Friday, August 28, 2015

RA for All: Interactive RA: Featuring a List of Fun SF and FSY...

RA for All: Interactive RA: Featuring a List of Fun SF and FSY...: I am loving a current discussion on the SF/FSY site io9 so much that I wanted to share it with all of you. They asked readers to share “ W...

I like this post so much that I tweeted it as well as putting it here.  The io9 work is great and I also like the Tor rereads.  Both of these sites have great resources, but it can seem tough to connect them with clients.  It shouldn't, as Becky says in her post

The point here is, you are starting the RA conversation with your patrons at their comfort level. They can talk to you about their answer, leave a slip in a box, or simply interact with you digitally. But the conversation has begun. You have asked for their opinion on their leisure "reading," and have given them a choice in how to respond.

So...go and read Becky's post - and think about it, then take action.

Monday, August 24, 2015

My review of Makerspaces in libraries by Theresa Willingham and @jtdeboer

Makerspaces in librariesMakerspaces in libraries by Theresa Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book provides a solid and helpful introduction to a particular interpretation of makerspaces in libraries. It has very good references to the information talked about so that it would be very easy to seek further information.

There are useful checklists of things to consider when planning makerspaces (and often when planning anything) in a library. The importance of bringing staff with you on the ideas are also addressed. The case studies from the USA, Europe and UK provide helpful perspectives, as well as more resources to explore via the links about them. The case studies highlight different approached to running library makerspaces, including whether volunteers or staff are used. There are also some detailed program examples so you could work your way through these in your library or community.

Many libraries have implemented much more diverse makerspaces, and this book does not focus on them, or include them. It also seems to dwell on a perceived dichotomy between makerspaces/fab labs and everything else libraries do, whereas I see them more as a continuum. That said, it is a very useful introduction to library makerspaces, and would help people start to think through strategies for their library.

It is a tough area to be writing in as more examples and interpretations are available all the time. Specific technology is mentioned, so read this book soon. I is a fast read. The authors did a good job with these challenges.

On the book the authors are both listed, so I would like to acknowledge the work of Theresa Willingham and Jeroen de Boer as they are both not mentioned on Goodreads.

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Public libraries and technology for loan

It was impressive how easy it was to find out about technology for loan in many libraries. Arapahoe District Libraries had the poster shown below in obvious spots in each library.  You could not miss seeing what was available. They also have it clearly listed on their website. This makes it very easy for their community to discover (and the rest of us to feel a bit envious of what is available).

technology to borrow - Smoky Hill Library
Cambridge Public Library was lending nooks

nook promotion, Main Library, Cambridge Public Library, MA

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

reading suggestions from staff in public libraries

Several libraries I visited had displays of staff reading (and I have see this is libraries in Australia too). There were different methods used, and they all looked good.  This is impressive passive reader's advisory work.

Sheridan Library, Arapahoe District Libraries

staff picks - Sheridan Library
staff picks - Sheridan Library staff picks - Sheridan Library
Southglenn Library, Arapahoe District Libraries staff picks - Southglenn Library staff picks - Southglenn Library
 Cambridge Public Library has descriptions of the kinds of reading and watching enjoyed by different staff with groups of selections, rather than individual ones.

staff reading suggestions, Main Library, Cambridge Public Library, MA staff reading suggestions, Main Library, Cambridge Public Library, MA staff reading suggestions, Main Library, Cambridge Public Library, MA
An important thing to remember is to  please use suggestions not recommendations, makes it easier to try, but also less judgemental if you don't like it (and you want to go and talk to staff seeing suggestions for reading you make like).  It also does not imply you are a failure as a reading if you did not enjoy the suggestion, but it can feel a little harsher if you did not like something which was recommended.  We all like different things, and sometimes it is the timing which is wrong and other times the title.  It is not the reader who is wrong.