ATG Hot Topics 8/26/16

Erin GallagherBy Erin Gallagher

Welcome back to school, librarians and students!  Classes started on Monday here on our campus, and the library is already abuzz again with the sounds of keyboards clicking, friends chattering, and young people snoring on their favorite couches.  How’s the first week going for you?  Is anyone involved in library orientation activities? 

We’re starting something new this year in my library: a book discussion group.  It’s open to all librarians and library staff, and we’ve started off with David W. Lewis’s Reimagining the Academic LibraryI’m sure many of you have already read it, but if not, it makes for provocative group discussion among library professionals.  Sometimes it can feel like all we ever do as librarians is talk ad nauseam about where the profession is going and what our roles will look like 10, 20, and 50 years from now.  This can be tiresome (I mean, we have to do actual work sometimes in the midst of all this conjecture, right?), but these are worthy discussions.  Are collections and reference-based roles on their way to obsolescence in the face of the increasing value proposition of scholarly communication and big data management?  Is the scholarly monograph really experiencing a “crisis”, or are information-seeking behaviors and wants simply edging them out organically?  This piece in Business Insider proposes another role for libraries of the future: a “library of experiences”.  While I’m not entirely convinced that libraries are poised to become virtual reality check-out stations, it’s a fun proposition.  And I agree with the underlying prediction that libraries will play an ever-increasing role in scholarly and social connectivity. 

August 26th is a wonderful date for a few reasons:

It’s National Dog DayAs the proud mother of a mostly-blind and going-deaf rescue hound, I celebrate National Dog Day every day, but it’s good to know our loveable fur babies have a day dedicated to them.

It’s also Women’s Equality Day, a day for which I have mixed feelings every year.  The day celebrates the certification of the 19th amendment in 1920, securing our right to vote, but it’s also a reminder of how far women have to go to nearly 100 years later.  We’re making terrific strides, but we always have work to do!

And, most importantly, it’s my birthday! 

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