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Good stuff I’ve read recently 3/5/15

March 5, 2015

Empathy: Remembering What It’s Like to be a Teen and How it Helps us Be Better Teen Services Librarians (from Teen Librarian Toolbox)

The thing I have often found about the staff who complain about teens in the library is that they have forgotten what it is like to be a teen. I understand wanting to forget, being a teen sucked in epic ways. That constant struggle between wanting independence and the adults around you fighting for control. The expectations. The stress.

I think this is an important read, not just for working in teen services, but for any librarian. If you’re feeling stressed by a customer service interaction (which is what all library interactions, at heart, are), figure out a way to tell yourself the other person’s story, to see if you can shift.

How Libraries are Adapting to Help Homeless Find Jobs, Health Services (HuffPo) Thanks to ChrisL for tipping me off to this story.

Librarians with The Queens Library in New York City work with the Department of Education to go into homeless shelters to hold library card drives, read stories to children, give away books and lead discussions with teenagers. The library also connects people to emergency food, shelter and legal services through a mobile phone application.

Pooling resources like this may seem obvious, but these agencies still don’t work together in many communities. Winklestein says that needs to change, since providing information to the public is what libraries are supposed to be all about.

“Librarians can’t solve people’s problems, but we can provide them the resources to solve their own problems,” she said.

Nothing else to say about the above story except… Yes. This! Exactly. This!

E-books Go Out of Fashion as Book Sales Revive (from TIME).

British book stores have good news for bibliophiles, reporting that more people have been buying physical books recently. What’s more, sales of e-readers have apparently slumped according to their reports.

This focuses on publishing stats from British bookstores, but I choose to see it as a vote of confidence for the paper book, and further, for the library shelving said paper books. Face it: technology moves at a far greater pace than our brains evolve. Ingesting stories and information from paper requires different sets of neurons than from screens, and I think the embrace of paper will continue for a while yet.

We Aim to Misbehave: Commencement Address from Dorothea Salo. Thanks to Pratt SILS student Laurin Paradise for putting this one on my radar. Transcript here.

And that’s what I have to tell you about all of us, every information professional worthy the name: we aim to misbehave.

Watch/read it. It’s inspiring.

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