Friday, January 25, 2013

The Best Things [1/25/13]

Maybe next week I'll have an original post! I'm working on some ideas. Meanwhile, the Best Things:

When Good Programs Go Bad: Forgetting the Patron Perspective, by John Pappas

Ever had what seemed like a great program, and then (next to) nobody showed up? John writes about how many a good idea for a program goes bad because the librarian did not consider the patron's "ROI" for it. That is, to go to a program a patron has to spent time and effort, and if the program isn't worth that time and effort they just won't come. John is talking primarily about public libraries here, but asking yourself "are patrons going to get enough out of this program to justify the effort of going?" certainly applies to academic libraries as well. Also, had you listened to me last week and started following Letters to a Young Librarian, you'd have already seen this.

What Do You Know About First-Gen Students? by Steven Bell

Academic libraries, like colleges & universities as a whole, spend a lot of time trying to make sure first-year students fit in, feel comfortable, and adjust to academic life. However, we do not spend a lot of time on the first-generation students (aka students who are the first of their families to attend college), despite the fact that they have a number of needs that make them more at-risk of dropping out than other students. Bell notes this is especially a concern for institutions like community colleges that attract a lot more first-gen students on average. The post is more a call to attention than a list of solutions for how academic librarians should support first-gen students, but everything must start somewhere, yeah?

Top Four Things Library Supporters Can Do To Make a Difference, by Stephanie Vance 

Advocating for libraries politically is a major interest of mine. It's why, despite making very little money, I still made a donation to help get EveryLibrary up and running.  So I really liked this practical guide for how to more effectively contact and influence government officials and legislators about library issues. I'm especially a fan of the SPLIT technique for presenting your case, which means making sure your message is Specific, Personal, Informative, and Trustworthy.

16 Great Library Scenes in Film, by Jeff O'Neal

Libraries! A popular Hollywood set, capable of evoking love, lust, confinement, freedom, and imagination, among other things.

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