CHICAGO — Today's next generation catalogs, changing cataloging rules, and diverse formats and delivery models demand that technical services professionals and paraprofessionals keep up with evolving best practices for the work they do. Fortunately, libraries can adopt practices such as Training Within Industry (TWI), lean management, and instructional design methodologies to develop a learning culture that continuously improves service delivery.
CHICAGO — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, library patrons of all ages are becoming ever more interested in sustainability and self-reliance topics. Libraries, in turn, are enhancing their programming to embrace these timely concerns by organizing instructional workshops, creating community gardens, building beekeeping exhibits, teaching patrons about reducing waste and sustainable food sources, and more.
CHICAGO — Project management, as both a skill set and a discipline, offers structure and a path forward for continual improvement and change management within libraries. Most importantly for technical services, project management creates processes that can fairly and transparently indicate how resources are allocated and guide technical services departments as they prioritize needs.
CHICAGO — Privacy is a core value of librarianship, yet it often feels like an overwhelming and onerous undertaking. With the creation of ever larger datasets and methods to track users’ every movement, library workers need to have a deep understanding of privacy, confidentiality, and security.
CHICAGO — Sourcebooks, a leading independent publisher based in Chicago, and the American Library Association’s (ALA) book publishing imprint, ALA Editions | ALA Neal-Schuman, announce publication of “Read These Banned Books: A Journal and 52-Week Reading Challenge.” Available via the ALA Store as well as through bookstores nationwide, this interactive recommended reading list presents readers with a different banned or challenged book to explore each week.
CHICAGO — As part of their dedication to improving the lives of their patrons, libraries have long offered services, programs, and outreach dedicated to the health and wellness of their communities. There is a growing recognition that library workers themselves are in urgent need of such attention; low morale, and complaints of burnout and a toxic work environment, are only a few of the obvious symptoms. The good news is that by turning inward, libraries can foster wellness in their workplace and make a real difference in the day-to-day lives of their staff. Bobbi L.
CHICAGO — Information and digital literacies are essential skills to survive and thrive in today’s media-saturated world. But minoritized and economically disadvantaged youth in urban communities often lack these critical media literacy competencies.
CHICAGO — Librarianship is still a predominantly white profession. It is essential that current practitioners as well as those about to enter the field take an unflinching look at the profession’s legacy of racial discrimination, including the ways in which race might impact service to users such as students in school, public, and academic libraries. Given the prevalence of implicit and explicit bias against Black and African American people, Amanda L. Folk and Tracey Overbey argue that we must speak to these students directly to hear their stories and thereby understand their experiences.
CHICAGO — Cultural humility is emerging as a preferred approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts within librarianship. At a time when library workers are critically examining their professional practices, cultural humility offers a potentially transformative framework of compassionate accountability; it asks us to recognize the limits to our knowledge, reckon with our ongoing fallibility, educate ourselves about the power imbalances in our organizations, and commit to making change.
CHICAGO — Published by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and ALA Editions, Maureen Schlosser’s book “Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers” spotlights 24 compelling picture books with ready-to-go lesson plans that support social and emotional learning (SEL) through the National School Library Standards. Each chapter focuses on one SEL theme to help learners practice targeted social-emotional skills.