Tags Library Journal

138 posts

Office Hours: Stacking the Deck

My new column is up at Library Journal: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/06/opinion/michael-stephens/stacking-the-deck-office-hours/ 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: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/05/opinion/michael-stephens/researcher-what-you-got-office-hours/ 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: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/03/opinion/michael-stephens/the-power-of-quiet-office-hours/ 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: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/02/opinion/michael-stephens/whats-your-pitch-office-hours/ 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: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/04/opinion/michael-stephens/room-to-grow-office-hours/ 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 […]

Office Hours: The Livelong Day

My new column is up at Library Journal: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/10/opinion/michael-stephens/the-livelong-day-office-hours/ Serving as a member of the advisory board of the Project Information Literacy (PIL) Lifelong Learning study has impressed on me the importance of understanding and addressing the information needs of citizens throughout their lives, especially as they move into the “real world,” ­postuniversity. The board recently discussed the findings and these results/outcomes should be of interest to all information professionals. We are all in the business of lifelong learning. One of the study’s overarching findings is, “Today’s young graduates prefer lifelong learning resources that have three information qualities: usefulness, connectivity, […]

Office Hours: It’s About Time

And my last column of 2014 – for got to post! http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/11/opinion/michael-stephens/its-about-time-office-hours/ Have you said this in a meeting or a discussion with a colleague? Has this rolled off the tongue when confronted with an unexpected change, a new technology, or another initiative? Many of us are stretched to our limits. I applaud the folks I meet who have absorbed more and more duties as staffing patterns have changed. Just recently, at a meeting of the Council of State Library Agencies in the Northeast in Cape May, NJ, I dined with librarians who were wearing many hats in their evolving […]

Office Hours: Actions and Answers

My new column is up at Library Journal: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2015/01/opinion/michael-stephens/actions-and-answers-office-hours/ The attitudes or reflective action, highlighted in an article by Grant and Zeichner (2001), includes open-­mindedness, responsibility, and wholeheartedness. All are important and resonate deeply with me and my philosophy of what librarianship should be about. Approaching something with a sense of wholeheartedness means we are all in all the time, not just when it’s convenient. It means bucking the status quo to do the right thing at the right moment. It means owning our actions as ­professionals. I am most excited about this evolution of who we are and what we do […]

Office Hours: Always Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

New column! http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/10/opinion/michael-stephens/always-doesnt-live-here-anymore-office-hours/ That said, I must comment on some threads of conversation I had at the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Las Vegas. In 2006, I wrote a post at Tame the Web (TTW) entitled “Five Phrases I Hope I Never Hear in Libraries Again.” It got a lot of traction back then, during the heyday of LIS blogging, and I used a slide of the phrases for many years in presentations. One of the phrases was: We’ve always done it this way. Back then I wrote, “I think it’s time to red flag any utterance of that […]

Office Hours: In the Moment

Here’s my June column: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/06/opinion/michael-stephens/in-the-moment-office-hours/ More than once, someone in the audience has expressed concern that children and young people are always looking at their mobile device, texting, gaming, or whatever. Recently the comment was this: “I want to take away the iPad and send them outside. They are not in the moment.” My reply was a reminiscence of my mother taking away my Hardy Boys books and sending me out to play one summer day. I was furious! The seminar room vibrated with comments: “It’s the same thing.” “It’s not the same thing!”