Tags Publications

147 posts

Used for crossposted articles originally published elsewhere (Library Journal, Digitale Bibliotheek, etc.)

A Road Map to Transparency

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens In our experiences at a larger public library system and in a university setting (after numerous years in a medium-sized public library), respectively, we often have had access to resources that smaller libraries/systems do not. While that sets our frame of reference, we intend to give advice aimed at libraries of all sizes. No matter the dimensions of the institution, the building blocks of transparency allow a more honest, open flow of ideas, where staff and users are valued. The “To Do” list for transparency is simple but requires commitment from administrators and staff […]

The Technology Storm

In this new world, these models no longer fly: Locked-down library web sites held captive by overzealous IT departments or marketing/PR offices. Technology purchases driven by accounting departments instead of front-line staff and savvy professionals. Technology decisions and plans without staff buy-in. IT projects driven by artificial time lines instead of customer service needs. A siege mentality because of concerns about security, privacy, and safety of data. The models might be better replaced by the traits of the Transparent Library: Make decisions in public. Hold meetings and invite staff and public comment for all major projects. Create multiple avenues of […]

The Technology Storm

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens We’re a far cry from the days when technology was solely the domain of the IT folks at the library. Now, much of what we do is linked to using, planning for, implementing, and evaluating all manner of technologies-from web site design/redesign and the rapidly growing trend of using social tools in the library all the way to finding out what hardware works best for the library and how to implement radio frequency identification (RFID). While teams and committees ponder decisions about how a technology will fit in, the big picture decisions also require […]

Okay Indiana Libraries – GO FOR IT!

http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6482510.html LibLime, the Athens, OH-based vendor offering open-source ILS solutions, recently signed large contracts with the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA) and the Central Kansas Library System. INCOLSA will be using LibLime’s services for the Indiana Shared Library Catalog (ISLC), a multitype resource sharing network composed of 30 member libraries including an art museum, the Indiana Supreme Court Library, and public and school libraries throughout the state. LibLime said its Koha ZOOM solution will provide ISLC members with “a shared integrated library automation system, including a web-based union catalog and integrated circulation, acquisitions, and serials control modules.” The ISLC […]

Triumphing Over Opacity

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens We recently heard from a ‘librarian in the trenches’ who copied our recent column on transparency (‘The Open Door Director,’ LJ 7/07, p. 29) for colleagues but was chastised by the library director for being too open with ‘lower levels of staff.’ We’ve received several comments like this since The Transparent Library began last April, which indicates that some library managers still prefer opacity. We’d like to share some examples and ideas on how to improve the situation. Michael S.: As an academic, I’ve talked with many librarians this year about these topics. I […]

Transparent Library: “Going to the Field”

The transparent library’s fluid nature and open communication allow all levels of staff to understand what it takes to meet user needs. By following this simple rule—bring them out—you’ll develop a big-picture understanding of library services among your staff, and you’ll see dividends immediately. Read the whole column here

Going to the Field

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens How many times have decisions been met with resistance and misunderstanding in your library when word reaches the front lines? Sometimes it seems like higher-ups create policy without a feel for what actually happens on desks throughout the library. Often, those higher ups are labeled “out of touch.” And those staffers who are on the front lines or working in the branches-whether they’re public or academic libraries-do know what goes on every day. You know what it’s like. You know how you must juggle immediate customer service needs with longer-term issues such as training, […]

Ask for What You Want

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens When was the last time someone said lawyers or doctors needed to update their images into the 21st century? How many skits on Prairie Home Companion or Saturday Night Live have you seen where doctors appear as outdated, dowdy spinsters in need of love or romance? None. Yet Garrison Keillor’s “Adventures of Ruth Harrison, Reference Librarian” parades antiquated and stereotyped images of librarians as humor. Unfortunately, librarians are often portrayed as technologically backward, fearful of teens and loud noises, and overly protective of books to the point of not wanting anyone to “touch our […]

The Open Door Director

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens The job of library director is difficult and often underappreciated. These days, library directors are more like university presidents, needing to build support in the community, raise money, and make a name for themselves and their library. Obviously, this varies by the size of the community, but all library directors need to garner sufficient political and community capital to get budgets approved and expansions funded and to keep door counts high. It’s no longer enough for the library director simply to keep the place running. Today’s director is politician and lobbyist, fundraiser and spokesperson, […]

Living Out Loud

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens You’re “out there” whether you want to be or not. In the March 2007 Wired cover article, “The Naked CEO,” Clive Thompson illustrates that corporate blunders, missteps, and outright lies are exposed every day. One of our favorite examples is Diebold insisting that its voting machines are safe and secure while YouTube hosts a video of how to crack its security. It’s similar to a child standing in front of you and saying he has not eaten a candy bar when you can see chocolate all over his face. We can understand lies from […]