11/09/2012 § 2 Comments
Recently, library-land has been buzzing about the soft launch of EveryLibrary, a non-partisan , national organization dedicated to helping libraries at the ballot box. As we move towards election time, I’m sure we’re all reading about what measures and initiatives we’ll be voting for and against (because we’re all responsible citizens who will be voting in the upcoming elections right?). What’s cool about EveryLibrary is that they will exclusively be dedicated to advocating for library initiatives, connecting with local communities to get voter support. Libraries can use all the help they can get at election time. A vote for libraries means more hours, more funding, and more jobs. This is something all library school students can get behind.
Advocacy is a very important aspect of librarianship. We often hear about the doom and gloom of library hours being cut and budgets being slashed. Professionals, new and young, are finding themselves out on the frontlines to push for more support from the community. We’ve written about advocacy and being a locally grown advocate before, so this concept isn’t really new to us or our readers. As future professionals, we all need to pay attention to what’s happening in our communities and see how we can help our local libraries.
Right now, EveryLibrary is in the fundraising stage, trying to get enough money to register as a 501(c) organization and a non profit in the state of Illinois. As students, it’s hard to spare even a small amount of money, but if you have some to spare, you can donate here. More importantly, the best thing we can all do is to spread the word. Tell everyone in your classes about this, tweet the link, share it with your friends and family. Let’s #makeithappen!
Tell us what you think about advocating for libraries and what you think about EveryLibary. Is this something that’s even being discussed in class? Have any other ideas about spreading the word? Let us know in the comments!
15/12/2011 § 13 Comments
A few weeks ago we wrote about how libraries fit into the Occupy Wall Street movement. In the comments there was a discussion of emergency plans so I wanted to write a bit of an update on what has happened with the Audre Lorde to Howard Zinn (A-Z) Library at Occupy Boston.
16/11/2011 § 68 Comments
“I learned that the most important thing about teaching is not what you do in the classroom but what you do outside the classroom. You go outside the classroom yourself, bring your students outside, or have them bring you outside the classroom, because very often they do it first and you say, ‘I can’t hang back. I’m their teacher. I have to be there with them.’ And you learn that the best kind of teaching makes this connection between social action and book learning.” Howard Zinn
The goal of this post is to start a conversation about LIS students and Occupy Wall Street. Several OWS libraries have popped up in different cities, and LIS students and librarians have heeded the call for reference workers, book donations, and more. In a lot of ways, libraries as a part of activism are related to our discussions of advocacy as professionals. A few HLS folk and others, are going to share our thoughts here, but what we really want is to open up a discussion with readers about how we fit into OWS as students and future info pros. There are info pros who agree and disagree with OWS itself, but all of us have important perspectives to add to the conversation. One caveat: no disrespectful/unkind/abusive/etc. comments. Our readers are generally pretty agreeable folks so this is pretty unlikely to become a problem, but we want to make sure the conversation is productive. With that, here are some thoughts from HLSers–please add your own!
19/10/2011 § 9 Comments
There has always been a hesitation to fully embrace the new. This existed when the codex,or books, with pages that you turn, took the place of scrolls that you roll, as illustrated by this hilarious video. Next, came the invention of movable type, in particular Gutenberg’s printing press. That was met by disdain from the elite due to the fact that the mechanization of the written word further widened the circle of readers, knowledge, and power structure. Now over 500 years later, electronic communication is making its impression by way of the electronic book (e-book). Whether they are reading using an e-reader such as Kindle, Nook, iPad, or a phone or computer, the dissemination of e-books is not stopping and it’s in our interests as library students to learn as much as we can about e-books, their distribution, and a new term for me, Digital Rights Management (DRM).
DRM, as said in Wikipedia, refers to “technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals to limit the use of digital content and devices.” When applied to e-books, this can lead to publishers making drastic decisions on how their authors’ works are read. An example, and current polemic amongst public libraries, is with publisher Harper Collins and their 26 check out limit. An e-book can be borrowed a maximum of 26 times, after which a new e-book must be purchased and again limited to only 26 checkouts. Such a limit has its problems, as this video by Pioneer Library System of Oklahoma explains. Each publisher’s DRM is unique and Harper Collins decision has certainly caused quite a commotion among the public libraries.
Yet, there are other publishers, the small independent ones, whose alternatives demand further contemplation. If e-books are to be embraced, why not comingle written and electronic content together. At least that’s what one publisher, Melville House Publishing, is doing. They sell what is called a Hybrid Book, where the print version of a book comes with additional material, called Melville House Illuminations, that “consist of highly curated text, maps, photographs, and illustrations related to the original book”. What I equate it to, is what music distributors have done to sell their recording artist’s records. They load them with additional features, such as the music video for their single, bonus tracks, or special cover art. This is just a one example of what publishers are doing to incorporate print material with electronic content but what are we as library school students learning about e-books? Being rather green to these terms, I’d like to take a class next semester that introduces me to electronic collections and services, but I’d like to hear from our readers:
What you have experienced when learning about e-content? If the future of books is looking increasingly digital do you feel your library school education is preparing you to handle electronic content?