Stephens is back with a newly curated collection of succinct writings that will refresh your view of the profession and invigorate your work. Associate Professor at San Jose State University, Stephens encourages curiosity and creativity in his students and all library workers by connecting trends from outside the profession to its bedrock values. With a humanist lens, he reflects on such topics as
- how libraries can empower kindness;
- developing a coterie of kindred spirits at conferences outside libraryland;
- inspiring creativity in library patrons;
- the most effective professional development experiences;
- comfort, joy, and hygge in the library;
- the characteristics of compassionate leadership;
- how to contend with a devil’s advocate; and
- mentoring new librarians.
Whether you’ve just landed your first job or a longtime professional, Stephens’ perspective will reenergize your commitment to librarianship and the important work that libraries are doing every day.
The Heart of Librarianship
Adaptation to change that’s based on thoughtful planning and grounded in the mission of libraries: it’s a model that respected LIS thinker and educator Michael Stephens terms “hyperlinked librarianship.” And the result, for librarians in leadership positions as well as those working on the front lines, is flexible librarianship that’s able to stay closely aligned with the needs and wants of library users. In this collection of essays from his “Office Hours” columns in Library Journal, Stephens explores the issues and emerging trends that are transforming the profession. Among the topics he discusses are
- the importance of accessible, welcoming, and responsive library environments that invite open and equitable participation, and which factors are preventing many libraries from ramping up community engagement and user-focused services;
- challenges, developments, and emerging opportunities in the field, including new ways to reach users and harness curiosity;
- considerations for prospective librarians, from knowing what you want out of the profession to learning how to aim for it;
- why LIS curriculum and teaching styles need to evolve;
- mentoring and collaboration; and
- the concept of the library as classroom, a participatory space to experiment with new professional roles, new technologies, and new ways of interacting with patrons.
Bringing together ideas for practice, supporting evidence from recent research, and insights into what lies ahead, this book will inform and inspire librarians of all types.