HLS Weekly Round Up

Editor’s Note: Each week, we reflect on the top articles, blog posts, tweets, news, thoughts, and other tidbits we’ve found interesting or useful. Enjoy!


Survey time! Two LIS professors in Canada are conducting a survey of “culturally and linguistically diverse students who chose an ALA-accredited program for their graduate education.” If you are “culturally or linguistically diverse,” by which they mean immigrant to US or Canada or visible or aboriginal minority (with some additional qualifiers), help them out by responding to the survey. (I’m not culturally or linguistically diverse, so I haven’t seen the questions.)

We’ve talked about rigor before (or I have, at least) so this article‘s mention of “what [science] gained in rigor, it lost in verve” made me think it needed to be shared here. What do you think of injecting your personality into your academic writing?

Well. This isn’t good.

You may have seen news of San Francisco’s new public library rules. I’m hesitant to suggest that you read the comments on this opinion piece because who knows what will happen between now (Tuesday morning) and when you read this, but some of the comments, surprisingly, show the good side of humanity. So risk it, if you dare.


Letters to a Young Librarian had a fantastic article about managing student workers. I’m a first-time supervisor this semester and I manage four student employees in a small visual resources library. I have two graduate students who are assigned to the VRC by the Graduate Coordinator but I am responsible for hiring an undergraduate student worker and lab monitor. Hiring students isn’t easy – I actually had two hires that never made it to their first day, but I was lucky to end up with such a great team this year. My students are invaluable for both my sanity and workload. I did struggle in the interview process, though, and found it a bit awkward. The interview script in the article was very helpful and I plan to adapt it and use it during the next hiring process.


Annoyed Librarian has me thinking again with her post on Banned Books Week. Her main point, as I understand it, is that when we claim to use collection development policies to support a free exchange of all ideas and viewpoints, what we actually mean is that we’re promoting “intellectual freedom, equality, and tolerance for all types of library patrons.” Which are not the same thing, because the second meaning allows us the ignore materials that are racist, homophobic, etc. That’s not a bad thing in my mind, but it isn’t a totally free exchange either and we make ourselves look like hypocrites by claiming it is.

The Cincinnati Public Library has started a program to help adults earn their high school diploma online, for free. I thought this brought up an interesting question: lifelong learning is certainly in the library’s wheelhouse, but is actually providing degree services a natural extension of this or an example of mission creep? It’s certainly going to help a lot of people. But I wonder if the Cincinnati school district should be feeling some degree of shame for not doing this first.

And finally, the Columbus Metropolitan Library asked it’s patrons to give them five words that described the libraries of their childhoods’ and five to describe modern libraries, then used those words as guidance when developing new library spaces. They arranged these suggestions into word-clouds, and they make excellent late-afternoon browsing fodder.

Categories: Weekly Round-Up

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