here

Thanks to all who attended my talk at the Library 2.015 Conference. Full Stacks, Introverts, & Zero-Sum Librarians: Notes from Office Hours How do we successfully lead our information organizations when so much change happens so fast? What are the hallmarks of savvy librarians? What’s a “full stack employee?” Can introverts and extroverts find common ground on library teams? Join Michael Stephens for an examination and interactive discussion of the challenges and promise of a changing LIS workforce based on his monthly column “Office Hours” in Library Journal. Download the Slides Links: Office Hours Columns: Stacking the Deck: Power of […]

Job Description: Innovation Catalyst Librarian

The job posting has been taken down but this listing has promoted much discussion in my classes, and I’ll be mentioning it in talks. Saving it here for posterity. Innovation Catalyst Librarian (Librarian 1) Trenton Free Public Library, Trenton NJ Salary: $50,765 starting Status: Full-time and benefitted, 35 hours per week including evenings and weekends. Application Review will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Description The Trenton Free Public Library is in search of a passionate, creative, type-A professional who will be instrumental in helping lead our organization into significant and meaningful Change!!  Our Library is […]

Office Hours: Nurture or Nature?

My new column is up at Library Journal: There is much to be said for encouraging staff at your library to pursue the professional library degree. These folks know the ropes, the culture, and the community. Prompting staff to go to library school is an opportunity for the library profession to address its own need for diversity. It’s a chance to identify members of underrepresented groups and urge them to think about librarianship as a career. It’s also part of our own values: the American Library Association (ALA) Code of Ethics explicitly makes mentoring future librarians part of our […]

Office Hours: Color Me Curious

My new column is up at Library Journal: No amount of training or professional development can move us forward if an individual is uninterested in learning or growing. I’d argue for two vital traits that will serve librarians well throughout their careers. Longtime ­librarians, midcareer folks, new hires, and students, I’m talking to you! The traits are simple yet pack a powerful punch: curiosity and creativity. Click the link to read the whole piece.

Office Hours: Stacking the Deck

My new column is up at Library Journal: Have you read about the “Full-Stack Employee?” In a think piece published in Medium, author Chris Messina—the creator of the hashtag, no less—offers this definition: “the full-stack employee has a powerful combination of skills that make them incredibly valuable. They are adept at navigating the rapidly evolving and shifting technological landscape. They make intuitive decisions amidst information-abundance, where sparse facts mingle loosely with data-drenched opinions.” It’s a tech-heavy take, but bear with me, as Messina broadens the definition: “Full-stack employees have an insatiable appetite for new ideas, best practices, and ways […]

Office Hours: Researcher: What You Got?

My new column is up at Library Journal: A recent opinion piece from Singapore’s Straits Times recently made the rounds on Facebook. “Prof, no one is reading you” by Asit K. Biswas and Julian Kirchherr explores the idea that most scholarly output disappears into our databases, CVs, and tenure dossiers, without much readership. “An average academic journal article is read in its entirety by about 10 people,” the op ed piece says, calling for professors to seek exposure of their work in mainstream media. Research, the authors argue, used to sway policy and inform practice across multiple disciplines. Now, […]

Office Hours: The Power of Quiet

My new column is up at Library Journal: Have you ever sat in a meeting and wished silently that the person holding the floor would shut up? Would you prefer quiet time to get work done to a talky decision-making session? If so, you may be an introvert. Click the link to read the whole piece.

Office Hours: What’s Your Pitch?

My new column is up at Library Journal: A short while ago, I was coming back from the New York Library Association conference, flying from Albany to Chicago, and I was seated next to a friendly young man who asked me what I did for a living. This can sometimes be an awkward conversation. It can go any number of ways. “I’m a professor” is one answer. “I teach,” another. When I say “libraries,” sometimes my seatmate’s eyes glaze over, and I get the typical, “Aren’t libraries going away?” question or a joke about the Dewey Decimal System or […]

Office Hours: Room to Grow

My new column is up at Library Journal: A few years ago at the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference in Anaheim, CA, I had dinner with librarians from three large universities. The conversation turned to something they had in common: they were all moving print book collections at their respective institutions off-site to make room for student spaces. Back then, this was a big deal, and these administrators met with opposition and angst from their constituents. I still hear rumblings in the academy that these changes to what might be perceived as traditional libraries are sometimes met with […]